A Real Guide To Discover Different Types Of Coffee

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Are you a coffee connoisseur? Do you favor brewing your morning coffee at home or discussing bean origins with your coterie?

If you want to be an expert on the subject, you’ll need to know how it tastes and where it comes from. And with so many different types of coffee in the world, this is a challenging task. 

In fact, this beverage is divided into diverse kinds, from bean varieties to roasts, brewing methods, drinks, and recipes. But in this article, we will help you dive into a world of beans, learn all the ways to brew coffee, and know every kind of coffee drink.

Types of Coffee Beans

There are many different types of coffee in the world, but the four main types you should know how to identify: Arabica, Robusta, Liberica, and Excelsa.

Arabica

Arabica is the most common type, accounting for about 60% of beans globally. Its name most likely comes from the popularity of this bean in 7th Century Arabia (Yemen today). 

Brazil is the “land of Arabica” that produces about 75% of Arabica in the world. But these delicious beans originated centuries ago in the highlands of Ethiopia and may even be the first coffee plant to enter large-scale production.

Most gourmet brands advertise they use “100 percent Arabica” Why? Arabica beans are considered to be of the highest quality, and they’re also high-priced. They bring coffee with a smooth and complex flavor with a lack of bitterness.

Robusta

The second most popular type of beans is Robusta. It accounts for up to 40% of the world’s production.

This type is native to sub-Saharan Africa and is now grown mainly in Africa and Indonesia. It is also especially popular in Vietnam and is often mixed into blends. This is a less expensive bean type, making it a very budget-friendly option for roasters.

Many drinkers say that Robusta is coarser and more bitter. Indeed, it usually has a strong odor and a slightly burnt, almost burnt taste. Robusta beans also have significantly more caffeine than Arabica beans. Their high caffeine content will arouse you right away! 

Liberica

Originated from central and western Africa – especially Liberia (hence the name), Coffea Liberica is prized for its seductive floral aroma and bold smoky flavor characteristics. 

This bean is currently produced mainly in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, making up about 2% of the world’s supply. More than 95% of Malaysian coffee production is Liberica. However, it is rarely found in the North American and European markets.

Among enthusiasts, Liberica is notoriously controversial and polarizing in terms of inconsistency. Those who have tried this rare variety either love it or hate it. Some love the unusual, aromatic woody flavor and sneaky trails of finish. Others compare the taste to burnt garbage.

Excelsa

The fourth major type of beans is called Excelsa. Although it was once considered a separate species of coffee, scientists have recently reclassified it as a Liberica variant. 

Excelsa grows almost entirely in Southeast Asia, and they are somewhat similar in shape to Liberica beans – elongated ovals. This type is not as popular as Arabica and Robusta and can be harder to find outside Asia.

In terms of taste, Excelsa is unique. 

These beans combine light baking characteristics like tart notes and fruit flavors reminiscent of dark roast. They are also lighter in aroma and caffeine – while maintaining unusual flavor depth.

Types of Brewing Methods

“If you buy good coffee and want to prepare it well, you have to choose a method that lets you express your dedication, skill, and enthusiasm.” – James Freeman, Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee. 

While the beans you grind play an important role in the taste, how you brew it is just as important. All you need is a powder blend you like, some equipment, and a few minutes to spare. Different brewing methods satisfy different tastes.

Pour Over

One of the oldest and simplest, fastest, and cheapest ways to make coffee is the Pour Over method, which is to pour water into the coffee through a layer of the powdered filter. Underneath is a glass cup. With gravity, the coffee will slowly flow into the cup.

  • Grind size: medium to coarse 
  • Quantity: 3 teaspoons (21g)
  • Brewing time: 1-3 minutes
  • Popular pour-over machines: Hario V60, Melitta

Chemex

The Chemex is a beautifully designed and elegantly designed glass vase, invented in 1941 by Dr. Peter Schlumbohm. Its design is very simple, like a glass hourglass. The glass is heat resistant and has a wooden handle in the center of the jar. This handle is for you to lift and pour the coffee. The filter paper is thicker than usual, and the extraction is slow.

  • Grind size: medium to coarse 
  • Quantity: 6 teaspoons (42g)
  • Brewing time: 4 minutes
  • Chemex paper filter required

French Press

The French Press method, invented in 1929, is widely regarded as the best and easiest method for brewing superior and consistent taste. Its extraction is said to offer superior flavor than any other method. It is well suited to enjoy a delicious, expressive, and complex taste experience.

  • Grind size: coarse 
  • Quantity: 2-2.5 teaspoons (14-17g) for a cup 
  • Brewing time: 4 minutes
  • No filter needed

AeroPress

Alan Adler invented the manual maker called AeroPress in 2005. AeroPress is a machine that uses the brewing method to soak coffee. Unlike a press or French Press system, it uses finely ground, and the brewing time only lasts for a short period. The pressure created by the brewing process improves extraction and flavor. 

The AeroPress is plastic and has three parts, the top is a brew tube, next is a piston that fits in this brew tube, and a filter basket for fitting into the brew tube.

  • Grind size: medium fine 
  • Quantity: 2.5 teaspoons (17g)
  • Brewing time: 1-2 minutes
  • AeroPress micro paper filter (or fine metal filter)

Siphon

The siphon is a flashy and fancy machine. It is fun to brew coffee and impress your friends simultaneously, but it is a complicated process. It was invented in Germany in the 1840s. 

Grounds are added to the upper pot, and steam pressure is heated to steep the coffee. When the heat is removed, gravity pushes the brewed coffee back through the filter into the bottom pot. 

  • Grind size: medium fine 
  • Quantity: 6 teaspoons (40g)
  • Brewing time: 6 minutes
  • Popular brands include Hario, Yama, and Bodum

Cold Brew

Cold Brew does not use hot water or high temperatures. This method is extremely simple. Just steep the ground in cold water and then brew it for a long time. 

The finished drink will contain less acid by cold brewing, creating a milder and less acidic taste than hot brewed coffee. Thanks to that, this drink will not cause a feeling of intestinal pain after drinking.

  • Grind size: extra-coarse 
  • Quantity: 28g for a cup
  • Brewing time: 6-12 hours

Moka Pot (Stovetop Espresso)

Patented in 1933 by Alfonso Bialetti, stovetop-style makers use steam pressure from boiling water in the lower part to pass through the grounds in the center cavity of the pot. 

The water gets drawn up from the bottom of the pot as it heats, covering your grinds and completing the brewing process.

  • Grind size: medium fine 
  • Quantity: 2.5-3 teaspoons (17-22g)
  • Brewing time: 5 minutes
  • Popular brands include Bialetti, Pedrini, and Kabalo

Types of Coffee Drinks

When coming to a coffee shop, you might be overwhelmed with a long menu full of the names: Macchiato, Cappuccino, Mocha, Latte, etc. Only true coffeeholic can remember these distinct flavors. 

And if you are still wondering which bitter taste will suit you, let’s explore the uniqueness of each version.

Hot Coffee Drinks

Espresso

Espresso is commonly drunk in Italy and Spain and has now spread to many other parts of the world. Espresso comes from the Italian word espressivo, the word describing a food specially prepared for diners. 

To make Espresso, you must use a special machine under very high pressure. When water is pumped in, the copper pipe system in the Espresso machine will heat the water to levels above 90 degrees Celsius and below 100 degrees Celsius. 

A cup of Italian Espresso is considered qualified if, on the surface, there is a layer of yellow-brown foam (also known as crema). Espresso is usually served in thick cups with a capacity of about 40ml. This drink is very concentrated and has quite a high caffeine content. 

Not only the preparation process but the way to enjoy a cup of Espresso is also an art. The drinker holds a cup in one hand, a plate in one hand, then slowly inhales the seductive aroma, and then drinks the entire cup in just 3-4 puffs.

The purer the espresso, the richer and more flavorful it is. But if you can’t drink bitter, you can add a little sugar to suit your taste.

Cappuccino

Cappuccino is made from Espresso but is more famous and popular. A standard Cappuccino is a combination of 3 equal ingredients: Hot milk, foamed milk, and Espresso mixed with twice the amount of water. 

The name “Cappuccino” originates from the Capuchin monks. The brown color in Cappuccino closely resembles the robes of these monks. The taste of Cappuccino depends a lot on the bartender’s skill, also known as the barista. 

The thick layer of milk foam on top is created by sending a strong jet of hot steam to stir and whisk in the fresh milk jug. The top of this foam layer will be sprinkled with a little more cinnamon powder or cocoa powder to enhance the flavor. 

The barista will use a spoon or mold to create the art. Cappuccino is usually served in a thick stone or porcelain cup. Italians love to drink Cappuccino for breakfast.

Latte

Latte in Italian means coffee and milk. If people are not connoisseurs, they will often confuse the taste of Latte with Cappuccino because both have three basic ingredients: espresso, hot milk, and milk foam.

In fact, Latte has less foam and is usually served in quite large glasses. Initially, Latte was created specifically for children because of its high richness and low caffeine content. But then, with its attractive taste, Latte became more popular and became a drink for all ages.

Latte Macchiato

Latte Macchiato is created from espresso and milk. Basically, Latte Macchiato is quite similar to milk coffee, but with more milk and very low caffeine. 

A standard Latte Macchiato must be contained in a tall, thick-walled glass with three distinct layers: Milk in the lowest layer, Espresso in the middle, milk foam on top, and a little cocoa, chocolate, or cinnamon powder. People often enjoy Latte Macchiato with cookies.

Mocha

Mocha is an Italian coffee that is loved by all ages, especially young people. Drinking Mocha, people will feel the rich taste of hot chocolate and the fatty aroma of fresh cream. This drink uses roasted beans and is brewed with hot steam, helping the coffee to wake up with a new flavor but not too strong.

The bitterness and deposition of chocolate are blended perfectly and most wonderfully with the rich bitterness & the greasy taste of hot whipped fresh milk. 

The smooth milk foam has created an attractive flavor, making Mocha the favorite drink of women and young people.

Even so, a cup of Mocha still cannot lose the essential amount of caffeine, still enough to make coffee aficionados fall in love.

Americano

When hearing the word Americano, many people will think that this must be some famous American coffee. But the Americano is actually from Italy. To make an Americano, people will dilute the Espresso with twice the amount of water. 

An Americano is nothing more than an espresso sprinkled with hot water. It delivers espresso’s rich, full-bodied flavor but can be broken down a bit with hot water. Many people do not like Americano because they think it has “broken” the richness of Espresso. 

Still, if you like the taste of espresso but are concerned about the caffeine content, the Americano is a great choice.

Flat White

Like the Latte, this drink is made with espresso and steamed hot milk. Still, there are some differences between these two drinks – flat white has less foam and milk than Latte and has a higher ratio of espresso to milk. The Latte is usually served in a glass, while flat white is usually served in ceramic. 

White Flat’s recorded history dates back to Australia. Appeared in the mid-80s at a bar called Moors Espresso, Sydney city. In contrast, there are still many controversies about the origin from New Zealand.

Red Eye

Have you ever heard people talk about Red Eye? Probably very few people know about it, even those who have a lot of experience and knowledge in the industry. 

Red Eye is a beverage that combines brewed coffee (if brewed manually) or dripped coffee (if brewed by machine) with a shot of espresso. Brewing methods include brewing filter coffee, Siphon, French Press, Chemex pots, or Cold Brew.

Irish Coffee

Irish Coffee is mixed with whiskey, caramel sugar, and a layer of cream on top and enjoyed hot. With all the above ingredients, this is considered a great drink for the bitter taste and the passionate flavor of the whiskey. 

Adding to its incredible taste is the fatness of the milk cream layer, along with that gentle, sweet aftertaste of caramel sugar. This special type of coffee and alcohol is a drink that is often used after a meal. In cold weather, a cup of Irish Coffee makes our body warm and forgets the cold.

Cold Coffee Drinks

Iced Coffee/ Iced Espresso

Iced coffee is greatly popular in Vietnam. This drink is made by combining black coffee (one-shot espresso or filter coffee) with ice and sugar (optional). There are a variety of ways to make this simple drink. You can add cream, condensed milk, or whatever sweeteners you like. 

In recent years, in addition to the traditional way of making coffee by filters, iced drinks have changed more or less through brewing by machines. Machine brewing will produce a better extraction level. 

The natural qualities of roasted beans in terms of flavor and taste will be better achieved, thereby enhancing the sense of taste of drinkers.

Cold Brew

This drink has been mentioned above as a brewing method, and that is, we can have a cup of coffee by steeping beans with cold water and soaking it overnight. 

In the 19th century (late 60’s and early 70’s), cold brew coffee spread to many countries, including the US, UK, Japan, to the colonies of the Americas. Later, famous brands such as Starbucks giants, New Orleans giant Blue Bottle, or Stumptown began to produce the great cold bottled takeaway drink. 

In places with quite hot climates, cold brew is a great choice for summer days. Moreover, the extracted coffee will have a better natural sweetness and less acidity with the cold brew, so your drink will have a softer taste. 

Frappuccino

Frappuccino is exclusively created and owned by Starbucks Corporation – the world-famous coffee brand. Frappuccino is an ice/cold Cappuccino, but the recipe has changed. Frappuccino is usually served with a layer of whipping cream and sauce on top. 

Frappuccinos come in many different flavors, such as Fraffuccino, Vanilla Bean Frappuccino, Strawberries, Cream Frappuccino, Frappuccino Juice Blend, and even Vegan Frappuccino made with soy milk.

Mazagran

Known in many parts of the world as the source of all types of iced coffee. Mazagran originated in North Africa and was brought to France in the years of the 19th century. After being introduced to France, Mazagran quickly became famous and available in many cafes in Paris. 

This is also a coffee drink served in a tall, narrow-bodied glass. Mazagran is a sweet iced coffee made with espresso, lemon, mint, and sometimes rum. This drink may sound strange, but it is a great refreshment and is extremely suitable for the hot summer.

Nitro Cold Brew

Nitro cold brew is served chilled. It is an innovative coffee made from cold brew coffee with nitrogen gas to create a smoother, colder, and more refreshing texture.

This type is usually cooled down to at least 4 degrees Celsius, then dissolved with Nitro gas by a specialized compressed air tank to create a unique texture that looks like fresh beer. 

In addition to using compressed air, a nitrogen generator can be used to synthesize nitrogen gas from outdoor air and then dissolve it directly with coffee. 

The layer of nitrogen bubbles on the top of the cup contains natural sugars plus the fats found in coffee. The foam will taste sweet and fatty, like a layer of cream, similar to the creme of an espresso.

Conclusion

Just like other stylish and delicate drinks, coffee has endless versions and diverse ways of mixing. As long as you have a passion for coffee, you can understand the world of coffee by learning different types of coffee right now!

With this article, you can find some useful knowledge to help you make your favorite coffee, and you will now no longer feel confused when looking at the menu of a coffee shop.

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Almost 20 years already spent committed to coffee and more than 3 years of experience as a barista at Starbucks. Madelyn Doyle graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutritional Science from the University of California and finished the Coffee Skills Program at the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA).