Beginner’s Guide To Coffee Drinks

Are you aware of the different types of coffee drinks? From the Americano to the latte, read our beginners guide to coffee drinks!

With 95 million cups consumed per day just in the UK, coffee is the most popular beverage worldwide. This is of no surprise due to the array of drinks which can be made with coffee. From the simplest of coffees to the more complicated, we’re a nation of coffee lovers!

six coffee cups with different types of coffee in

Ingredients and Ratios

Almost all coffee drinks begin with one main ingredient; espresso, with added ingredients such as steamed milk and milk foam. Not all drinks will contain the added ingredients; however, the main difference between each of the following drinks is the ratio of each.

What makes the perfect coffee is the coffee beans behind the shot of espresso. All of our franchises use organically produced Fair-Trade coffee, supporting the farmers and helping them to grow their businesses too!


All coffees can be made with slight variations that have the potential to adjust flavour; such as by adding syrups, making it extra hot, having it over ice, using full-fat, semi-skimmed or skimmed milk, as well as switching for milk alternatives such as soya or almond.

To help you understand the different types of coffee available, we’ve put together this guide for beginners. Take a look at our infographic below for a general overview:

Beginner's Guide to Coffee Drinks Infographic


• One part coffee

Concentrated coffee served in shots; espresso is the foundation of almost all coffee-based drinks. Espressos are made by forcing water at a high pressure through finely ground coffee. While the espresso is brewed, the hot water forces the oils out to form a ‘crema’, adding a rich flavour and intense aroma which makes espresso shots so alluring.


• One part coffee
• Three parts milk
• Topped with foam

Derived from the Italian words ‘caffé latte’ which means ‘coffee milk’, the latte is arguably the most popular coffee drink, containing more milk than coffee to create a creamy and velvety texture. While talking about lattes, we have to mention latte art, a creative way for coffee baristas to create something unique on top of the popular beverage!

latte art coffee in a white cup


• One part coffee
• One part milk
• One part foam

Containing less milk than a latte, a cappuccino is equal parts of coffee, milk and foam. In Italian, the word cappuccino translates to ‘little cap’. Traditional cappuccinos also contain a sprinkling of chocolate on top.

Flat White

• Double shot of espresso
• Topped with milk
• Finished with foam

Flat whites, lattes and cappuccinos are very similar; it all comes down to the pouring methods, amount of coffee and milk steaming. Flat whites consist of a double shot of espresso and are topped with micro-foamed milk. The microfoam is key as it allows the flat white to blend seamlessly. Essentially, microfoam is milk steamed to create bubbles so small, they are barely visible.


• One teaspoon of drinking chocolate
• One part coffee
• One part milk
• One part foam

The name derives from Mocha, a city in Yemen, which was known as a famous marketplace for coffee. The mocha is essentially a latte, but with added chocolate, or a hot chocolate with an added shot of coffee. It’s an incredibly creamy and sweet drink.

A cup of black coffee


• One part coffee
• Two parts water

Very similar to a drip coffee, an Americano is fundamentally a shot of espresso topped with hot water. However, it has a distinct flavour with a rich depth. Enjoyed on its own served ‘black’, Americanos can also be accompanied by hot or cold milk.


• A single shot of espresso
• Froth for top

Also known as a dry cappuccino, the macchiato is essentially a shot of espresso with froth on the top. The foamed milk used is similar to that of a cappuccino; however, the steamed milk is left out, making it a shorter drink.

We hope this blog has helped distinguish the difference between the popular coffee types. Coffee houses are not only a place to sip on delicious coffee, but they’re also a place to meet friends and work in a relaxed setting.

The UK coffee industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the last ten years. If you’re interested in learning more about joining our leading coffee shop franchise in the UK , get in touch with us at Esquires Coffee today!

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