Coffee! The saviour of tired moments, the drink that attracts us with its aroma and taste!
Even though coffee is a nearly ubiquitous morning beverage, few people know that not all coffee beans are created equal. In fact, there are several different types, including Robusta, Liberica and Arabica. There are also caffeinated and decaffeinated variants of each one!
- Liberica: Liberica is a low yield type of coffee compared to Arabica and Robusta.
- Robusta: This type of coffee, which contains 2.5% more caffeine than other types, has a pretty strong taste.
- Arabica: This coffee bean with low caffeine and a smooth taste is aromatic and delicious. Eighty percent of the coffee in the world is produced from these types of beans.
For many adults, the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to drinking caffeinated beverages. By consuming caffeine in moderation, you can enjoy a quick boost of energy without suffering any negative consequences to your health. Avoid consuming over 300 milligrams of caffeine a day.
Decaf is a better choice for those who consume more than three cups of coffee a day and those who are susceptible to anxiety, stress, depression, sleep problems, irregular heartbeats, chronic headaches and heartburn. Choose decaffeinated coffee if your doctor recommends avoiding caffeine for medical reasons.
Regardless of why you’re enjoying coffee, what matters most is the way it tastes, smells, and whether or not it makes you feel alert and happy every morning. That being said, everyone has their favourite – perhaps a latte, a piccolo, or maybe a long black.
You can make this form of coffee easily by adding warm water to a shot of espresso. Rumour has it that this beverage got its name during WWII when American G.I.’s in Italy would add hot water to their espresso to replicate the weak coffee they were accustomed to. At some point, the name was picked up by American baristas, and the rest is history!
Café Latte (or Café au lait)
A fairly fashionable choice for coffee drinkers, a latte consists of steamed (or scalded) milk and one shot of espresso. It's typically quite frothy. You’ll often encounter cafes that don’t make a distinction between this beverage and a Flat White.
Possibly the most popular coffee drink in the world is the cappuccino, which consists of three layers, kind of like a cake. The first is a shot of espresso, then a shot of steamed milk, and finally the barista adds a layer of frothed, foamy milk. This final layer is sometimes flat-topped with chocolate shavings or powder. Historically, Italians consume this type of coffee at breakfast.
To make an espresso, shoot boiling water under high pressure through finely-ground coffee beans and then pour into a small mug. Sounds simple right? Well, it’s surprisingly difficult to master. Espressos are the purest coffee experience you can get. Even though they’re not for everyone, espresso may be the only way to enjoy the full flavour of your favourite brew.
Originating in Australia, the Flat White is a favourite amongst moms and dads at college fetes who are desperately trying to stay awake. For a flat white, the steamed milk from the bottom of the jug (which is more creamy and less frothy than the milk from the top) is poured over a shot of espresso.
Commonly enjoyed in New Zealand, the Long Black is the Kiwi cousin of the Americano. To prepare, hot water is poured into a cup followed by two shots of espresso. It’s the inverse of an Americano. Long blacks can be quite strong and have more cream (the creamy foam that tops espresso shots) than an Americano.
Macchiato (also known as a Piccolo Latte)
A macchiato is a shot of espresso flat-topped with foamed milk. It’s almost like a cappuccino, but it’s typically stronger because it’s served in a smaller cup with no steamed milk added.
A mochaccino or ‘mocha’ is simply a cafélatte with more chocolate powder or sweetening, generally topped with whipped cream. This is a good entry level coffee drink because it lives somewhere between a coffee and a hot chocolate.
Once the black sheep of the coffee family, filter coffee has made a comeback. It’s become a trendy drink, particularly if it’s cold-brewed. To prepare, ground coffee beans are left to steep in either hot or cold water, then filtered out, leaving the liquid behind. The result is less harsh and bitter than espresso but less watery than an Americano. It can be served black or with milk.
Too many of these and you may have your friends begging you to “‘just crash here, bro.” This coffee-cocktail is made with Irish whiskey, sugar, and a thick layer of cream on top. Because of the alcohol content, you won’t find this drink at your local coffee house or café. You’ll have to go to a restaurant or bar if you want to sample this beverage. Be warned, attempting to create an Irish Coffee with scotch and instant coffee doesn’t work … trust us.
A Vienna is made with 2 shots of espresso and whipped cream in place of milk and sugar. The Vienna melds the sturdy flavours of a straight espresso with the smoothness and sweetness of the whipped cream.
Affogato refers to a shot of espresso poured over a dessert (usually ice cream). Affogatos aren’t technically considered coffee drinks, but they are no less delicious!
In the wake of COVID-19, the Dalgona became an online sensation after folks in lockdown, desperate for their coffee fix, started experimenting with different coffee recipes at home. It’s created by whipping up instant coffee, sugar and hot water into a creamy froth and adding it to either hot or cold milk. It takes its name from the Korean word for honeycomb candy, which it resembles.
Okay, some caffeine snobs will turn their nose up at this one, but if you’re hiking or tenting, or even stuck at home, instant coffee is still better than no coffee! Instant coffee is coffee that’s had all the water removed, leaving behind just the soluble coffee flavour. Add the water back, hey presto, something that tastes a bit like coffee!
Regardless of which kind of coffee you drink, the price of getting a cup of joe will add up. Being familiar with the different types of coffee drinks allows you to easily find the best coffee to kick start your day.