Coffee for Dummies


Co Schifris

Most people, at some point in their lives, have been in a coffee shop, looked at the menu, and been utterly confused. Cappuccino? Doppio? Macchiato? What are those? What language is this? The bewildered customer simply wants coffee, but does not know what kind is what. While this article does not talk about every kind of coffee, ten of the most common coffees are included here to help with choosing a beverage.


Espresso is one of the most common types of coffee. Most coffee drinks have at least a bit of espresso in it. When this drink cools off it will begin to taste very bitter, and is in fact one of the strongest coffees around. This is made from concentrated, finely-ground coffee beans.


Taken both hot and iced and with a shot of espresso and lots of steamed, frothed, and foamed milk, lattes are generally sweet, and are a popular drink among coffee-lovers. As a rule, lattes are sugar-free, although at Starbucks it can be difficult to get anything sugarless. October 7th is an important date for latte lovers, as it is National Latte Day.


Similar to lattes, the main difference between lattes and cappuccinos is that there is more foam than milk in a cappuccino. Some sellers put cinnamon on top or use cream instead of milk. Again, this can be made and had both hot and iced.


A double shot of espresso. Known for being incredibly bitter, a doppio usually has around 60 to 100mg of caffeine in it. These are usually served hot, but upon special request can be served cold. The doppio was created in Italy.


Somewhere between a doppio and a cappuccino, a macchiato is made from espresso and milk, and commonly has a medium taste of espresso in it. Ordered with a flavor such as caramel or hazelnut, this drink amazes people with its perfect blend of sweet and bitter. Usually a macchiato is iced, but it is still good when made hot.


Made with chocolate and espresso, mocha is yet another coffee with steamed milk and foam. This is a sweet drink that is served iced and hot. Not to be confused with mochi, which is a Japanese rice cake.


An espresso shot, ristretto is sweeter than espresso and doppio because there is less hot water used. Best served hot. Why is it called ristretto? In Italian, ristretto translates to “restricted,” and this drink has only a small shot of espresso in it.


A treat with a scoop (or two!) of ice cream, this is traditionally made with a shot of espresso. But beware—affogato is yet another incredibly bitter type of coffee. Some people do not like it because of the amount of bitterness.


A common coffee, café au lait is made from any coffee roast and has around a tablespoon of warm milk in it. Most people drink this hot. In the Netherlands, people call this “koffie verkeerd,” or “incorrect coffee!”


Starbucks has nearly every flavor imaginable of Frappuccino. This is an iced coffee with whipped cream and flavored syrup. The most popular Frappuccino flavor at Starbucks is undisputedly caramel.

Hope this article helps you to find a new and delicious coffee drink!