Types of Coffee Drinks (Hot + Cold)

If you've ever spent time with a coffee fan, they've likely talked about far more coffee drinks than the standard coffee with milk and sugar. If all the names have your head spinning, or if you're interested in trying out a fancy-sounding coffee at your local café, the hot and iced coffee explanations below will prepare you.

Affogato

A sweet twist on a traditional cup of joe, affogato is a coffee dessert. The steps to make it are simple; take a shot of hot espresso and pour it over a scoop of (usually vanilla) ice cream.

Americano

A watered-down version of espresso, perfect for people who want to dilute robusta's strong flavor. The flavor is closer to regular brewed coffee versus an espresso shot. It's best to put the espresso in your cup first, then pour hot water over it.

Black

A drip coffee machine makes black coffee. It's similar to Americano, but the difference is that black coffee involves hot water added to coffee grounds instead of espresso. It does not contain any milk, sugar, or other additives.

Cappuccino

Cappuccino is an espresso coffee that contains steamed milk foam. It's possible to make a cappuccino with cream or non-dairy milk. Some people also add flavors or sprinkle cinnamon or cacao powder on top.

Café au lait

A black brewed coffee with hot milk added. Unlike lattes, it doesn't have espresso, steamed milk, or foam.

Cold Brew

A refrigerated version of coffee that never underwent heating. It has a higher concentration of coffee compared to the drip variety. Cold brewed coffee has a more robust flavor than drip coffee, but it contains less caffeine.

Cortado

Cortado is an espresso-based drink that has the same amount of steamed warm milk as espresso. That way, acidity is reduced. Unlike regular espresso, cortado doesn't have a frothy texture.

Doppio

Perfect for those craving lots of caffeine, Doppio is a double shot of espresso. The espresso is extracted with a double coffee filter, offering double the benefits of a regular shot of espresso.

Espresso

Originating in Italy, espresso is a beloved caffeine-rich drink with a strong flavor. Its signature texture results from it undergoing 9 to 10 bars of atmospheric pressure as it passes through ground robusta coffee beans.

Flat White

An espresso drink with a smaller amount of foam (called a microfoam) compared to a regular espresso. People who prefer having more coffee than milk in their coffee choose this option.

Frappuccino

As a Starbucks branded drink, Frappuccinos are a blended iced coffee. The widely recognized drink combines ice, flavored syrups, and other ingredients to form a sweet coffee drink. Many baristas top it off with whipped cream and syrup or spices.

Galão

Native to Portugal, Galão is a Portuguese espresso. Approximately 75% of this drink contains foamed milk, and it's served in a tall glass since it has more volume than regular espresso.

Iced Coffee

You can make iced coffee in one of two ways—either brewing the coffee hot or cold. In either case, the final product involves a chilled coffee that's packed with ice. You can also make iced coffee by pouring hot coffee over ice.

Iced Espresso

Iced espresso is the same concept as iced coffee, except that it uses espresso instead of brewed coffee. You can either pour hot or cold espresso over ice to achieve this cool, summertime go-to drink.

Irish

Coffee with a kick, Irish style coffee contains hot coffee, Irish whiskey, and sugar. Pouring cream over the top is the final touch, making for a calorie-rich, delicious drink.

Latte

A latte contains espresso and steamed milk. Often, coffee shops carve designs into the steamed milk. Some may also sprinkle spices like cinnamon over the top.

Lungo

The Italian Lungo uses an espresso machine. However, it contains a greater quantity of water than espresso and is more bitter. Traditionally, Italians make Lungo without milk.

Macchiato

Meaning "stained" in Italian, Macchiato is an espresso drink that contains a tiny amount of milk, looking almost like a stain on top of the espresso. The milk can either be regular or foamed, but the foam is the most popular.

Mazagran

Originating in Algeria, Mazagran is now widespread in Europe. It's a sweet cold coffee. In Portugal, they add lemon, mint, and rum to espresso. In Austria, Mazagran contains only ice and rum.

Mocha

Beloved for its chocolate flavor, Mocha is a latte with a chocolate twist. Also called Mochaccino, its name comes from Mocha, Yemen, where the Mocha coffee bean grows.

Nitro

The nitrogen-infused Nitro coffee involves pumping nitrogen gas through a pressurized valve. People love it since it gives coffee an extra dose of sweetness and enhances its flavor.

Red Eye

Designed for people wanting caffeine, Red Eye involves brewed coffee and a shot of espresso. Alternatively, you can order a Red Eye coffee with two espresso shots, which is also called a Black Eye.

Ristretto

A less bitter version of espresso, Ristretto has a higher espresso concentration since it contains half the usual amount of water.