I spent 10 hours pouring over café menus and researching different types of coffee online to compile the ultimate list of coffee drinks.
Whether you struggle with understanding coffee shop menus (we’ve all been there) or are looking to add to your coffee making repertoire, here are 52 coffee drinks that you can enjoy.
I’ll be looking to add to this list as I discover more coffee drinks, so if you have any suggestions then please let me know.
If you’d like to try making these drinks at home then you might be interested in my reviews of drip coffee makers and espresso machines
Most Common Coffee Drinks
These are the drinks that you will find at almost any coffee shop.
Filter coffee is made by steeping medium coarse coffee grinds in boiling water under normal pressure. Filter coffee is either brewed by percolation (where water passes through the grinds relatively quickly) or by immersion (where coffee grinds sit in water for a longer time). Filter coffee is what in normally referred to as a “black coffee”, or a “white coffee” when milk is added.
An espresso is made by forcing a small amount of water through finely ground coffee beans at 9-10 bars of pressure. This high pressure extracts more of the oils out of the coffee bean than a filter coffee, giving an espresso a thicker, almost syrupy texture.
An americano is where espresso is diluted with boiling water. The ratio of coffee to hot water varies from 1:1 to 1:3. In European cafés americanos are often sold as “black coffees” as filter coffee machines are less common than espresso machines.
A cappuccino is a layered drink made up of espresso at the bottom, hot milk in the middle and a thick layer of hot, foamy milk on top. The coffee and hot milk in a cappuccino are not traditionally sweetened, but versions where the espresso is sweetened with sugar are becoming more popular.
A latte is an espresso mixed with a large amount of hot milk (espresso to milk ratio is usually 1:2) and topped with a small amount of frothed milk. Lattes are referred to as café au lait in French and café con leche in Spanish.
Instant coffee granules are made from freeze dried coffee extract. It allows you to make a decent(ish) coffee in seconds. Instant coffee is often used as the base for sweeter coffee drinks, including Starbucks’s famous Frappuccino.
A Keurig coffee maker can give a better tasting coffee with a similar level of convenience as instant coffee. For more on these machines please see my Keurig machine reviews.
Varieties Of Filter Coffee
Filter coffee can be made in many different ways. The main variations lie in how the coffee is brewed in water, and how it is filtered.
Filter coffee making methods can broadly be divided into two categories. These are percolation brewing, where water passes through coffee grounds quickly, and immersion brewing where coffee grounds sit in water for a longer period of time.
Drip coffee is where a coffee grounds is placed on top of a filter in a machine that heats up the water and passes it though the coffee and filter. This percolation brewing technique is what most people think of when they hear “filter coffee”.
Ninja are one of the biggest manufacturers of drip coffee machines. For more information on this please see my roundup of the best Ninja coffee makers.
Pour over coffee
This is where boiling water is poured manually over coffee grounds sitting in a thick filter. The coffee is filtered more slowly than in a drip coffee machine, creating a coffee drink. This percolation brewing method is also known as “chemex”.
You can also get machines which automate some of the process of making pour over coffee. For more information on these please see my round up of the best automatic pour over coffee makers.
Water is boiled in a stovetop pot. As the pot boils, steam pushes water at a pressure of around two bars through coffee grounds sitting higher up in the pot. This creates a coffee that is slightly thicker and richer than pour over or drip filter coffee, but is still weaker and thinner than espresso.
The first immersion brewing method on this list. Coffee beans sit in boiling water and are then filtered out with a plunger that has a built in filter. Check out my method for making good coffee in a French press.
Ground coffee sits in boiling water before being pushed though a filter using a syringe-like device. This forces the coffee though a filter at a higher pressure than a French press, resulting in a slightly richer and thicker coffee.
Coarse ground coffee is left for 12 hours in refrigerated water before being filtered out using a coffee filter. Check out my recipe for cold brew coffee.
Espresso Based Drinks (Coffee Dominant)
There are so many drinks that use espresso coffee as a base that I am splitting them up into two groups. These are:
- Drinks that are predominantly made out of espresso
- Drinks that contain more milk than coffee.
I will start with the coffee dominant espresso drinks and list them from most to least commonly found.
Espresso Dominant Drinks
An americano is an espresso mixed with boiling water. It is often sold in place of a filter coffee in Europe.
A doppio is simply a double shot of espresso.
A ristoretto is an espresso that is made with less water (15 ml or 1/2 a fluid ounce) and with finer grounds. This creates a coffee that is more heavily concentrated than a standard espresso.
These are best made at home in a semi-automatic espresso machine. For more on these types of machines please see my roundup of the best Gaggia espresso machine.
A lungo is an espresso made by passing extra water through the ground coffee (it is conceptually opposite to a ristoretto). A lungo differs from an americano as in the former all the water is brewed into the coffee, whereas with an americano the additional water is added to the coffee post-brewing. A lungo typically contains around 3 fluid ounces (90 millilitres) of water.
Espresso is diluted with cold water. Similar to an americano except cold water is added to the coffee rather than hot water.
Sugar is added to the coffee grounds before brewing to make a sweeter drink. Clean your espresso machine thoroughly after making this or the mechanism will get very sticky.
Espresso Con Panna
A double shot of espresso is topped with a dollop of whipped cream. Often served after meals.
Milk Based Espresso Drinks
These are espresso drinks that contain more milk than coffee. I will list them from least to most amount of milk used.
Single shot of espresso topped with a small amount of frothed milk. Can vary from a 2:1 coffee to milk ratio to equal parts coffee and frothed milk. This is a layered drink more resembling a cappuccino than a latte, albeit with less milk.
A flat white is a layered drink containing two parts espresso (usually a double shot), one part heated milk and one part frothed milk. You can essentially think of this as a cappuccino with less milk.
Double espresso mixed with equal parts steamed milk (milk is not frothed). Milk and coffee are mixed together to form a homogenous light brown color.
This drink, from Valencia, has an espresso sitting atop an equal amount of condensed milk. Although layered, the drinker is meant to mix the two liquids together to make a very sweet coffee drink.
Layered drink made up of equal parts espresso and heated milk with a thicker layer of foamed milk on top.
Shot of ristoretto mixed with enough heated milk to fill a 100 millilitre glass.
One part espresso is mixed with three parts hot milk and then topped with a small layer of foamed milk. Lattes are often flavored, and we will list a couple of the most popular flavors below.
The easiest way to make a latte at home is with a Jura super automatic espresso machine. For more on these please see my roundup of the best Jura coffee machines.
Chocolate sauce or a combination of cocoa powder and sugar is added to the espresso and milk mixture in a latte. Mocha lattes are often topped with cream and chocolate sauce in addition to frothed milk.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
A latte where the coffee and milk mixture is infused with pumpkin, cinnamon, clove, ginger and nutmeg. Here is my pumpkin spice latte recipe.
Similar to a latte but uses half and half (half milk and half cream) rather than milk for a creamier drink.
Portuguese coffee consisting of one part espresso to three parts frothed milk. Think of it as an even foamier version of a cappuccino.
Cold Coffee Drinks
This is far from an exhaustive list of cold coffee drinks, since any hot coffee can be mixed with ice and served cold. These are just the most popular cold coffees.
Filter coffee is mixed with milk and served over a lot of ice cubes. Use syrup instead of sugar to sweeten the drink as sugar will not dissolve in cold liquids.
Instant coffee is mixed with whole milk and blended with crushed ice. Often uses different syrups and sauces for flavoring. A Frappuccino is just Starbucks’s take on a frappe. Here is my recipe for Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino.
Iced Vietnamese Coffee
Filter coffee is combined with condensed milk and served over ice cubes.
A single shot of espresso is served over vanilla ice cream. More of a desert than a drink.
A shot of espresso is blended with vanilla ice cream and whole milk. Feel free to add cream and chocolate syrup to this.
Cold Brew Soda
One part cold brew coffee is mixed with two parts soda water and a small amount of simple syrup. This is best served over ice.
Alcoholic Coffee Drinks
Here are the most common alcoholic coffee drinks. I have not included all the different types of coffee liquors on this list.
One part espresso mixed with one part coffee liquer and two parts vodka. Served with ice in a martini class with coffee beans on top (those are the olives, I guess??).
A filter coffee has a shot of whiskey added to it and is topped with whipped cream.
German version of Irish coffee. Espresso is mixed with sugar and a shot of rum. Top with whipped cream. This is typically a Christmas holiday coffee drink.
A shot of espresso with a head of grappa or brandy. Known as a Carajillo in Spain and Latin America.
Filter coffee is mixed with one shot of amaretto, one shot of brandy and topped with whipped cream.
There has been a recent phenomenon of people brewing coffee with beer. Guinness released their cold brew coffee beer in the UK in 2022.
Coffees From Around The World
Here are some of of the ways that coffee are enjoyed around the world. I am going around the world clockwise from the north (so North, East, South, West).
Drank in Finland. Filter coffee is poured over cubed cheese curds. The cheese curds are removed from the coffee and eaten on the side.
Swedish Egg Coffee
Drank in Scandinavia. Coffee grounds are mixed with a raw egg before being steeped in boiling water. Egg protein binds with some of the oils in the coffee grounds to create a smoother final drink.
Drank in Austria. Double espresso topped with thick layer of double cream. Similar to espresso con panna except more cream is used.
Ultra fine coffee grounds are immersed in boiling water and heated over a stove. No filtering occurs other than careful pouring to ensure that the heavier grounds do not get into the final drink. The coffee brewed in this way is very bitter. Coffee is brewed in a similar way in South America, particularly in Peru and Colombia.
Drank in Saudi Arabia. Coffee is boiled in water with cardamom, cloves and saffron. Much like with Turkish coffee it is unfiltered so finer grounds make it in the final drink.
Drank in South Korea. Coffee is mixed with sugar and whipped until it forms stiff peaks. This is served on top of milk.
Ca Phe Trung
Drank in Vietnam. Espresso is topped with a mixture of condensed milk and egg yolk. This one is on my bucket list.
Ipoh White Coffee
Drank in Malaysia. Coffee beans are roasted with margarine prior to grinding and brewing. Coffee is drank with condensed milk.
Zanzibar Spiced Coffee
Drank in Tanzania. Filter coffee is brewed with ginger, cardamom and cloves.
Drank in Algeria. Espresso is mixed with cold water and ice and served with a slice of lemon.
Drank in Senegal. Coffee is ground with Selim black pepper and then made into a filter coffee.
Drank in Colombia. Strong coffee is mixed with a syrup made from sugar cane.
Café de Olla
Drank in Mexico. Coffee is brewed in a clay pot with cane sugar and cinnamon.
The official drinks of Rhode Island, USA. Coffee syrup is mixed with milk in a similar fashion to chocolate milk.
So There We Have It
I hope you have learned a bit more about the different types of coffees available for you to enjoy.
If you have tried a coffee drink on this list then please let me know and I can add it to the list.
If you are interested in how much caffeine different different coffee drinks contain then check out our guide on how much caffeine is in coffee.