A Guide To Types of 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!

If you’re wondering how to liven up your go-to coffee drink, we provide all the information you need. As a leading coffee shop in the UK, we have lots to share about the subject! From all you need to know about coffee beans to how to pair coffee with food perfectly, we cover it all!

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.

Coffee Beans

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!

The quality of the coffee will affect the taste, and here at Esquires Coffee, we only strive for the best.

If you’re still learning about coffee, you might be confused about the different types of coffee beans available. There are four main types of coffee bean. These are:

  • Arabica
  • Robusta
  • Liberica
  • Excelsa

The main two that you will often see featured in coffee shops are Arabica and Robusta. Arabica is predicted as the source of 60% of the planet’s coffee production! Slightly harder to grow, they tend to be slightly more expensive. However, the taste is worth it and regarded as the highest quality of coffee bean.

If you prefer a little edge to your coffee, Robusta is renowned for having a slight bitterness compared to the smooth taste of Arabica coffee.

Many things affect how a coffee bean tastes and grows, including:

  • The region of the coffee farm
  • The soil it is grown from
  • The altitude
  • How it is roasted
  • How it is ground
  • How it is brewed

A cup of hot coffee next to an iced coffee

Drink Responsibly!

Another essential thing to consider when choosing your coffee is how it is sourced!

We have built our coffee business on the grounds that we choose Fairtrade and organic products that positively impact everyone involved in the development process, from the coffee bean grower to the coffee drinker! Our ethos is to ensure that any negative impact of the coffee-making process is reduced, with the local community and environment at the heart of the development process.


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.

Iced- Coffee

Coffee isn’t only served hot! Iced-coffee is also a delicious way to enjoy its benefits! It is one of the most thirst-quenching ways to enjoy your fix. Below, we take a look at some of the most popular iced-coffee drinks.

The Original

The most basic form of iced coffee is simply:

  • Coffee
  • Ice
  • Dash of milk

Or you may want to swap your milk for some kind of sweetener or even cream!

Cold Brew

A cold brew has a slightly more complex background. To make a cold brew coffee, the coffee needs to be steeped. Steeping is when you allow the coffee to soak, usually anywhere between six hours to a day and a half. How long the coffee soaks for will determine its strength.

Once it is ready, you can add whatever you prefer, milk or cream!


One of the naughtiest of the iced-coffees, Frappuccino is an iced coffee beverage that is complete with syrup and whipped cream!

Iced Espresso

Taking your favourite espresso drink, it is chilled or cooled down with milk, and then poured over ice!

Coffee and Food Pairings

For some, a cup of coffee isn’t complete without something to nibble on the side.

Coffee and food pairing is growing in popularity, and there are some signature flavour combinations that you must try.


Some of the best fruits to eat with coffee include:

  • Cherries
  • Plums
  • Blueberries
  • Chocolate dipped fruit for a special treat.

Sweet Treats

  • Pastries, including croissants and doughnuts.
  • Biscotti
  • Sweet breads
  • Shortbread
  • Chocolate, whether you like white, dark milk or salted caramel! The choice is yours, and it all tastes beautiful with a hint of coffee.

Flavourings and Spices

  • Cinnamon is a classic coffee flavour pairing! Sprinkle it on your coffee, or a bun, it tastes delicious!
  • Vanilla is also a recommended pairing, and affogato is a great way to consume it with coffee.

How will you be enjoying your next coffee? Let us know your coffee preferences on our social media channels!

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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Please include attribution to https://esquirescoffee.co.uk/ with the featured graphic.

About the author - Jack Anderson

Jack has been working in the franchise sector for over 12 years and is our in-house guru on all things business! Jack is also a keen hiker and can be found in some of the UK's best walking spots on the weekends.

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