Various coffee makers and cups displayed in an illustration showcasing a range of options for brewing the perfect cup of coffee.

Different Types Of Coffee & Espresso Drinks Explained [INFOGRAPHIC]


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Have you ever walked into a coffee shop and just been overwhelmed with options and drinks you don’t quite understand? Hopefully you can find this infographic helpful for choosing your next cup of joe, or even learning how to make your own at home.

Lets start with grind size as it is very important in order to achieve the desired taste of each drink. Grind sizes vary from coarse to extra fine and the difference is how quickly the coffee is extracted and how strong it comes out. Standard coffee typically uses a medium sized grind, but feel free to experiment with it with your home coffee. For stronger coffee such as Turkish coffee and espresso, a super fine grind is necessary. As for coffee that require time to steep, such as cold brew and French press coffee, a more coarse grind is desired. Typically both coarse and coarse-medium if fine here.

Now lets talk about the different styles of coffee drinks you can order or make at home (with the proper tools of course):

Coffee Drinks

Cold Brew – also known as an Iced Toddy

If you’re looking for an iced coffee, this is a great option. Cold Brew is made by allowing coffee grounds to steep in room temperature water for 12-24 hours, depending on your desired strength. The nice thing about cold brew is if you brew it too strong, you can just dilute it with more water or cream. Once you’ve steeped your coffee, you mixed it with water (again to your desired taste and strength), add ice, and you’re set. If you prefer a sweeter coffee, try adding simple syrup (with is 1 part sugar 1 part hot water), flavored syrups, or any other form of sweetener. You can also add cream if that fits your taste. Just like regular drip coffee, it is easy to customize your cold brew to your taste.

Black Coffee

Black coffee is just your standard drip coffee that you can get anywhere. However, not all drip is going to taste the same. Drip coffee can be made with light, medium, or dark roast coffee, and can even be customized with things such as cinnamon, vanilla, pecans, and more – before brewing or after.

New York Cup

A New York Cup is the same as black coffee, but with some sugar and cream added to your desired taste.

Red Eye

A red eye comes in handy if you want a little more pep in your step and a cup of coffee just isn’t cutting it. Just add your barista for a red eye and they should know what it is, but in case they don’t, it’s just a cup of coffee with a shot of espresso added. You can also get a red eye iced but adding a shot of espresso to a cold brew coffee.

Black Eye

Feeling like your dragging a whole lot more than normal? A black eye is even more intense than the previous red eye as it contains two shots of espresso in your cup of coffee.

Espresso Drinks

Turkish Coffee

Turkish coffee is made in a Turkish cezve rather than an espresso machine, and though it is similar to espresso in strength, the taste is entirely different. Turkish coffee is unfiltered and typically sweetened (but it does not have to be). Essentially, you start boil sugar, cold filtered water, and finely ground coffee until it foams, add some foam to your Turkish coffee cups, continue to boil the mixture a bit more, than fill each glass. It is best to drink this drink while it’s still hot as the flavor will change when it cools. You will also notice grounds at the bottom of your cup, drink those for a little extra boost or stop drinking once you get to them if you’d prefer not to.


An americano is essentially diluted espresso. When you pour hot water over your espresso, the cream (crema) should rise to the top, allowing your drink to last longer while also preserving the oily richness that comes with espresso.

Flat White

A flat white is simply about 4 ounces of foam poured over a shot or two of espresso. This drink will taste more silky rather than frothy like a cappuccino and the taste of espresso will stick out as the foam only compliments it rather than over power it.


A macchiato is similar to a flat white, but uses less steamed milk and foam. This will be more like a 1:1 ratio and the espresso flavor will be very strong. Essentially the point is the have the espresso slightly subdued by milk with just a splash.


Unlike the flat white and macchiato, a latte uses more cream than espresso. Typically a latte will look something like this: 2 shots of espresso, 6-8 ounces of steamed milk, and a foam layer on top. If you want it sweetened, they can add flavor syrups such as vanilla, caramel, chocolate, and more. You can also order a latte iced where they will mixed chilled milk with espresso, ice, and flavored syrups if you’d like.


Cappuchinos are known for their consistent structure; 1/3 foam, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 espresso on bottom. This drink is known for its low acidity and creamy textured taste.


Love the taste of chocolate? A mocha is the right choice for you! With 2 ounces of espresso, 2 ounces of melted chocolate, 1 ounce of steamed milk, and topped with foam, this drink is sweet and strong all at the same time.


It you’re looking for a quick but tasty pick me up, a cortado is your new best friend. With just one shot of espresso and a few ounces of steamed milk, this light but strong drink can be consumed quickly on the go, or you can drink it at the coffee shop in a cute mini glass while reading your favorite book or the paper. You can try out different types of milk and cream with this drink to find the flavor you like most.


Sugar & Sweeteners

There are numerous ways you can sweeten your coffee but below we will list a few types of sugar and sweeteners.

  • Sugar
  • Simple Syrup (great for iced drinks when sugar won’t dissolve)
  • Flavored Syrups and Sauces such as caramel, chocolate, vanilla, hazelnut, etc.
  • Brown Sugar
  • Honey
  • Maple Syrup (don’t knock it til you try it!)
  • Stevia
  • Ice Cream

These few spices and add-ins may not be thought of as sweeteners, but they will add some extra flavor to your coffee:

  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Vanilla Extract

Creamers & Milks

Your traditional dairy creamers and milks are:

  • Half & Half
  • Whole Milk
  • Reduced-Fat Milk
  • Skim Milk
  • Whipping Cream
  • Heavy Cream

These next few aren’t as commonly used and ordered, but they have been growing in popularity over the years

  • Almond Milk
  • Soy Milk
  • Oat Milk
  • Goat Milk
  • Rice Milk
  • Coconut Milk
  • Hemp Seed Milk

Visit Our Coffee Shops

Be sure to check out some of our specialty drinks before you stop by one of our Frisco or San Marcos coffee shops! You can also ask about our seasonal drinks and location specific specialties, though they are normally listed behind the counter. Our wonderful Mochas & Javas baristas can help craft your perfect cup of joe.

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