So, how do you love your coffee? Hot or cold?

With or without milk or cream? With or without sweeteners?

Making a coffee choice is not as straightforward as you may think because there are multiple ways to have them. The variety is so diverse that you may get lost trying to wrap your head around the entire coffee menu at Starbucks.

There are over 25,000 ways of ordering coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts, for your information.

Many people enjoy brewing their coffee themselves, yet can’t say what is the exact name of what they’re brewing.

There’s one problem you will have with coffee. You’ll be spoilt for choice. With several variants to choose from and dozens of methods used in preparing them, you can always switch your coffee game as many times as possible.

Even if you have a favorite form of preparation, there are still several ways to enjoy your special cup.

As we’ll see, coffee can be categorized in several ways. There’s no specific way of classifying types of coffee. Also, there’s no exhaustive list of the kinds of coffee. In reality, searches for types of coffee will return multiple results. However, broadly, there are standard and exotic types of coffee.

We’ll look at as many classifications of coffee as we can, starting with their origins, that is, the types of coffee plants. We’ll also examine how the types of roast affect the taste, aroma, color, acidity, and flavor.

Then we’ll look at how coffee differs based on the brew method. The brewing method is responsible for perhaps the broadest classification of coffee, with some enthusiasts claiming there are many dozens of them.

Let’s look at the commonest classification of coffee, beginning with the plants.

Types of Coffee Plants

Types of Coffee Plants

Coffee can be classified based on its plant types. There are different varieties of coffee beans, and every coffee is a product of any of them.

There are four major species of coffee beans. The most popular is Arabica, followed closely by Robusta. Both Arabica and Robusta varieties are used to make about nine out of every ten coffee brands worldwide.

The other two are Liberica and Excelsa. Excelsa is often regarded as a variety of Liberica, and each of these four significant varieties also has its types.

Each variety has its uniqueness in taste, shape, and acidity. For example, Arabica is sweet with many flavors and a pleasant aroma.

In contrast, Robusta is known to produce bitter and burnt flavors and has a higher caffeine concentration than Arabica. They are, however, excellent for instant coffee and espresso production.

Because Arabica beans are of more excellent quality, they are the most popular beans used in production. Also coffee makers always proudly label 100% Arabica beans on their products because it is the most popular variety.

Arabica is, therefore, more popular because people prefer coffee that is not harsh or leaves a strong aftertaste in the mouth.

Liberica is also sweet and possesses intense fruit and floral flavors, while Excelsa, which is regarded as a variety of Liberica, has similar properties. However, Liberica and its variants Excelsa account for a tiny market share.

Another way by which we can classify types of coffee is by looking at their differences in a roast.

Types of Coffee Roast

Types of Coffee Roast

Coffee beans can be roasted in different ways. The type of roast goes a long way to determine the type of coffee.

Naturally, different types of roast bring out different types of flavor. Also, it doesn’t mean the longer the roast, the better, or vice versa. But naturally, the darker the roast, the bitter it gets.

There are four types of roast. They are light roast, medium roast, medium-dark and dark.

Light roast coffee beans naturally have great aromatic flavors and are suitable for light coffee drinkers. However, the lighter the roast, the greater the acidity. Also, the weaker the roast, the more flavor is retained by the beans.

So, while the dark roast is naturally bitter and leaves a lot of aftertaste in the mouth, it has a Chocolatey flavor and has no acidity. However, the light roast coffee has excellent acidity and retains most flavors.

The darker the roast, the more bitter it is, and the more aftertaste it gives. Also, the lighter the roast, the more flavor is retained and the more aroma.

The darker the roast, the more oil the beans have, and this also determine the type of coffee you can make. For example, lightly roasted coffee is ideal for a pour-over brew, medium roast coffee is excellent for a cold brew, and French press brew would do for a medium-dark roast.

Dark roast coffee is ideal for espresso brew. However, this is not a rule cast in iron. But for the best results, specific roasts are suited for certain brews.

Also, many people enjoy flavored coffee, where natural and artificial flavors are infused into the coffee beans before they are then ground.

To allow for a perfect blend, coffee makers choose the roast level that best fits the flavor. If not, there’s a risk of the beans overpowering the flavor or the flavor overwhelming the beans.

Types of Brew

Types of Brew

Before we go into coffee drinks, let’s look at how brewing them affects the outcome. The way coffee is brewed directly impacts how it tastes and the flavors it will have.

Again, there is no exhaustive list of brewing methods, but the most popular ones will be reviewed.


Espresso brewing is achieved with a machine known as an espresso or cappuccino machine. The device allows hot water to pass through a filter under pressure.

The filter contains ground coffee beans. Once the pressurized hot water passes through the ground beans, it produces a concentrated brew shot. As noted earlier, the best kind of roast for this brew is a dark or medium-dark roast.


Ristretto is similar to espresso, but the difference is that you do not need as much water, and it produces a more concentrated brew than espresso. Like espresso, pressurized water is passed through the ground dark roast.

Cold brew

Cold brew is used to produce a very caffeinated brew. It is done by allowing ground coffee to stay in water at standard temperature overnight or longer. Cold-brew has a less bitter variant of coffee and is the easiest way for those who want to enjoy making coffee easily at home.

Drip brew

Drip brew is performed with a machine as well. Ground coffee is put in a basket and placed in a coffee machine allowing water to pass through the coffee.

Pour Over

Pour Over is a simple brewing process that pours hot water through a filter basket that contains ground coffee. The brew drips into a cup as the water passes through the filter.

French Press

French Press involves adding boiling water to coarsely grounded coffee and passing it through a French press. This method produces rich flavors and lots of aromas.

Now let’s look at some of the most popular coffee drinks and why you should try some of them!

Standard Coffee Drinks

Coffee drinkers enjoy making their drinks with lots of creativity. These are some of the fun ways of having coffee.

Black coffee (with or without cream and sugar)

Black coffee (with or without cream and sugar)

Black coffee is the simple, plain version of coffee. It is your coffee, in its black form, with nothing else, using your favorite coffee maker. If you want a lot of flavor and aroma, go for a light roast. The darker roast would be bitter and leave an aftertaste.

However, some prefer that way. If you want to add some fun, you can add cream and sugar. This would reduce the bitterness.

The most popular way of taking black coffee is to add cream and sugar. Lots of people prefer this as it combines the flavors of the coffee with the sweetness and creamy feel of milk.

Black coffee is enjoyed either hot or cold.

Iced Coffee

Iced coffee is black coffee that is refrigerated. Iced coffee is best enjoyed with cream, milk, sugar, toppings, and some more ice. You can get as creative as you want while producing iced coffee.


Cold-brew is a brewing method but can also be a type of drink. Cold-brew should not be confused with iced coffee. Iced coffee is brewed hot and then refrigerated. Cold brew is made with cold (room temperature) water.

When you add ground coffee to cold water and allow it to settle, the flavor is slowly released. Cold brew is highly caffeinated and can be enjoyed just like black coffee. But it is best taken with cream, sugar, or other toppings.

Cafe au Lait

Cafe au Lait

This coffee is made with French press coffee and added to scalded milk in equal measures.


As noted earlier, espresso is a method of brewing that produces a type of coffee enjoyed all over the world. Espresso is made when pressurized water passes through finely-ground coffee. Depending on the type of concentration you desire, you can have different types of espresso brews.

There are different types of espresso brews. Espresso brew has a water coffee ratio of 2:1 and is made by a machine that supplies 9 bars of pressure. The brewing process takes all of 20 seconds.

Single espresso, for example, is made by producing one shot of the espresso brew from the machine. A double espresso is simply two shots of the espresso coffee, and it has double the concentration.

Red Eye is another form of espresso coffee brew made by adding a boost of caffeine to the coffee cup and involves adding drip-brewed coffee to a shot of espresso.

If you want to have a double espresso with drip-brewed coffee, you get Black Eye coffee.

Another way you can enjoy your espresso is to dilute it with water. This diluted espresso is known as Americano. Although weakened, the caffeine content is retained. If you dilute double espresso, you have Long Black, two espresso shots, and 3 Oz of water.

You can choose to enjoy your espresso with milk, cream, and sugar, leading to different variants of the drink and adding steamed milk to a shot of espresso-produced Macchiato. If you add more milk to double espresso, you have Long Macchiato.

Cortado is similar to Macchiato because it contains warm milk and foam, while replacing milk with half and half leads to Breve. Because of the foam and half and half, Breve is a very creamy espresso drink.

One of the most popular espresso drinks is Cappuccino. Cappuccino is made by adding steamed milk, foam, and even chocolate to either a shot or two of espresso. Cappuccino is enjoyed at the breakfast table of many people around the world.

A variant of Cappuccino is Flat White, which is simply espresso and lots of steamed milk. If you add some foam to Flat White, you have another variant called Cafe Latte. Cafe Latte has a healthy portion of boiled milk as well.

If you add whipped cream and chocolate to Cafe Latte, you have a delicious drink called Mocha, but if what you have is just espresso with whipped cream, then you have Vienna.

If you want ice cream and not whipped cream, then you have Affogato.

Exotic Coffee Drinks

Exotic Coffee Drinks

Exotic coffee drinks are made with varying additions and involve several flavors. They include Moroccan Peppercorn Coffee, which includes peppercorn, ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom seeds; Hong Kong Yuan Yang, which contains black tea; Ethiopian Buna, which includes green beans and Sour Brazilian coffee, which has lime.

Exotic coffee drinks are pretty challenging to make and involve several ingredients. Butter can also be added to coffee to produce butter coffee, an energy-giving drink.

Also, you can add different flavors to coffee to produce flavored coffee, which is another exotic way of making coffee.


There are several ways of making coffee. Depending on how you add milk, cream, sugar, and foam, you can have different exciting types of coffee drinks.

We also have different types of roasts from the varieties of coffee beans available. There are other ways of brewing coffee as well.


Last Updated on August 31, 2022 by Ashok Parmar


My name is Ashok Parmar, and for seven years, I worked as a warehouse manager that strictly dealt with coffee shops all around the United States.

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