Have you ever met a person who doesn’t like coffee? Or doesn’t know the difference between the dark roast or the light roast? Or a person who has no desire to understand the difference between a latte or cappuccino? These people scare me too, as I love my coffee.
Coffee in my house can be served from the automatic coffee pot, the stovetop espresso maker or the french press. Although these are basic between them there are a variety of ways to serve coffee.
But for simplicity sake let’s stick to the main coffee types you see in any given coffee shop. First we start with the different roasts - light, medium and dark.
The light roast is really talking about color as well as the ability to taste the coffee in a more rare form. For those coffee connoisseurs these is the type of roast that’s preferred in order to taste where a coffee comes from.
The medium roast is all about the balance between the acidity level and the body of the coffee. This about the balance the roaster makes between all parts of the coffee bean.
The dark roast is considered the most bold of all the roasts. This is the roast where oil can been seen on the coffee beans themselves. They are also an almost black color - think chocolate in the shape of a coffee bean.
Now onto the part that I think may be the most important if you plan on drinking coffee or at least going to a coffee shop and ordering coffee. There are so many people who don’t know the difference between a latte, cappuccino, mocha, americano, macchiato, etc. (Ya know, all of those fancy words on the board in the coffee shop?!) So let’s break it down simply so the next time you walk in, you actually know what you’re ordering. In this case we’re going to use a graph - just because visuals can be really helpful when you’re trying to figure out what you like and what you don’t like.
So these are the basics - the espresso is the one you see the most in coffee shops as it’s the essence of any and all coffee. It’s what the machine is making when you walk into a coffee shop.
Espresso Macchiato - is another classic. This one is served with an espresso shot and milk foam. If you’re used to having a large cup of anything, this may not be for you as it is on the small side.
Cafe Latte - One of my favorites, I’ll admit, is started with an espresso base, steamed milk is added and topped with milk foam. The latte is one of two coffees you’ll see ordered consistently in coffee shops.
Cappuccino - the other classic drink that most people order. Although similar to the latte, the cappuccino has a smaller amount of steamed milk and a larger amount of milk foam. That’s the greatest difference and what makes each one unique.
Flat White - Ahh, this one has become more and more popular in the last few years. The flat white consists of espresso and steamed milk, very simple and easy to remember for those who just want to have their coffee with a bit of milk.
Cafe Mocha - when you just need a bit of chocolate with your coffee. We all have those days when we need a chocolate and a coffee fix so why not combine them. That’s the point of the mocha - bringing the two worlds together as one.
Americano - coffee with water, so a watered down version of espresso made to be bigger than life. This coffee is more North American while the rest of more European in nature.
And now you can walk into a coffee shop and know what you’re ordering and why. The roast is just as important as the style of the coffee. Each person has their own preferences and style. You may be a skinny flat white while I prefer a Cafe Latte. There are days where nothing is better then a Caramel Macciato with an extra shot. Whatever your desire, play with it and enjoy your coffee break.