4 Types of Coffee

The world of coffee is a vast, diverse landscape. Thousands of coffee varieties are produced globally, each offering unique flavors, aromas, and experiences. Adding to the blend are the dozens of methods and machines used to brew those beans into an endless number of drinks.

For coffee novices and experts alike, the endless list of options can be overwhelming. However, by understanding the core types of coffee, anyone can become a coffee connoisseur. Here is your recipe book to discover the different types of coffee.

Coffee Bean Varieties

Due to the expansive amount of coffee producers around the world, each using different cultivation methods, there exists a seemingly infinite number of coffee sub-varieties. Many of the beans brewed today are carefully bred hybrids from a cross-fertilization process that allows farmers to keep up with the massive demand for coffee.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s start with the parent varieties of coffee beans. There are only two species that cover the majority of all consumption. 

The two main species of coffee are:

● Arabica coffee

● Robusta coffee


By far the most popular and readily available bean, Arabica coffee beans make up roughly 60% of the world’s coffee. Originating in the Ethiopian highlands, these beans can be traced back over three thousand years ago. In fact, they are thought to be the first coffee beans ever consumed by humans.

Despite their popularity, Arabica beans are harder to grow and, therefore, pricier. Like all coffee beans, Arabica is grown in the Bean Belt, which consists of countries like Brazil, Ethiopia, and Guatemala –– all of which produce the largest amounts of Arabica beans. Arabica beans, though, require more shade, water, and altitude than the rest. On top of that, they’re far more susceptible to some adverse environmental conditions. 

Despite the added challenges Arabica beans pose, growers persevere to reap the benefits of:

● More complex flavor

● A wide variety of flavor profiles 

● More acidity and bright flavors


The second most popular coffee bean, Robusta, originates in sub-Saharan Africa and continues to be grown in Africa and Indonesia. Because Robusta plants are larger and more resilient than Arabica plants, Robusta is a more affordable species to grow and produce. 

Robusta coffee beans are often associated with a slightly more bitter flavor. Some would even describe the flavor as burnt. But with a well-sourced Robusta bean and a quality brewing method, the variety offers a nutty and slightly sweet flavor. And what type of coffee has the most caffeine? You guessed it: Robusta.

See related: How Long Do Coffee Beans Last?

A Bevy of Brews

Now that we have the basics of bean varieties down let's percolate on the most popular beverages that these beans are capable of crafting. 

Black Drip Coffee

An irrefutable classic, black coffee is as simple as it gets. There are, of course, a variety of ways to brew your mug of black coffee—where quality counts as much as the quality of the bean itself. Without cream or sugar, the coffee is truly the star of the show in this simple style and invites endless possibilities of flavorful integrations. 


One of the most traditional and contemporary styles for enjoying brewed beans, espresso coffee can act as a base for milk-infused drinks or be sipped on its own. Due to a higher grounds-to-water ratio, espresso coffee is far more concentrated than regular coffee and offers a slightly bolder flavor than brewed black coffee. 


Moving into the world of espresso-and-milk concoctions, the ever-popular latte is composed of a shot of espresso and microfoam milk. (And a dollop of milk foam, of course.) Lattes are not just a canvas for artistic designs but also offer a range of exciting flavors, like vanilla, caramel, or lavender. 


Settling the ever-popular dispute between a latte and a cappuccino, a cappuccino contains more milk foam than a latte, with the same milk-and-espresso foundation. The cappuccino was first seen in Italy in the early 1900s, with the name itself coming from the Italian phrase meaning “pressed-out.”


The espresso-based version of black coffee, an Americano, is a shot of espresso diluted with hot water. In Europe, Americanos tend to be more readily available than black coffee and are referred to as a “Long Black.” 

To brew your own Americano at home, make sure you: 

1. Use a quality espresso machine

2. Pour the hot water into the mug or glass first 

3. Brew the espresso directly into the same mug or glass 


A cortado can be thought of as a miniature latte. With equal parts espresso and steamed milk, they taste similar to a latte but contain less milk, espresso, and caffeine overall. A cortado makes a terrific midday pick-me-up when you only need a little bit of caffeine to boost your energy. 

Red Eye

Not for the faint of heart, a red eye mixes the best of both worlds: a cup of black coffee with a shot of espresso. Aptly named, these are welcomed after a long red eye flight for their bolstering abilities in the caffeine department—so don’t drink one before bedtime. 


A lungo is a long-pulled espresso. It uses the same amount of coffee as a regular espresso shot but about twice as much water, resulting in a larger drink and more mellow flavor profile compared to an espresso or Americano. Sip slowly on a Lungo while lounging at the bookstore or throughout your work day. 


The definition of a true macchiato has been clouded over recent years. A traditional macchiato is a simple shot of espresso topped with steamed milk. The term macchiato comes from the Italian word meaning “spotted” or “stained,” so you can remember this beverage by envisioning a “spot” of milk foam on top. 


Coffee and chocolate are a match made in heaven, and mocha is the pinnacle of the pair. The most common ingredients for a mocha include espresso, microfoam milk, and chocolate powder or syrup. Boost the flavor by using a dark-roast bean to pair with the smooth, dark chocolate. 

Flat White

Originating from Australia, this creation is best understood as a cappuccino without the foam—hence the term “flat” in the name. This coffee beverage is for folks who want to go without fluff in their milk to get straight to the delicious espresso. 

Cold Brew

A cold brew coffee is more than just black coffee with ice. Beans are steeped at a cold temperature for anywhere between 6 to 36 hours. The result is a mellower flavor with less acidity and bitterness, allowing baristas to create inventive drinks like: 

● Vanilla cream cold brew 

● Cold brew with honey and cinnamon

● A winter cold brew with mint-infused cream

Nitro Brew

When you infuse nitrogen into a cold brew, you get a nitro cold brew. While similar in taste to cold brew, the nitrogen adds a layer of creaminess, similar in mouthfeel to a Guinness.

Coffee Brewing Methods and Tools

Brewing a beautiful cup of coffee is a synchronized dance between bean, technique, and machine. Even with the best beans in the world, the desired results cannot be achieved without the proper equipment. 


As classic as black coffee itself, drip machines are an easy way to brew a pot of coffee. While mostly an automatic process, a quality drip machine will allow you to control factors like bloom time, brewing temperature, and flow rate.


Brewing an espresso shot is a more involved process; however, the right machine will allow you to pull shots with ease. In addition to professional-grade features, the Oracle Touch espresso machine offers an automated process to make and remake your favorite drinks. 

Types of espresso machines include:

● Compact 

● Manual 

● Programmable

● Coffee-grinding machines 


A modern addition to the coffee world, a Nespresso machine makes brewing simple, requiring nothing more than a coffee pod to kickstart your cup. With the press of a button, you’ll have a brilliantly brewed espresso ready to enjoy. 

French Press

Another popular method of brewing black coffee, the French Press, is a manually-operated machine that offers versatility and transportability. After coffee grounds are steeped in hot water, a plunger extracts all of the coffee flavors into a rich brew.


Heated over a stovetop, a moka uses boiling water to force steam through the coffee grounds. The coffee then bubbles up into the pot, resulting in an espresso-like drink. Even though it's not quite espresso, it can be used as an espresso stand-in for drinks like lattes and cappuccinos.

Coffee Grinder

Want to learn how to grind coffee beans at home? From the finest espresso grind to the coarsest French Press grind, the perfect coffee grinder should be able to grind your beans according to your needs. Pre-ground coffee is always an option; however, grinding your own beans is one of the four keys to making amazing coffee at home.

Brew The Perfect Cup with Breville

A dance between barista and machine, brewing coffee is an art form. Whether you’re brewing a pot of drip coffee or concocting a perfectly balanced latte, the process is one that should be enjoyed as much as the steaming end result. 

At Breville, we take pride in supplying amateur and expert baristas with the tools they need to enjoy cafe-quality coffee at home. Our range of espresso machines, Nespresso machines, drip coffee machines, and more deliver professional-grade quality with user-friendly functionality you and your family will love. Find the products you need to turn into a home-barista today.


WMF. What are hybrid coffees?  https://blog.wmf-coffeemachines.uk.com/what-are-hybrid-coffees

Food & Wine. Your Morning Coffee Is Probably Made With Arabica Beans. https://www.foodandwine.com/coffee/arabica-coffee-guide

ThoughtCo. Arabica Coffee Enjoyed Today and for the Past Few Millennia. https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-arabica-coffee-2353016

Enjoy Java. What is Robusta Coffee? Robusta vs Arabica: 12 Differences. https://enjoyjava.com/robusta-coffee/

Perfect Daily Grind. What is excelsa coffee? https://perfectdailygrind.com/2021/05/what-is-excelsa-coffee/

Mirriam-Webster. Where Does the Name 'Cappuccino' Come From? https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/where-do-we-get-cappuccino-from

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