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Different Types of Coffee Drinks Explained

Even if you’ve been enjoying coffee for years, you probably have a favourite drink or two that you order consistently. However, the world is full of amazing coffee drinks to try if you’re up for a culinary adventure now and again.

Here are a few traditional favourites.  The next time you get into line at your favourite cafe, you’ll be prepared to order something you are sure to love.

Drip

This is what you’re likely to drink from your average coffee machine for work or home. Drip coffee is nothing more than steaming-hot water that filters through coffee grounds.

Espresso

Espresso is made almost the same way as drip coffee except for a couple of key differences. First, you will likely use espresso beans, which are really nothing more than dark roasted beans.

The difference is in the grind. Beans used in an espresso machine are ground much finer than the coarse grind for your standard drip coffee machine.

In addition, an espresso machine works differently than a drip machine. Espresso machines pressurize the hot water that filters through the beans. The increased force of water passing through the coffee grounds makes for a much more concentrated coffee drink. It is both stronger and more flavourful than a regular cup of coffee.

Long Black

If you like the caffeine boost you get from espresso but the taste is just too strong, a Long Black is the brew for you. Hot water mixes with one or two shots of espresso, making this drink taste more like a regular cup of coffee with added wallop of energy.

Cappuccino

Some people like the black stuff. Others prefer some milk in their coffee. This espresso drink pairs a shot with a small amount of steamed milk and a mountain of foam.

Latte

This creamy drink is often confused with cafe au lait, probably because they are so similar. However, while cafe au lait is equal parts coffee and steamed milk, a latte is a shot of espresso with steamed milk.

Lattes and cappuccinos are actually more similar than a latte and a cafe au lait. Both start with an espresso base, but while a cappuccino has a little milk and a lot of foam, a latte has a lot of milk and a little foam. This makes for a creamier drink that doesn’t have as strong of an espresso flavor as a cappuccino.

Macchiato

People have become very confused about the traditional roots of this coffee drink thanks to the prevalence of sugary concoctions (like caramel macchiato) that bear the name. A classic macchiato is an espresso with a dash (or stain which is it’s Italian translation) of milk while a cappuccino is very milky..  When making a macchiato one does not add steamed milk and it generally features a double shot of espresso as its base.

Mocha

Easily the sweetest of espresso drinks, this delicious concoction begins with a shot of espresso before adding steamed milk and chocolate. Baristas may also add whipped cream on top. In short, you won’t need to add any sugar to this drinkable dessert.

Cafe Creme

This coffee drink is extremely popular in France, and it earns rave reviews from people lucky enough to try it overseas. Unfortunately, it is much more difficult to find locally, perhaps because it is harder to make here.

Ostensibly, this coffee drink consists of little more than a shot of espresso paired with a small amount of hot (not steamed) heavy cream. Sounds simple enough, right?

The problem with recreating it here seems to come down to differences in the milk used. French milk tends to be unpasteurized, which makes for a creamier and slightly sweeter flavor. Once milk is pasteurized, it takes on what some describe as a cooked taste, altering the delicate flavor that makes a cafe creme unique.

Red Eye

This popular drink offers the best of both worlds. If you love both coffee and espresso and you have a hard time figuring out which office coffee machine to head for each morning, this all-in-one drink solves your problem neatly.

A red eye is nothing more than a shot of espresso in your morning cup of drip coffee. If you enjoy sipping your coffee in the morning but you need a little more kick, a red eye will meet all of your needs.

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