Coffee 101: Different Types of Coffee Explained

Latte, macchiato, cappuccino. When it comes to our favorite cup of joe, we’ve got enough to choose from. Coffee has transformed in a way where we get to pick the type of beans, method of brewing, to what goes with our blend. And while this is great news for us caffeine junkies, we need to stay updated. Read on to help you navigate the world of coffee to find your Daily Cupo.

coffee 101 different kinds of coffee

Different Types of Coffee

short black

A short black is a 30ml shot of espresso. It is the base of any espresso drink. The term ‘short’ implies that it is an espresso shot, without any added water except for what was used to brew the coffee. ‘Black’ attributes to the color, denoting that there is no milk added. Contrary to popular belief, espresso actually contains higher caffeine (per unit volume) than most coffee beverages but since the typical serving volume is lesser, the total caffeine content is less than that of a mug of brewed coffee.


Doppio is a double shot of espresso extracted through a double coffee filter resulting in a 60-ml shot. The word ‘Doppio’ means double in Italian.

triple espresso

Espresso shot sizes vary and can be a single, double, or triple. A single shot uses 7 grams of coffee, 14 grams for double, and 21 grams for triple shots.

espresso macchiato

In Italian, ‘macchiato’ means “spotted” or “stained”. The espresso macchiato has the highest ratio of espresso to milk. The purpose is for the milk to moderate rather than overpower the taste of coffee by adding a hint of sweetness.

espresso con panna

Espresso con panna means “espresso with cream” in Italian. It is made by topping a single or double shot of espresso with whipped cream.

latte macchiato

Latte macchiato literally translates to “stained milk”. It is the opposite of espresso macchiato where the espresso is stained with very little steamed milk. Here, the espresso is added to a larger amount of milk.

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americano or long black

The café americano also known as long black is an espresso shot with hot water. The term ‘long’ suggests that it is an espresso shot with added water after brewing.

brewed coffee

Unlike the café americano where water is added to the espresso after brewing, brewed coffee is produced by pouring hot water to ground coffee beans and then allowing it to soak. There are different ways to brew coffee. It could be through a filter, a percolator, and a French press. Based on the method used, the resulting coffee may be called filtered coffee, drip brewed coffee, pour-over coffee, or just ground coffee.

red eye

Red eye is basically regular brewed coffee combined with a single shot of espresso to increase intensity of flavor and caffeine. Other variations include ‘black eye’ for a double shot of espresso in coffee, and ‘dead eye’ for triple shots.

flat white

A flat white is made by topping a shot of espresso with steamed milk that has small, fine, velvety bubbles.

cafe mocha

Also called a ‘mocaccino’, the café mocha is a chocolate-flavored version of the café latte. This is done by adding chocolate powder or syrup to a shot of espresso, topping it with steamed milk and sometimes served with whipped cream.

cafe au lait

Café au lait literally translates to “coffee with milk” in French. Unlike most coffee based drinks that uses espresso as base, café au lait uses strong brewed coffee for its base.


A cappuccino is an Italian coffee drink that is usually made by topping a double espresso with steamed milk, and steamed milk foam. The cappuccino got its name from the Capuchin friars’ habits’ color referring to the color of the drink when milk is added to the espresso.

cafe breve

Café breve is a drink made by adding steamed mixture of half milk and half cream to an espresso shot.

cafe latte

Café Latte means “milk coffee” in Italian. It is typically served with espresso, steamed milk and about 1cm of milk foam on top.

What’s your favorite coffee concoction? Let us know in the comments! You can also download the infographic here.

Alg Asuncion

Hi! My name is Alg (rhymes with Aldge -- yes I invented that word!) An artist and designer by day, musician by night. Co-founder of Creato. I love coffee, alcohol, music, food, animals, travelling, and taking loads of photos. I also do some hosting on the side!