Everything You Need To Know About The Most Common Coffee Drinks!
Are you overwhelmed by all the coffee choices you have these days? Do you find yourself reverting back to the same drinks simply because it’s what you know? Well, Bruvi® is here to explain everything you need to know about the most common coffee drinks!
Drip Coffee/Batch Brew
This includes any coffee that is brewed several cups at a time in an automated machine. Whether this is your pot coffee maker at home or a big gallon coffee brewer at your local coffee shop, the method is more or less the same. The coffee is made by dripping hot water over coffee grounds in a filter and ultimately into a pot or carafe below where it is kept hot until it’s ready to be enjoyed. Fun fact, one cup of coffee has more caffeine than a standard double espresso!
The biggest downside to this method is that you must be careful how long it has been sitting out. Flavor will begin to rapidly degrade in the carafe after about 30 minutes. Next time you order your hot coffee, feel free to ask when that coffee was brewed, and make your decision accordingly.
Pour Over Coffee
Pour over might sound fancy, but in many ways, this is the simplest way to make coffee. All you need is hot water, ground coffee, a paper filter, and a brewing device. Just slowly pour hot water over your coffee grounds (in a filter), and watch the hot water flow through until you have a delicious cup of joe! Many prefer this method for light roast single origin coffees where the manual control and lengthier brewing process allows for more nuanced flavors to develop.
Iced coffee is exactly what it sounds like. It is just regular brewed coffee that is chilled and poured over ice. It’s a popular drink during those warm summer months when the last thing you want is a hot beverage. Be careful as iced coffee may get diluted if it is poured over ice while it is still hot or can taste burnt if it has been sitting out too long before being chilled.
Cold brew is not your ordinary iced coffee. Instead of being brewed hot and then chilled, cold brew is usually created by steeping coffee beans in cold or room-temperature water for over 12 hours. After the mixture is strained and chilled, it makes a uniquely delicious iced coffee. There are many benefits to cold brew, specifically as it relates to acidity and caffeine. Since it is brewed cold, it has lower acidity, making it easier for people who have sensitive stomachs or want to protect their pearly whites. It also uses a much higher coffee to water ratio and therefore has gained many fans for a bigger caffeine punch.
Cafe au lait
Cafe au lait is coffee with some steamed milk. You can use normal brewed coffee as the base, or many prefer a stronger immersion method like French press. It might have a fancy name, but it’s really a simple drink!
Now let’s move from coffee to the world of espresso and all the fancy milk-based drinks we have come to love so much.
Americano & Long Black
Americano and Long Black are identical in components but have a very distinct difference, the pour. An Americano is made by adding hot water on top of espresso. Meanwhile, a Long Black is just the opposite. It’s made by pouring espresso on top of the hot water. Most coffee shops have their preference and do it one way or the other. Some praise the Long Black for its ability to retain the crema on top, which creates a different sensory experience. Others like the Americano’s ability to create uniformity and mix the espresso throughout.
Lattes have become the bread and butter for most coffee shops in the U.S. Just like many other drinks on the menu, they are just a combination of espresso and steamed milk. Most commonly, lattes will have a double shot of espresso with a lot of steamed milk and a small layer of foam on top. This is the largest espresso and milk drink and is commonly served with some beautiful latte art when made by a skilled barista.
When paired with the right espresso and properly steamed milk, this is a perfect balance of coffee and milk that appeals to the masses. If you live in LA like us, chances are you order this iced, which in that case is just a double shot espresso mixed with cold milk – yummy!
To put it simply, a cappuccino is smaller than a latte and is served with more foam. If a latte is usually around 12 oz., a cappuccino would be closer to 8 oz. and includes a noticeable layer of foam on top of the steamed milk. Given the higher coffee to milk ratio, you should definitely expect a much more coffee-forward taste compared to a latte.
A flat white is another milk-based espresso drink that is stealing the hearts of espresso lovers. It is smaller than a latte and similar in size to a cappuccino, but does not contain any foam. It consists of a double espresso with very “wet” steamed milk that when done right, is characterized by uniform microfoam. We can thank our friends down under for this delicious drink!
I like to think of a cortado as a baby latte. This is a combination of espresso and steamed milk that is usually about 5 oz. Some refer to this drink as a Gibraltar, which is named after the glass that many shops serve it in. It’s very espresso-forward with just enough milk to make the espresso a bit more enjoyable for those who are not quite ready to make the jump to drinking it straight.
Let’s clarify, I am going to tell you about a proper macchiato. Not that giant milk drink that has been mischaracterized by the big green giant coffee chain. A macchiato is just a shot or double shot of espresso marked with a dollop of milk foam. It is only a few ounces in total and is almost entirely espresso. This is a great way to enjoy a wonderful single origin espresso!
I’ve saved dessert for last. Affogato is a yummy treat for coffee lovers with a sweet tooth. It is a small scoop of ice cream or gelato with a shot of espresso on top. It is absolutely mesmerizing to watch the hot espresso hit the creamy ice cream but even more delicious to eat. If you’re enjoying an affogato, please grab an extra spoon for me!
There’s no right or wrong way to enjoy your coffee. Hopefully this handy guide will make picking your next drink that much easier. When it comes to coffee, my recommendation is, try it all.