The joys of going out for a cup of coffee. But what are the differences between all the types of coffee? A coffee shop is always a great place for meeting a friend, a date, to get some work done, but if you’re not used to them, they can be quite a weird and wonderful place. Anyone who knows me knows that I drink coffee a lot. There are various recipes I use depending on my mood, what I’m feeling for the day or what I have to do. So here is a helpful guide to refer to should you ever need it.
Americano: Plain black, brewed coffee.
Latte: Coffee with added hot milk. Different to a coffee with milk as when milk is heated it causes it to foam slightly which changes the texture of it. Usually prepared by holding back the froth that would make it a Cappuccino.
Cappuccino: A mixture of steamed milk, milk foam and espresso. Actually named after the Capuchin monks in Rome. A small monastery just up the road from the original coffee house it was made in.
Espresso: A very strong coffee. Usually brewed by forcing a small amount of water through finely ground coffee beans.
Flat White: A mixture of hot milk and foamed milk, similar to the latte but smoother to drink in most cases.
Mocha: This will be either a latte or a cappuccino with a shot of chocolate syrup or can be prepared with hot chocolate and espresso.
Those are the main 6 coffee types that you will see and everything else is branched off of that. So here are a few more names that may come up:
Macchiato: Macchiato literally means “marked” in Italian. This will mean that the milk is added first and the coffee after, leaving a dot or “marking” the milk.
Frappe/Frappuccino: Coffee blended with ice to make it cold. There are other things it can be blended with like fruit, basically making a smoothie.
Cold Brew: I will include my recipe for this in the coming weeks. It’s the same as an Americano but it takes around 12-24 hours to brew as it’s the ground coffee mixed with cold water instead of hot, it makes a sweeter less acidic coffee and can taste pretty good.
Piccino/Cortado: A shot of espresso (or two) combined with milk. This is my current favourite to drink when I go for coffee. Tastes pretty good!
Cafe Au Lait: An Americano with hot milk added. Meaning coffee with milk, simply done by warming up some milk and adding it to a plain black coffee.
So this is a good start to your coffee journey to learn. Everything else is just a branch off of these things. For example, an Espresso Macchiato will mean an espresso with milk (where the milk is added first, of course).
How To Improve Your Coffee Game At Home
Not too sure where to start in terms of coffee? There are some really easy recipes and instructions to follow to improve your coffee game at home. Be it for yourself, or for dinner guests without needing to buy an expensive coffee making machine.
Invest in a Caffetiere: This will be a big change for you if you are used to instant coffee. Takes a little longer to prepare but I think it’s definitely worth the taste if you like strong coffee. Simply buy a bag of pre-ground coffee (or coffee beans if you want to grind them yourself in a blender), place a heaped tablespoon in the Caffetiere and add hot water. Leave for around 3-5 minutes and simply use the built in filter to pour your coffee.
The difference between the ground coffee and instant is that the ground coffee does not fully dissolve in the hot water. This is why the Caffetiere is important because otherwise, you will end up drinking coffee grounds. From experience, I can tell you that’s not something you want to do.
Buy Some Syrup: If you’ve mastered the art of making a black coffee or a coffee with milk. This can be your next step… Various flavours of syrup can be added to provide a sweet aftertaste and aroma of the flavour of syrup you have bought. Be careful though not to put in more than a cup full of the stuff as it can get quite sickly.
Learn to Froth Milk: In most home department shops you can buy a milk frother for around £5. This is a great way to add a bit more texture into the milk you are adding and if you do it right you could even make your own flat whites or lattes at home. Heat the milk (unfortunately almond milk doesn’t work great for this due to the interaction of proteins when heated blah blah blah. Try oat milk or soy milk!) and simply froth it up and pour into your coffee.
My Home Recipe
Some mornings, I Just need to sit down and do some work (for example this morning while writing this article). For this I want to concentrate, I will stay fasted and not eat any breakfast for a few hours after I wake up, I have calories (as seen in the recipe below) but I won’t eat breakfast, so this combination I use to increase my focus and to stave off any hunger I may get.
This is my recipe for that:
- Kimera Koffee.
- Ground Cinnamon.
- Coconut oil.
- Oat Milk (can be normal milk, but I try to limit my dairy).
- Cacao Powder.
- Vanilla Extract or Sweetener of your choice.
Really is as simple as adding in all the ingredients together. I brew the coffee for 3-5 minutes while I mix the cinnamon, milk, cacao and vanilla extract and whisk them together with a milk frother. I warm the milk for about 30 seconds in the microwave. Mix the coffee in. Lastly, I add a spoonful of coconut oil and let that melt, then you’re good to go.
A Word Of Warning
If you are watching your calories and not wanting to pack on the pounds, be careful with all these fancy coffees. I’ve seen some in Starbucks and Costa that have over 700 calories in one coffee! There will always be calorie content available for most coffee shops so if you’re really unsure, a quick google search will help. Black coffee or americanos will always have the least calories with only around 10 per cup. Not saying to not enjoy yourself, but just be careful.
Also, if you’re sensitive to caffeine. Don’t go overboard with the coffee, especially if you’ve only ever had instant coffee as most of these will a lot stronger than you realise and you will not sleep!
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