If you’ve been following our journey here at LaMano, you’ll know we’re all fully committed lovers of everything caffeinated.
The choice you get with coffee in 2020 is truly staggering. Today, we’re here to highlight every conceivable type of java, so you’ll never be confused by a barista again. Before we do that, though, a quick word about how we’ve structured today’s guide…
Our first thought was to stick with a simple A to Z. An alphabetized list might be easy to follow and will certainly yield what you’re looking for as long as you know what that particular coffee is called. How about if you’re not sure of the terminology, though?
Well, instead we took a more logical approach and grouped types of coffee across the following four categories:
- Black Coffee
- White Coffee
- Iced Coffee
- World Coffee
That way, you can scroll to the broad type of coffee you’re interested in before exploring all your options within that category.
OK, with that groundwork in place, why not brew yourself up a steaming pot of coffee and settle in to for some new inspiration.
Let’s kick off with some classic black coffee in all its many guises…
I. Black Coffee
Coffee served without milk or creamer is broadly labelled black coffee.
Did you know there are over a dozen distinct variants of black coffee, though?
We’ll walk you through everything from an intense shot of espresso like the Italians drink it to a dull cup of instant with a great deal of interesting brewing methods in between.
- Long Black
- Pour-Over Coffee
- Drip Coffee
- Instant Coffee
- Batch Brewed Coffee
- Siphon Coffee
- Immersion Coffee
- AeroPress Coffee
One of the most popular of all coffees, the classic Italian espresso is a staple in its own right, and espresso can also be used as a base for other drinks.
Making espresso typically calls for an espresso machine. Choose a semi-automatic espresso maker to retain maximum control over the brewing process, an fully automatic unit for a less user-intensive experience, or a super-automatic machine packing an integrated grinder.
While it is possible to make espresso without an espresso machine, you won’t get the real deal like you’d be served in a coffee shop. Proper espresso is created exclusively from ground coffee beans and water. Hot water is forced through the tightly-packed coffee grounds at high pressure. Legitimate espresso requires at least 9 BAR of pressure to achieve this. This is the equivalent of 130 PSI.
You can identify proper espresso by the rich and silky foam on the top. This is known as crema. The thickness of espresso along with its proportionally high caffeine content makes it a solid base for other drinks.
Check out the best espresso makers right here.
Doppio – double in English – is a double espresso.
A shot of doppio will pass through a portafilter packing a double spout.
As consumers have become more accustomed to stronger and ever more intense coffee, often a doppio is now served as a standard shot of espresso.
Try a genuine Italian espresso machine to see if you can build the doppio of your dream without needing to hit the coffee shop every day.
If you’ve been anywhere near a coffee shop lately, you’ll be well aware that Americano is one of the most enduringly popular coffees you can find.
Caffe Americano is a term used for an espresso-based drink starting with a standard shot of espresso. To this base, you add a larger amount of hot water to dilute the espresso and turn a dinky shot into a tall and refreshing glass of joe.
Legend has it that American GIs serving in Italy during WWII used water to ration the minimal amounts of espresso available at that time. Another story claims that the soldiers diluted their espresso so it reminded them of the drip coffee they were missing from home.
Check out our guide if you want to learn how to make an Americano.
Are you one of that rare breed who finds espresso a little weak?
If so, you’re sure to love ristretto. You get that trademark richness of espresso with the depth of flavor wonderfully amplified.
If you fancy the idea of Americano but you find the taste slightly insipid, why not roll with a long black instead?
Start with a couple shots of ristretto so you start from a super-strong foundation. Amp things up further by using rather less water than you would for an Americano.
The result? A strong but long coffee that should satisfy your taste buds even if you constantly crave the strongest java available.
One of the most alluring and charismatic brewing methods, making great pour-over coffee is a labor of love.
Of all the methods we’re highlighting today, pour-over calls for the most equipment. To get the job done right, you’ll need the following:
- Coffee grinder: Start by grinding your favorite whole coffee beans right before brewing
- Gooseneck kettle: To achieve the controlled and circular pouring motion required to pull this method off, you’ll find things much easier if you invest in a gooseneck kettle
- Coffee scale: Precision is uppermost with pour-over coffee. Get things off to a strong start by accurately weighing your beans. Where coffee beans come in at different densities, gauging coffee beans by volume is imprecise. Use a digital coffee scale instead
- Thermometer: To ensure your water is in the 195F to 205F range recommended by the National Coffee Association, some form of thermometer is ideal. Failing this, bring your water to boil then allow it to sit for 60 seconds
- Timer: Time is of the essence when you’re making pour-over so get a digital timer in the kitchen ready for your next brew
- Pour-over dripper and filter: The core components of your pour-over paraphernalia, the dripper and filter should be where you spend your time when you’re researching the best pour-over coffee makers
If you want detailed instructions on mastering this challenging but rewarding brewing method, check out our guide to making the perfect cup of pour-over coffee.
Drip coffee is one of the oldest brewing methods and embraced in homes, offices, and coffee shops the world over.
Explore the best drip coffee makers to start enjoying rich and hassle-free coffee at home using fresh beans bought in bulk. It’s not only a convenient and user-friendly way to make coffee, but also remarkably economical.
Although brewing drip coffee takes longer than making a shot of espresso, you’ll get a coffee with greater caffeine content and plenty of body if you can pack a little patience.
Now, since this is a complete list to all types of coffee, we’re throwing in some of the best instant coffee.
All you’ll need is some fresh filtered water, a kettle, and a teaspoon of instant coffee granules. Well within a minute, you’ll have a satisfying if underwhelming cup of java.
The popularity of instant coffee varies from country to country. While in the UK, a huge 70% of coffee drinkers gravitate toward instant, only 7% of Americans would consider stooping to the level of instant coffee as their go-to.
Pro Tip: If you fancy a cup of instant that doesn’t taste like instant, pick yourself up some of the lip-smacking Nescafe Azera range. Our favorite is the Americano blend, but the Espresso and Intenso are also worth popping on your shopping list. All three Nescafe instants might just change the way you feel about this much-maligned drink.
Batch Brewed Coffee
One of the most common modern ways of serving black coffee is to batch brew it.
Think of batch brewing as a twenty-first century version of traditional filter coffee. Give some a try the next time you’re in a third-wave coffee shop and let us know what you think. We are pretty partial to batch brew when it’s done well.
Siphon coffee, also often known as vacuum coffee, is another recent addition to the repertoire of baristas the world over.
With the best siphon coffee makers, you get a pair of chambers and some connecting tubing. The resulting equipment looks like it would be more at home in a science lab than a home kitchen. Many gourmet coffee shops feature siphons on the counter. Not only does this brewing method generate supremely tasty and intense coffee, it also makes for a captivating spectacle.
As a continuous source of heat is applied, you’ll experience a vacuum in the primary chamber. The water will then be driven up into the secondary chamber where it steeps with the coffee grounds. Once your time is up and the coffee is brewed, the resulting mixture shoots back down into the lower chamber at speed giving you a coffee deep and rich in both flavor and aroma.
Don’t be intimidated by this brewing method. We won’t lie and pretend there’s no learning curve involved. You’ll rapidly master this method, though, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t experiment before now.
Full immersion brewing methods see the coffee grounds dipped into some off-boiling water where they mingle and steep.
Certainly the most popular of these immersion methods is the traditional French press.
All you’ll need is some top-notch coffee beans, coarsely ground directly before brewing. This is not some hollow marketing advice we thrash out either. Coffee beans start degrading super-swiftly after they’ve been ground. This spoiling starts within just 30 minutes. Do yourself a favor and always grind up right before you brew.
5 minutes later, press down on the plunger and enjoy a tasty coffee the way the Europeans drink it.
If you’re still unconvinced, check out our complete guide to using a French press so you can just how easy it is to enjoy gourmet coffee at home without blowing the budget.
Last but not least in our look at black coffee and the various ways it can be prepared is AeroPress coffee.
What is this and why should you care?
Well, you’ll need a proprietary AeroPress device. You have a tube into which you place a filter. This can be a paper or metal filter. After less than 60 seconds of steeping, you then use a plunger to push it right through the filter and into your cup.
With no oils or sediment making its way into your cup thanks to efficient filtration, you’ll enjoy a coffee with a distinctive and crisp taste.
II. White Coffee
OK, how about some coffee options for those of you who prefer a bit of milk or creamer?
Luckily, you’ll have no shortage of choices if you fancy some longer, creamier coffee. The addition of milk brings out a great aroma in the coffee while you’ll also find less caffeine and less acidity. This renders white coffee a wise choice in the afternoon.
Here is the spread of milk-based coffees you might fancy trying if you haven’t already done so:
- Flat White
- Piccolo Latte
- Caffe Breve
- Latte Macchiato
The classic cappuccino is an espresso-based drink that makes for a much more palatable beverage than a short, strong shot of espresso.
Made properly, a cappuccino contains 1 part espresso, 1 part foamed milk, and 1 part steamed milk in equal measures.
Choose whether to take your cappuccino hot, iced, or using some creamer instead of milk. If you’re looking for a sweet sensation, try adding a tiny amount of flavored syrup. Don’t go over the top here: less is more.
A flat white also starts with a standard shot of espresso as its base. You then add slightly less steamed milk than you would if making cappuccino.
With this type of coffee, you’ll still find that the flavor of the espresso is dominant rather than being too watered down by the milk.
Where a cappuccino is loaded with milk and you’ll struggle to detect a strong taste of espresso because of this, a latte has the most milky aroma of this trio of espresso-based coffees.
If you’re asking yourself what the difference is between a latte and a flat white, the latter has lot less foamed milk resulting in the flat rather than bubbly appearance.
Fancy the idea of a latte but not the idea of a long drink that will have you scuttling straight to the bathroom? Why not try a short latte or piccolo latte?
If you find yourself bloated drinking too many larger milky coffees, consuming more smaller drinks like a piccolo latte served in a 100ml shot glass.
Caffe breve means short coffee in Italian. This US version of a latte is composed of ¼ espresso, ½ milk foam, and ½ steamed milk.
The additional steamed milk ensures that a caffe breve is a little thicker than a latte. The richness means there’s typically no need to add sugar to this variant of a regular latte.
As a rule, caffe breve is rolled out a dessert coffee.
A strong shot of espresso with just a splash of milk is known as a macchiato. The name is taken for the Italian word for mark or stain. This stain occurs when you pour the shot of dark espresso onto the pale white milk.
A traditional macchiato is made as above. If you like the idea of a little more milk, ask for your macchiato to be topped up with a little extra steamed milk.
Latte macchiato translates to stained milk.
What you’re getting here is little more than a glass of warm milk with a shot of espresso ladled in.
Served in tall glasses, when this drink is made properly, you’ll notice a series of distinct layers in the glass for a visual as well as a taste sensation.
If you order a cortado, you’ll get an even mix of espresso and steamed milk. The texture is a whole lot flatter than you’ll find in the creamy coffees highlighted just above.
Genuine cortado is served in a 150ml glass with a metal handle and base. The ratio of coffee to milk could be extended up to 1:2.
Cortado is rampant throughout Spain and Latin America.
A Gibraltar is a cortado developed in San Francisco made by adding a shot of espresso to a warmed glass Gibraltar glass.
The drawback of this coffee is that it cools very quickly without the requisite metal base in place.
Last but certainly not least in our collection of white coffees comes the classic mochaccino.
This drink is a twist of a latte but not the same thing. You’ll start with a double espresso shot. To this, you add some foamed milk then more flavoring, typically in the form of chocolate or cinnamon. A mochaccino is frequently topped with whipped cream.
III. Iced Coffee
OK then, you should now have no shortage of black or white coffee at your disposal next time you fancy ringing the changes with your morning java.
How about when the temperature rises and you fancy a cool and refreshing caffeine fix, though?
Try some cold coffee in one of these iterations of iced coffee:
- Cold Brew Coffee
- Espresso Tonic
- Japanese Iced Coffee
- Nitro Coffee
Cold Brew Coffee
The problem with most regular iced coffee is that it’s both too bitter and at the same time also too diluted. You’ll experience neither of these snags if you opt for cold brew coffee instead.
Making cold brew is easy, but it involves a lengthy overnight waiting process.
All you need to do is mix some ground coffee with cold water, stir it, and then leave it to sit overnight in the refrigerator.
Once you remove your cold brewer from the fridge, strain the mixture and serve to taste.
The other significant advantage of making cold brew is that you can store the delicious and intense coffee concentrate in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. This means that once you get underway making some cold brew, it’s easy enough to ensure there’s always some on hand when you want one.
With very little bitterness and a reduced caffeine content, cold brew is an all-day drink throughout the summer and beyond.
Start by brewing 2 shots of espresso then leaving them to cool down to get your espresso tonic on the go.
Next, top up a 7oz glass with ice and squeeze in the juice of a lime. Pour your tonic water and espresso in together and enjoy a devastatingly refreshing espresso like you’ve never before experienced it.
Japanese Iced Coffee
The Japanese take on iced coffee is rather different. You begin by brewing your coffee as normal in hot water. Once brewed, you immediately pour this over ice. This forced contract with the ice is responsible for quickly releasing flavors that would otherwise take hours to develop. Give Japanese iced coffee a try and let us know what you think.
Now, a nitro coffee is often served in a beer keg.
You begin with cold brew coffee prepared as above. You then infuse nitrogen into the coffee. Clearly, this is not a quick and easy method of brewing coffee for beginners. Come back soon as we’re preparing a complete guide to nitro coffee.
IV. World Coffees
To round out today, we’ve grouped together a batch of specialty coffees from around the globe to complete our list in cosmopolitan style.
Have you tried any of the following world coffees?
- Bulletproof Coffee
- Cascara Coffee
- Geisha Coffee
- Irish Coffee
- Italian Affogato
- Kopi Luwak
- Turkish Coffee
- Vietnamese Coffee
Bulletproof coffee is an enticing mixture of the following:
- Brewed coffee
- Unsalted butter
- Coconut oil
If you’re following a low-carb and high-fat diet like Keto, bulletproof coffee can set you up for breakfast, although you won’t get all the nutrients you need from this alone.
Cascara coffee is more like a tea than a coffee.
You make this unique concoction using the leaves of the coffee cherry rather than the beans you would usually use.
The hidden kicker of this drink is the way it can help to relieve constipation and other digestive issues.
An Ethiopian coffee, Geisha coffee has a claim to fame as the most expensive coffee in the world fetching over $800 per pound.
We’re also underway at the moment with a guide to this expensive and unusual drink from the birthplace of coffee.
If you want coffee packing even more of a kick than espresso, have you considered Irish coffee?
All you need to do is mix up some hot coffee with a tot of whiskey and some sugar and you’ll be rewarded with a fierce kickstart to the day. Be warned, Irish coffee is not for the lighthearted and it’s not for teetotalers either due to the high alcohol content.
An affogato is a coffee-based dessert serving up a double shot of espresso and a scoop of top-tier vanilla ice cream in a chilled bowl.
You can find various iterations of affogato, some of which include amaretto or a similar alcoholic drink.
If you were told that some coffee comes from the feces of an Asian civet that feasts on coffee cherries, you might find hard to believe. It’s true, though, and Kopi Luwak is considered a specialty coffee for obvious reasons commanding correspondingly high prices.
This is actually only one of many coffees derived from beans that have been pooped out. If the idea doesn’t completely turn your stomach, we have it on good authority that the coffee tastes exceptional. This is one of the few drinks on our list today that we haven’t been able to personally try yet. It’s certainly on our list for our next Asian trip.
To make genuine Turkish coffee, you’ll need to grind your coffee beans super-fine. This will likely require a specialist grinder unless you have a burr grinder with a suitable setting.
You’ll also need a traditional pot called a cezve where you heat up the water and sugar to boiling point. You then add your extremely fine coffee grounds and serve unfiltered.
Classic Vietnamese coffee is made by being dripped through a special small metal filter.
This coffee can be served hot or cold with some sweetened milk.
You can also find some egg coffee in Viet Nam which includes some beaten egg yolks for extra creaminess.
Well, you should now have far, far more options up your sleeve for a cup of coffee than ever before!
Before you go, we’d urge you to bookmark LaMano. Whatever you need to know about coffee, we’ve got you covered. We review all the gear you need to make the best java at home, and we’ll always tell you what’s wrong with this equipment not just what’s good about it. We’ll also continually producing informative buying guides and spending more time than ever coming up with the most effective tips and tricks for improving the quality of the coffee you drink.
The only question that remains is which coffee will you be making right now?