Starting the morning without a cup of coffee is almost unheard of for some people. It is one of the most popular drinks in the world and for good reason.
Not only does coffee taste good, but it also gives you an energy boost to help you start your day. Many people will continue to drink coffee throughout the day with 4-5 cups being the recommended amount.
You can make your coffee in the comfort of your home, buy it from a supermarket, or go to a quaint coffee shop and enjoy a cup with friends. Anywhere you go, you can be assured that you can get a decent cup of coffee. Even if you are traveling abroad, different countries usually have their own variations of popular coffee drinks.
Coffee is also very versatile, it goes well with so many flavors and isn’t exclusive to drinks. There are coffee cakes, coffee marinates, and even coffee scrubs. This variety is also prevalent in the menus at coffee shops.
Even for people who frequently drink coffee, the number of coffee types can be overwhelming. So, we put together the ultimate guide to coffee to help you easily understand what each coffee type is and some popular variants of the drink.
20 Different Types Of Coffee
Before we get into the different types of coffee drinks, it is important to note that the taste of the coffee can vary depending on what coffee beans are used, amongst many other variables (water, temperature, grind profile, pre-emersion, brew time) that we wont go into in this article.
While there are four different varieties of coffee beans, the two main ones are Arabica and Robusta.
- The more popular of the two and considered a higher quality bean.
- Generally has a sweeter and less bitter taste when compared to Robusta beans, which makes it ideal for black coffees.
- Generally cheaper than Arabica and is mainly used in instant coffee.
- Robusta has a 2.7% caffeine content compared to Arabica which has 1.5%, which makes it great for espressos.
The other 2 bean types are Liberica and Excelsa. Liberica is a love-it, or hate-it bean with a nutty and woody flavor, whereas Ecelsa has the notes of a light roast with the flavors of a dark roast. You typically won’t find these beans by themself and are mainly blended with one of the most popular types of beans.
Coffee beans can come in light, medium, and dark roasts. Just like coffee bean types, the roast of the bean can also affect the flavor of the drink. The general flavor profiles are:
- Light – Slightly higher caffeine content compared to the other roasts. Provides a mild and floral aftertaste.
- Medium – Balanced flavor between the floral notes of a light roast, and the deep roaster flavor of a dark roast.
- Dark – Thicker body and a roasted flavor. The least amount of caffeine content out of the 3 roasted types since some of it is cooked off.
The caffeine difference between the roasts is so minimal that a cup of coffee made with a light roast will have essentially the same caffeine content as a coffee made from a dark roast.
Now that you know the coffee beans, here are 20 ways in which they can be used to make delicious beverages!
Decaf coffee isn’t a typical type of coffee, because theoretically every type of coffee could be made into a decaf one. In the case of decaf, it’s the beans that are different, not the composition or brewing methods of the drink.
Decaffeinated coffee beans are made when the roasters remove most of the caffeine from the beans while they’re still in seed form. It should be noted that decaf coffee isn’t caffeine free, but it does have low caffeine content.
To meet the United States standard for it to be classified as decaffeinated, at least 97% of the original caffeine content has to be removed.
There are many ways that caffeine is removed from coffee beans, but the most common is to use solvents or water. The process of removing the caffeine leaves the taste of the coffee largely unaffected.
While decaf coffee has no apparent health benefits compared to regular coffee, it is recommended for pregnant women to switch to decaf as caffeine can harm unborn babies.
Espresso is the most common way in which coffee is prepared. It is also the basis for a lot of coffee drinks like lattes and cappuccinos.
Espressos are made when hot water is forced through finely-ground coffee beans to get a highly concentrated liquid. There is a high grounds to water ratio when making espresso and it is typically served in a one-ounce cup.
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