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17 Different Types of Coffee

September 26, 2022

There’s nothing quite like a hot mug of coffee to elevate your rise and shine routine. Beloved the world over, java is the beverage of choice for many morning rituals, but there’s more to it than black, cream, iced, or blended. From fun facts for popular types of coffee beans to the myriad types of drinks available (lungo, anyone?), consider this your must-have cup of joe primer.

Types of Coffee Beans

While there are many types of coffee beans out there (about 30 species in total), the most widely cultivated are arabica and robusta beans.

different types of coffee

Arabica

Native to Ethiopia, Arabica beans are believed to be the first species of coffee ever cultivated and represented roughly 80 percent of global production in 2021. From Brazil to Indonesia, arabica is known for its robust flavor, sweetness, balance, and acidity. It’s also more difficult to grow than robusta beans—more on those in a minute—requiring patience and careful tending, as coffea arabica takes approximately seven years to fully mature.

Robusta

Compared to arabica, robusta beans are stronger and more bitter, so you’ll typically see it used for espresso drinks and instant coffee mixes. (The higher caffeine content will also perk you right up if you’re feeling sluggish.) These beans originate in West Africa, grow wild in the forests of The Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda, and thrive in humid, tropical climates.


17 Types of Coffee Drinks

types of coffee drinks

Now the fun begins—it’s time to explore the multitude of ways you can enjoy your favorite beans.

Affogato
An affogato is basically an excuse to combine your dessert and coffee course. This treat is served with a scoop of ice cream (usually vanilla) that’s topped with a shot of espresso. Try our dairy-free version here.

Americano
Similar to a black coffee, the Americano is made with an espresso shot that’s diluted with hot water.

Black
Taking your coffee black means you’re sipping coffee beans steeped in hot water. This is as simple as it gets! Cafe noir is its fancy name, and of course, you’re welcome to enhance your cup with milk, sugar, or a creamer of choice.

Café au Lait
For coffee minimalists, café au lait is the perfect choice. Just add a splash of warm milk to your coffee and you’re good to go.

Cappuccino
A cappuccino is an espresso-based beverage with roots in Italy and is made with an ethereal foam of steamed milk.

Cold Brew
Cold brew is made by steeping coffee grounds in room temperature water for anywhere between 12-18 hours, then straining and chilling before serving. Aficionados say the flavor is smoother, milder, and less acidic than traditionally brewed coffee.

types of coffee drinks

Cortado
Hailing from Spain, a cortado (Spanish for “cut”) combines roughly equal amounts of espresso and warm milk, which reduces the coffee’s acidity. The milk is usually steamed, but not frothy like in a cappuccino.

Doppio
For an extra pep in your step, order a doppio, a double shot of espresso.

Espresso
An espresso is a single shot of concentrated coffee and often used as the foundation of other coffee drinks like lattes, macchiatos, and cortados.

Flat White
There’s still some debate as to whether the flat white originated in Australia or New Zealand, but this drink is espresso-based and features steamed milk.

Galão
From Portugal, this hot coffee drink is similar to lattes and cappuccinos. The main difference is a galão contains twice as much foamed milk, so it’s a lighter option.

Latte
Lattes are one of the most popular coffee drinks around. They’re made with a shot of espresso and steamed milk, and are finished with a touch of foam.

Lungo
A lungo is a long-pull espresso. But beware: the longer the pull, the more caffeine the drink has.

Macchiato
The macchiato is another espresso-based drink, but this one has only a small amount of foam on top.

Mocha
Chocolate lovers, this one’s for you. The mocha is a chocolate espresso drink with steamed milk and foam.

Nitro-Brew
Infused with nitrogen, this frothy beverage has a thick, creamy head similar to a dark ale.

Red Eye
Named after bleary midnight flights, a Red Eye is a real wake up call. This drink features a cup of hot coffee with a shot of espresso mixed in.


Best Coffee on Thrive Market

From oat milk lattes to breakfast blends, our Thrive Market members have strong opinions when it comes to picking the best coffee.

Thrive Market Organic Breakfast Blend, Ground

types of coffee drinks

This blend is made from top-quality arabica beans that are ethically sourced from farmers in Peru. Roasted in small batches, this medium roast is smooth and mild with notes of dark chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. Amanda from North Carolina says “We love this coffee and order 3-4 packages at a time.”

Wandering Bear Coffee Extra Strong Cold Brew

Wandering Bear’s organic cold brew is ready to drink straight from the fridge and features three times as much caffeine as your average cup of coffee. Cindy from California reports this brew is “smooth and yummy” and loves the convenience of having coffee on tap right in the fridge.

Mount Hagen Organic Instant Coffee

Made with organic arabica beans, this freeze dried coffee is certified by EcoCert and is made without any preservatives or additives. Cahaya from Washington says it’s “one of the best instant coffees on the market. Works perfect with a milk frother!”

Thrive Market Organic Hazelnut Coffee, Ground

This one-of-a-kind grind is made from arabica beans that are sourced direct from farmers and feature a nutty, slightly sweet flavor. Linda in Florida says it’s one of her favorite flavors, saying, “I buy this over and over for the solid taste and value.”

RISE Oat Milk Nitro Cold Brew Latte

types of coffee drinks

Fuel your morning with the creamy, slightly sweet flavor from RISE’s nitrogen-infused organic coffee. Every can features dairy-free oat milk and a pinch of organic cane sugar for an on-the-go boost. Kristin from West Virginia says she’s “happy to have a pre-made dairy-free coffee ready for when I’m scrambling in the mornings.”


Easy Coffee Recipes

Be your own barista with our easy coffee recipes to enjoy year-round.

Keto Vietnamese Iced Coffee

With ground coffee and a few spices, you’re well on your way to enjoying this keto-friendly Vietnamese coffee.

Chocolate Hazelnut Latte

In this easy latte recipe, black coffee gets blended with a non-dairy hazelnut creamer along with coconut butter and cacao nibs for good measure.

Vanilla Cinnamon Latte

Start your day with this five-minute latte blended with creamy oat milk, vanilla, and maple syrup.

Cold Brew Coffee Martini

Here’s an instant pick-me-up. This cocktail is shaken with cold brew, orange liqueur, a splash of heavy cream, and a shot of vodka.

Granita Affogato

Finish your evening with our twist on an affogato featuring cool, coffee granita (a semi-frozen Sicilian ice) and cold brew.

This article is related to:

Coffee, Coffee Drinks, Drink Recipes

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Nicole Gulotta

Nicole Gulotta is a writer, author, and tea enthusiast.

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