11+ Of The Most Popular Coffee Drinks Explained

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Coffee can be quite an indulgent treat if you are looking to have some fun experimenting in the kitchen. In the wintertime, it helps me keep warm and also brings a feeling of coziness sitting on the couch with my favorite mug in hand.

​Some of these most popular coffee drinks add up to be pretty expensive if you are buying them out all the time so I highly encourage you to learn how to make a few of these at home. I’ve included a few coffee recipes to help you get started.

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List The most popular coffee drinks

Coffee is a beverage enjoyed by pretty much everyone. Ok maybe not everyone but you are more likely to find someone who does like coffee than someone who doesn’t. With so many different types of coffee drinks available, it can be a bit confusing as to what they are and how they might taste. Who wants to have a coffee order ruined because you didn’t know what you were getting? 

To help you navigate this caffeinated world, here is a list of the most popular coffee drinks:

1. Espresso: This strong and concentrated coffee is made by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee beans. It forms the base for many other coffee drinks. – This is most often added to an espresso-based coffee drink. It’s rarely drank straight unless you are psychotic.

2. Americano: The shots of espresso are diluted with hot water, the Americano offers a milder flavor profile while still providing a caffeine kick.

3. Cappuccino: Equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam, this classic drink is often topped with a sprinkle of cocoa or cinnamon.

4. Latte: A combination of espresso, steamed milk, and a small layer of milk foam, the latte is a creamy delight. It can be enjoyed as is or flavored with syrups like vanilla or caramel.

5. Macchiato: This Italian word means “stained,” and it refers to a shot of espresso “stained” with a dollop of milk foam.

6. Cortado: A Spanish favorite, the cortado is made up of equal parts espresso and warm milk. It strikes a perfect balance between strong coffee flavor and creamy richness.

7. Mocha: A delightful blend of espresso, chocolate syrup, steamed milk, and milk foam, the mocha is a sweet treat for coffee lovers.

8. Flat White: Originating from Australia and New Zealand, the flat white features a double shot of espresso combined with velvety steamed milk, resulting in a smooth and silky texture.

9. Cold Brew: Made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water over an extended period, cold brew offers a less acidic and smoother flavor compared to hot coffee. It’s perfect for hot summer days.

10. Affogato: This indulgent dessert-like drink consists of a scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato with a shot of hot espresso poured over it.

Whether you prefer a strong shot of espresso or a creamy latte, there is a coffee drink out there for everyone. So grab your favorite mug and enjoy the perfect cup of coffee.

Now let’s get into how to use some of these coffee drinks in real life and how to make a few of the most popular ones at home.

Woman in a flannel shirt sitting on a couch holding a cup of coffee in one hand and typing on a laptop with the other

Ways To Use Espresso

When it comes to espresso drinks, there’s a world of options beyond a classic cup of black coffee. Here are some popular espresso-based drinks you can enjoy:

1. Cappuccino: This Italian favorite consists of equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. It strikes a perfect balance between the intense espresso and creamy milk. Once it is made you can add your favorite sweetener if you would like. — This is often a holiday tradition with my family. Often my brother or dad are the sweet guys who start making Cappuccinos for everyone from the cappuccino maker that my parents brough home from italy when my dad was in the Navy.

2. Latte: A latte is made with a shot of espresso and steamed milk. It has a smooth and velvety texture, with a higher proportion of milk compared to cappuccino.

3. Mocha: If you’re a chocolate lover, the mocha should be your go-to. It combines espresso, steamed milk, and rich chocolate syrup. Top it off with whipped cream for an indulgent treat.

4. Americano: If you prefer a milder coffee flavor, the Americano is for you. It’s made by diluting a shot of espresso with hot water. This popular drink offers a smoother and less intense taste.

Each of these espresso drinks can be customized to your liking. Whether you prefer a double shot of espresso for an extra kick or want to experiment with different milk alternatives like oat milk, there’s something to suit every coffee lover’s taste. So find your favorite espresso drink and enjoy the bold flavors and comforting warmth it brings.

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Espresso is an essential element in the world of coffee drinks. What sets it apart is its concentrated and bold flavor, which is achieved through a unique brewing process. To make espresso, a small amount of hot water (we are talking just a few ounces) is forced through finely-ground coffee beans at a high pressure. This results in a rich, thick, and flavorful shot of coffee.

One key characteristic of espresso is the grounds-to-water ratio. Unlike regular drip coffee, which uses a larger amount of water per unit of grounds, espresso uses a smaller amount of water to extract intense flavors from the coffee. Additionally, the grind size for espresso is usually finer than that used for most other brewing methods. The fine grind allows for a slower extraction and helps to accentuate the distinct flavor profile of espresso.

Its strong flavor provides a solid foundation that blends well with steamed milk and other ingredients. Whether in the form of a creamy cappuccino or a silky latte, espresso plays a role in the creation of these beverages, adding depth and complexity to their taste.

So, if you’re in the mood for a coffee drink that packs a punch and delivers a bold flavor, look no further than espresso. Its concentrated nature and unique brewing process make it a favorite among coffee enthusiasts.

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Top Espresso Coffee Brands

When it comes to making espresso, the choice of coffee beans is crucial to achieving a rich, flavorful shot. Here’s a list of some popular coffee brands and roasts that are well-suited for making espresso:

  1. Lavazza – Lavazza is an Italian coffee brand known for its rich and aromatic espresso blends. Their “Super Crema” and “Qualità Oro” are excellent options for espresso lovers.
  2. Illy – Illy is another renowned Italian brand that offers a range of espresso blends. The “Illy Classico” and “Illy Intenso” are great choices for a classic espresso experience.
  3. Blue Bottle Coffee – Blue Bottle Coffee is a specialty coffee roaster known for its commitment to quality. Their “Giant Steps” and “Hayes Valley Espresso” are popular espresso options.
  4. Stumptown Coffee Roasters – Stumptown is a well-respected coffee company with a variety of espresso blends. Their “Hair Bender” is a crowd-pleaser for espresso enthusiasts.
  5. Counter Culture Coffee – Counter Culture Coffee is known for its sustainably sourced beans and offers a range of espresso options. “Apollo” and “Hologram” are notable choices.
  6. Intelligentsia Coffee – Intelligentsia is a Chicago-based roaster that offers several espresso options, including “Black Cat Classic” and “Frequency Blend.”
  7. Peet’s Coffee – Peet’s Coffee, one of the pioneers of specialty coffee in the United States, offers the “Major Dickason’s Blend” and “Espresso Forte” for espresso lovers.
  8. Verve Coffee Roasters – Verve Coffee Roasters, based in California, offers unique single-origin espressos, as well as blends like “Streetlevel” and “Sermon.”
  9. Death Wish Coffee – If you prefer a high-caffeine kick, Death Wish Coffee is known for its strong and bold espresso options, such as the “Valhalla Java.”
  10. Four Barrel Coffee – Four Barrel Coffee is a San Francisco-based roaster that offers the “Friendo Blendo” and “Big Machine” as excellent espresso options.
  11. Cafe Bustelo – Cafe Bustelo is a well-loved brand for Cuban-style espresso. Their “Cafe Bustelo Espresso” is known for its bold flavor.
  12. Nespresso – If you prefer the convenience of coffee capsules, Nespresso offers a wide range of espresso pods, each designed to deliver a specific flavor profile.

When choosing the best coffee beans for your espresso, consider your personal taste preferences. Espresso can be made from a variety of roast levels, from light to dark, and each offers a different flavor profile. Experiment with different beans and roasts to find the one that suits your palate best. Additionally, always ensure that the beans are freshly roasted and ground just before brewing for the best results.

Cappuccino: The Perfect Combination of Espresso, Steamed Milk, and Velvety Foam

When it comes to classic Italian coffee drinks, the cappuccino definitely takes the spotlight. This beloved beverage is made with equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and rich, thick foam.

  • To make a cappuccino, you start by pulling a shot of espresso – a concentrated coffee extract created by forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee beans. This intense and flavorful shot serves as the base for the drink.
  • Next, the milk is steamed to create a velvety texture. The steam wand of an espresso machine is used to heat and froth the milk, creating a creamy and smooth consistency. 
  • The steamed milk is then poured over the espresso shot, filling the cup to about one-third.
  • Lastly, the cappuccino is topped off with a layer of thick foam, created during the steaming process. This foam adds a delightful touch and enhances the overall sensory experience of the drink.

Cappuccinos are enjoyed by coffee enthusiasts around the world, as they strike a perfect balance between strong espresso and creamy milk. Whether you’re savoring it in a cozy coffee shop or making it at home, there’s no denying the timeless appeal of a well-crafted cappuccino.

Cappuccino maker sitting next to a cup of coffee and a tin for coffee storage.

Latte/Iced Latte

When it comes to popular coffee drinks, one that often comes to mind is the latte. This espresso-based drink has gained quite a following, thanks to its smooth and creamy flavor. Perfect for those who prefer a gentler taste, lattes have become a staple in coffee shops across America.

A latte is made by combining a shot of espresso with steamed milk. The espresso, a concentrated coffee extract, provides a strong base for the drink. The steamed milk adds a creamy texture and helps to balance out the bitterness of the espresso.

One of the distinguishing features of a latte is the layer of milk foam that sits on top. This foam is created by using a steam wand on the espresso machine to heat and froth the milk. It adds a little bit of frothiness and a touch of visual appeal. A latte also tends to be quite a bit sweeter than other coffee drinks.

If you prefer your latte chilled, an iced latte is the way to go. Just like a regular latte, it starts with a shot of espresso, but instead of steamed milk, it’s poured over a glass of ice. The cold milk is then added to create a refreshing and cool treat.

What’s great about lattes is that they can be customized to suit your taste. If you like a little extra flavor, you can add a shot of flavored syrup, such as vanilla or caramel. This allows you to tailor your latte and make it truly your own.

Peppermint Mocha ingredients

  • 1 Cup Coffee To Tate
  • 1 Packet of Hot Chocolate
  • 1 Tbsp. Peppermint Syrup
  • 2oz of milk
  • Crushed Candy Cane
  • Whipped Cream

Pour coffee in mug, and then slowly add hot chocolate while stirring. Be sure to dissolve hot chocolate mixture thoroughly. Add peppermint syrup and stir again. You can add more syrup, according to your preference.

Add just a splash of milk, then top with whipped cream and crushed candy canes to garnish if desired.


If you’re a coffee lover with a sweet tooth, then the Mocha is the perfect drink for you. This popular coffee beverage is an espresso-based drink with a delicious twist of chocolate and a dollop of whipped cream on top. It’s the ultimate indulgent treat that combines the rich flavors of coffee and chocolate in perfect harmony.

Mochas can be customized to suit your preference, allowing you to adjust the ratio of coffee to chocolate to find the perfect balance that tickles your taste buds. Whether you prefer a stronger coffee flavor or want to satisfy your chocolate cravings, you have the freedom to create your ideal Mocha.

You’ll often find Mochas served in coffee shops, where skilled baristas carefully pour the espresso shot over a rich and creamy chocolate sauce. They then top it off with a generous amount of whipped cream.

So, the next time you’re in the mood for a coffee that’s a little extra special, give a Mocha a try. It’s the perfect blend of coffee and chocolate flavors, topped with a creamy treat that will satisfy your cravings and provide the perfect pick-me-up.

Fall to style flat lay with a cup of coffee sitting on top of the book with a candle to the left and a sweater spread around them

Flat White

The Flat White is a popular espresso drink that is known for its smooth and creamy texture. Unlike other espresso drinks that may have a thicker layer of foam on top, the Flat White features a thinner, less frothy foam layer.

To make a Flat White, the key ingredient is steamed milk. The milk is heated to the perfect temperature, creating a velvety texture that blends seamlessly with the espresso shot. This steaming process helps to create that rich and creamy mouthfeel that the Flat White is known for.

The composition of a Flat White is simple yet effective. It starts with a shot of espresso, which is then topped with the steamed milk. This creates the perfect balance of bold espresso flavors and the smooth creaminess of the milk.

The result is a coffee drink that is indulgent and satisfying, without being overly heavy or overly sweet. It’s the perfect choice for those who love the taste and intensity of espresso, but also crave a velvety texture and a touch of creaminess.

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During World War II, a popular coffee drink called the Americano emerged out of necessity. European baristas wanted to cater to American soldiers, who found the concentrated flavor of espresso too strong for their taste. To address this, hot water was added to the espresso, creating a smoother and milder beverage – the Americano.

The key to a true Americano is its simplicity. It starts with a shot of espresso, which is then diluted with hot water. The amount of water can vary depending on personal preference. Some prefer to add the water before pulling the espresso shot, while others add it afterward. Either way, the goal is to create a balanced cup of coffee. — Personally, I think Americano is a basic and you might as well get a regular cup of coffee. Depending on who makes it the espresso can be too watered down.

One unique characteristic of the Americano is that it should have no crema, the golden foam that forms on top of freshly brewed espresso. The absence of crema allows the flavors of the coffee to shine through, resulting in a clean and refreshing experience.

Today, the Americano is a go-to option for those who enjoy a milder yet still robust coffee flavor. It provides a perfect balance between the intensity of espresso and the smoothness of hot water. So whether you prefer it black or with a splash of milk, the Americano is a timeless classic. 

A cup of coffee in a metal mug with a display of berries and fall leaves as accents.

Black Coffee

Black coffee is the no-frills hard working cup of energy, plain coffee drink that millions of people enjoy every day. It’s simplicity at its finest – just ground coffee beans brewed with hot water. No sugar, no milk, and no fancy flavorings. It’s the pure essence of coffee in a cup.

Black coffee can be prepared using various methods such as drip brewing, pour-over, or even the classic French press. Each method brings out a unique flavor profile, resulting in a rich and aromatic cup of black coffee.

What makes black coffee so popular is its versatility. It can be enjoyed hot or cold, making it a favorite choice in coffee shops all over the world. Plus, it’s commonly served as is, without any add-ins, which means it’s an effortless option for those who prefer their coffee straight up.

So the next time you’re in the mood for a simple, no-frills coffee experience, reach for a cup of black coffee. It’s the perfect way to savor the bold and robust flavors of coffee in its purest form.

Cold Brew

If you’re looking for a refreshing and smooth coffee drink, you can’t go wrong with cold brew coffee. And the best part? You can easily make it at home! 

To make cold-brew coffee, start by coarsely grinding your favorite coffee beans. The coarse grind is essential for the steeping process. Next, combine the ground coffee with cool or room-temperature water in a container or pitcher. The ratio should be about 1 part coffee to 4 parts water, but feel free to adjust this to your preference.

Cover the container and let it steep in the refrigerator or at room temperature for about 12 to 24 hours. This long steeping time allows the flavors to extract slowly, resulting in a smoother and less bitter flavor compared to regular iced coffee.

Once the steeping time is complete, strain the coffee using a fine mesh sieve or a coffee filter. The final result is a concentrated coffee that can be diluted with water or milk to taste.

Not only does cold brew coffee have a delicious flavor, but it also boasts a higher caffeine content compared to regular brewed coffee. So, if you need an extra kick to start your day, cold brew is the way to go especially in the summer time.


Traditionally, a macchiato consists of a shot of espresso “marked” with a dollop of foam or a touch of steamed milk. The result is a beautifully balanced beverage that showcases the intense flavor of the espresso while adding just a hint of creamy sweetness.

It’s important to note that there are two variations of the macchiato: the original Italian method and the accepted specialty coffee method in North America. In Italy, a macchiato is typically served in a small espresso cup, with the espresso “stained” by a spoonful of foam. On the other hand, in North America and at popular coffee chains like Starbucks, a macchiato is often served in a taller glass and layered with steamed milk.

To make an authentic macchiato the Italian way, start by pulling a shot of espresso. Then, using a spoon, carefully place a dollop of foam on top of the espresso, creating a contrast of colors in the cup. In North America, the process is similar, but instead of foam, a small amount of steamed milk is added.

Latte Macchiato

It’s a delicious and popular coffee drink that is sure to satisfy your caffeine cravings. Latte macchiato is a layered beverage that consists of steamed milk, espresso, and milk foam.

What sets latte macchiato apart from other coffee drinks like cappuccino and latte is the unique way it is prepared. While a cappuccino has equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam, and a latte has more steamed milk than foam, a latte macchiato focuses on creating distinct layers.

To make a latte macchiato, start by frothing your milk until it is silky and smooth. Then, slowly pour the steamed milk into a tall glass followed by a shot of espresso. The milk will naturally settle beneath the espresso, creating a beautiful layered presentation. Finally, top it off with a dollop of milk foam for an extra touch of creaminess.

The ratio of steamed milk, espresso, and milk foam in a latte macchiato is what gives it its perfect balance of flavors. The steamed milk adds a creamy and velvety texture, while the espresso provides a strong and rich coffee taste. The milk foam adds a touch of lightness and a delightful visual element.

Next time you’re at a coffee shop, consider trying a latte macchiato. Its layered presentation and delicious combination of steamed milk, espresso, and milk foam make it a popular and satisfying coffee drink.

Macchiato and Latte Macchiato are two espresso-based coffee beverages that differ primarily in their composition and the way the espresso and milk are combined. Here’s an explanation of the key differences between the two:


  1. Preparation: An espresso macchiato is made by “staining” or “marking” a shot of espresso with a small amount of milk or milk foam. It’s a simple and strong coffee drink, with the focus on the espresso.
  2. Composition: An espresso macchiato typically consists of a shot of espresso with just a small dollop of milk foam or a teaspoon of steamed milk. The milk is added in such a way that it “stains” the espresso, resulting in a bolder and more concentrated coffee flavor.
  3. Flavor: As a result of its minimal milk content, an espresso macchiato has a strong and intense coffee flavor, with the milk serving to mellow the bitterness of the espresso.

Latte Macchiato:

  1. Preparation: A latte macchiato is prepared by “staining” a glass of steamed milk with a shot of espresso. The milk takes center stage in this coffee drink.
  2. Composition: In a latte macchiato, you start with a glass of steamed milk, and then a shot of espresso is added to the milk, creating a layered effect. The espresso “stains” the milk as it is poured in.
  3. Flavor: The flavor of a latte macchiato is milder compared to an espresso macchiato. The milk is the dominant element, making it a creamier and less intense coffee beverage.

The main difference between these two coffee drinks is their composition and flavor profile. An espresso macchiato has a strong espresso base with just a touch of milk or milk foam, while a latte macchiato features a milk base with a hint of espresso. The choice between the two depends on your preference for the strength of coffee flavor and the ratio of milk to espresso in your drink.

Vietnamese Coffee

If you’re craving a creamy and indulgent coffee drink, Vietnamese coffee is the perfect choice. This brewing method produces a strong and full-bodied cup of coffee, balanced perfectly with the sweetness of condensed milk.

To make Vietnamese coffee at home, start by adding a generous amount of sweetened condensed milk to a heat-proof glass. The amount of condensed milk can be adjusted based on your personal preference for sweetness.

Next, place a Vietnamese coffee filter on top of the glass. This filter is a unique contraption that sits atop the glass, allowing the coffee to drip down slowly. Scoop a couple of tablespoons of ground coffee into the filter, spreading it evenly.

Now, boil some water and pour it onto the coffee grounds in the filter. The water should be nearly boiling to ensure proper extraction of flavors. Watch as the coffee slowly drips down into the glass, absorbing the sweetness of the condensed milk along the way.

Once all the water has dripped through the filter, give the coffee a gentle stir to fully incorporate the flavors. Take a moment to appreciate the rich and intense aroma that fills the air.

Vietnamese coffee offers a bold flavor that can be extremely sweet if you have a lot of sweetened condensed milk. The full-bodied character of the coffee is perfectly complemented by the creamy sweetness of the condensed milk. 

Red Eye

Have you ever felt like you needed an extra boost to get through the day? Look no further than the Red Eye coffee drink. This powerful concoction is a combination of drip coffee and a shot of espresso, making it the ultimate energy booster.

The Red Eye gets its name from the burst of energy it provides. Just one sip of this bold beverage and you’ll feel wide awake and ready to take on the world. The combination of the smooth and balanced flavors of drip coffee with the intense kick of espresso creates a unique flavor profile that is beloved by coffee enthusiasts.

What sets the Red Eye apart from other coffee drinks is its high caffeine content. The extra shot of espresso infused into the already strong drip coffee gives you an extra jolt to keep you going throughout the day. It’s perfect for those early mornings or long work days when you need that extra pick-me-up.

Whether you’re a dedicated coffee lover or in need of an extra kick, the Red Eye coffee drink is sure to hit the spot. Try it out and experience the power of this caffeine-packed beverage for yourself.

So tell me, which is your favorite coffee drink and which do you plan to try next?

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