Different Types of Coffee Explained

One of our favourite things about coffee is that there are so many ways to enjoy it. It truly is the world’s most versatile drink. You can enjoy it hot or cold, with or without supplements, strong or weak, there are endless different types of coffee. Many people have come up with their own individual coffee rituals, adding in just the right amount of milk, and the perfect spoonful (or spoonfuls!) of sugar, all served up in their favourite mug. Others have turned coffee-making into an art, mastering every stage of the process from grinding beans to frothing milk, even going so far as to make pictures and designs with the foam.

Over the years, after a huge amount of experimentation and taste-testing, people have come up with many different types of coffee to enjoy. Some of these types are so popular that you can find them no matter where in the world you are: americanos are served from Beijing to Brussels. With all of these choices, how do you decide which kind of coffee is best for you? In this comprehensive guide, we will go through all of the major different types of coffee to help you pick the best one. But remember, the best way to find out is to try them all for yourself!

different types of coffee

Different types of coffee beans

In order to discuss different types of coffee, we have to go all the way back to the source. The best coffee doesn’t come from just any old beans, there are lots of factors that affect the taste that can be traced back to the growing of the coffee plants. In general, coffee beans fall into one of two camps, Arabica and Robusta. Let’s take a look at each kind and examine their different features, flavours and characteristics.

Arabica Beans

Arabica beans come from the species Coffea Arabica and are the most widespread type of coffee plant in the world. In fact, around 60% of the global supply of coffee that is cultivated is Arabica. Coffee that is made from Arabica beans tends to be sweeter and less bitter than its Robusta counterpart, but the plants take longer to reach maturity. For this reason, Arabica beans are generally considered to be the higher quality of the two.

 Robusta Beans

Robusta beans come from the species Coffea Canephora. Indigenous to the central and western parts of sub-Saharan Africa, it makes up the remaining 40% of global coffee production. Robusta coffee is less acidic, more bitter and more caffeinated than Arabica. It also grows faster, has a greater yield and is less susceptible to pests and diseases.

Coffee Regions

different types of coffee

It’s not just the type of coffee grown that affects taste, the region also has a big impact. Climate, soil acidity, altitude and more all influence the eventual taste of coffee in different ways. Most coffee experts divide coffee into three groups depending on what part of the world it was grown in: Central and South America, Africa and the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. What all of these regions have in common is that they are between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, and thus have the climate conditions necessary for coffee to grow.

Africa and the Middle East

The most famous coffee-producing countries in this region are Kenya, Ethiopia and Yemen. Ethiopia is particularly noteworthy as it is thought to be the birthplace of coffee. Although only 3% of the world’s coffee today originates from Ethiopia, coffee shipments make up 60% of its export revenue. All of the coffee from this region is distinct, full-bodied and even spicy.

Central and South America

Although it is not native to this part of the world, the climate conditions in Central and South America are ideal for coffee production. This region is so well suited to growing coffee that many people actually think coffee originated from here. A brew from Central and South American coffee beans tends to have a medium body and a creamier texture.

Southeast Asia

The coffee-producing regions in this part of the world have an equal claim to fame due to the distinct and delicious coffee they produce. Sumatra in particular exports coffee beans that are prized the world over for their exquisite flavour. Of the three regions mentioned here, Southeast Asia produces beans of the lightest body, with a smooth, clean taste.

The wonderful thing about coffee regions is that you don’t have to decide between them when brewing the perfect cup: it’s possible to blend beans from as many areas as you please in order to craft the perfect flavour.

Styles of Coffee

different types of coffee

Once you’ve sourced the perfect kinds of beans from the best regions on Earth, you still have a few more steps to go before you’ve got the perfect cup. What other ingredients are needed to make an ideal cup of coffee and how much of each ingredient is just right? The answer is up to you, but here are some of the most classic styles of coffee out there.

Espresso

An espresso is a small shot of coffee that is very strong. The full flavour has endeared it to many coffee enthusiasts over the years. You make one by straining boiling water under high pressure through the ground-up coffee beans. Drinking it in this size ensures that you benefit from a rich flavour while not overdoing it on caffeine.

Americano

What if you want something a little bigger and lighter than an espresso? An Americano is the way to go. Simply dilute an espresso with some boiling water and you’re all set. Fun fact: it’s called an Americano because Italians rarely saw it served this way until they encountered Americans!

Latte

A latte is what you get when you dilute an espresso with some steamed milk, leaving a little layer of foam on top. The ratio should be approximately 1/3 espresso to 2/3 milk, but it varies from place to place.

Cappuccino

This is where the differences between the different types of coffee get more subtle. A cappuccino is very similar to a latte, i.e., a shot of espresso with steamed milk. However, in this variation, you give the milk an extra bit of froth that gives the cappuccino a unique texture.

Macchiato

What happens if you add a touch of milk to an espresso? You get a macchiato. This subtle but distinct difference warrants the macchiato being placed in its own category.

Flat White

The flat white is the latest style of coffee to be accepted into the fold and universally recognised. Like a latte, it consists of espresso and steamed milk, but the ratio of milk is lower compared to coffee. Baristas also fold the milk in order to give this coffee a more velvety texture.

Discover different types of coffee with Cuco

For a long time, people were unable to experience the full range of possibilities with coffee in the kitchen and the office. The widespread availability of sophisticated coffee machines has changed that. When you rent a machine from Cuco, you won’t have to settle for instant coffee or an ordinary cup with a splash of cold milk, you’ll have access to all of the styles laid out above and more. You’ll also have the pleasure of sampling our fresh, carefully selected blends of beans from all over the world. To find out more, give us a call today!

 

 

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