Exploring the World of Coffee: 20 Varieties You Need to Try

Coffee lovers rejoice! There's a world of delicious coffee drinks to explore beyond your standard cup of joe. Let's dive into some of the most popular and interesting coffee beverages you can find:

Espresso-Based Drinks

Espresso forms the foundation for many beloved coffee drinks. Here are some classics:

Short Black/Espresso: A concentrated shot of coffee brewed by forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee beans. It's the base for many other drinks.

Doppio: Double in Italian. A doppio usually includes two shots of espresso rather than a single.

Long Black: Like Americano, long black coffee is a simple drink. You only need two ingredients: espresso and water. Unlike Americano, which involves pouring hot water into an espresso shot, a double espresso is added to a cup of hot water to prepare a long black Coffee.

Cappuccino: Equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam, often topped with a sprinkle of cocoa powder.

Latte: Espresso topped with steamed milk and a small layer of milk foam, typically served in a larger cup than a cappuccino.

Flat White: This is similar to a latte but with less milk and a thinner layer of microfoam, allowing the espresso flavour to shine through.

Macchiato: An espresso "stained" with a small amount of steamed milk. Another variant is a long Macchiato, which is usually a double shot of espresso with a dash of textured milk.

Mocha: In its most basic formulation, it can also be referred to as hot chocolate with a shot of espresso added. Like Cappuccino, mochas typically contain the distinctive milk froth on top, as is common with hot chocolate. They are usually topped with a dusting of either cocoa powder or cinnamon sugar.

Iced and Cold Coffee Drinks

For hot days or those who prefer their coffee chilled:

Iced Latte: Made with espresso, milk & ice. Some people add sugar syrup or even flavoured syrups to customize

Iced Coffee: Made with espresso, milk, ice cream and topped with whipped cream.

Cold Brew: Coffee grounds steeped in cold water for an extended period, resulting in a smooth, less acidic brew.

Frappuccino: A blended iced drink that can include coffee, milk, and flavoured syrups and topped with whipped cream.

International Coffee Specialties

Coffee culture varies around the world, leading to unique and delicious variations:

Turkish Coffee: Finely ground coffee simmered in a special pot called a cezve, often served with the grounds still in the cup.

Vietnamese Coffee: Strong coffee brewed directly onto sweetened condensed milk, which can be served hot or iced.

Irish Coffee: Hot Coffee mixed with Irish whiskey and topped with whipped cream, a perfect after-dinner treat.

Café con Leche: A Spanish coffee drink similar to a latte but often made with scalded milk instead of steamed milk.

Unique and Lesser Known Coffee Drinks

For the adventurous coffee drinker:

Red Eye: A cup of drip coffee with a shot of espresso added for an extra caffeine boost.

Affogato: A scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato "drowned" in a double shot of hot espresso.

Ristretto is a "short shot" (20 ml from a double basket) of a more highly concentrated espresso coffee. It is made with the same amount of ground coffee but extracted with a finer grind (also in 20 to 30 seconds) using half as much water.

Cortado: Equal parts espresso and steamed milk, with little to no foam.

Remember, many coffee shops offer unique creations and seasonal specials, so feel free to ask your barista for recommendations or explanations of unfamiliar drinks. The world of coffee is vast and varied, with something to suit every taste preference.

Whether you prefer strong and black coffee, creamy and sweet, hot or cold, there's a coffee drink out there. Experimenting with different types of coffee drinks can be a delightful journey of flavour discovery. So next time you visit your local café, why not try something new? You might find your new favourite coffee beverage!