Difference Between Drinks on a Coffee-House Menu

Macchiato what? Café misto who? Overwhelmed by the coffee menu? Say no more! Because this guide breaks down all those nitty gritty details for you. You got this! 

So how much milk goes into a cappuccino, a latte, a macchiato, a mocha, a café misto or a café au lait? How significant is this difference? Do some of these have more coffee than milk? The answer is yes. That is what sets them apart. That is what makes them taste different. That is what makes one coffee stronger in caffeine than the other. 

Do you like your coffee sweet? Or do you prefer that caffeine intake without adding extra calories to the mix?

6 Different Types of Coffee Drinks 

Coffee has become so important in our lives. It’s always there for us no matter what. Whether it’s to jolt us up in the morning, to relax after a long day at work, or even on a basic “coffee date” – coffee always has our back! But what is the best one? The answer to this question varies person to person, depending on your personal taste and preference. These coffees can be served hot or cold, depending on how they are made, and on what you like better. See what suits you best in the guide below.

1. Latte

Add one shot of espresso, some steamed milk, and just a bit of foam. And voila! We have a latte. If you are feeling a little extra, and want to add some flavors to the equation, spice it up with pumpkin spice, vanilla, or caramel!

2. Cappuccino

Think of this as a type of latte. The only difference is relatively more foam or cream, than steamed milk. Cappuccino can be sweet, depending on how much cocoa power and cinnamon is added on top. Sometimes flavor shots can also change the taste. The origins of cappuccino are Italian. Now found all over the world!

3. Espresso

This can literally be taken as a shot, or added to other coffee drinks to make them stronger in terms of caffeine. This is often added to macchiato.

4. Macchiato

So what’s a macchiato then? It’s very similar to a cappuccino, except that it has espresso in it. If you are not a fan of espresso, yet want the espresso caffeine rush, macchiato is the one for you!

5. Mocha

Shoutout to all the chocolate lovers for this one! A blend of chocolate syrup, espresso, whipped cream and steamed milk is the chocoholic dream. This is the sweetest type of coffee. Need I say more?

6. Cafe Misto or Cafe au Lait

Warm milk, plus coffee – there you have the perfect café au lait! Simple and minimalistic. Both café misto and café au lait mean the same thing. Café misto is the name given to café au lait by the famous coffee chain, Starbucks!

But Do All Coffee Drinks Come In the Same Size? 

The answer is no. The sizes vary based on which type of coffee drink you get. For instance, an espresso shot will not come in the same cup size as a latte.

Very Small Size

These drinks are served in tiny yet cute cups, carrying 1 to 2 oz max. The handles are extremely small too – you won’t be able to put your finger through it like with other cups. 

  • Single Espresso 
  • Double Espresso 
  • Ristretto 
  1. Small 

Small

This comes in a small cup, with adequate handles. One of the drinks mentioned before is served in this cup size:

  • Macchiato 

Medium

Just slightly bigger than the small cup size. Coffee drinks that use this cup size include: 

  • Cappuccino 

Large

This includes my personal favorites:

  • Latte 
  • Mocha 

7 Different Types of Coffee Beans 

Liberica 

Liberica coffee is similar to Robusta coffee in taste. However, compared to the other two, it is a low yield coffee. This has a strong, woody taste to it. It has this floral smell. It originated from Liberia in West Africa. These Liberica coffee beans are yellow ish orange in colour. They are adaptable to hot climate conditions, and are pest resistant. 

 It is common in Southeast Asia as well. They come in the form of coffee berries. However, according to studies, Liberica coffee taste did not satisfy the consumers, in terms of taste. As a result, it is not common worldwide. They are almost extinct, due to the extremely low rate of production and cultivation. 

 If you are a coffee lover, Liberica coffee is yet to be discovered! It is extremely rare today. A hidden gem, and definitely worth a try!

Robusta 

This one has the strongest taste and the most caffeine out of all three. It is known to have a rubbery taste. It is more pest resistant, in comparison to Arabica. It also has a high yield. It contributes to 25% of the world’s coffee production. 

So where can you find Robusta coffee? What do they taste like? You know that instant coffee you love the convenience of consuming? Yes, that has Robusta coffee included in it! You know that espresso mix you admire for shaking you awake every morning? Yep, that’s Robusta as well! 

What do these famous Robusta beans look like? They’re round in shape.

Vietnam is where the most Robusta coffee beans are produced. Other places where they are produced include: 

  • Indonesia produces almost 659,999,999 kg of coffee per year. 
  • Uganda’s Robusta Bugishu is one of the most well-known coffees produced there. 
  • India is known for the smooth taste and low levels of acidity in their coffee beans. 

Sounds robust, doesn’t it? 

Arabica 

These are the most popular coffee beans worldwide, contributing to 75% of the coffee production all over the world. They boast high quality, high yields, and smooth taste. It is easy to drink, thanks to the best taste compared to Liberica and Robusta. So, Arabica coffee beans are the most popular for a reason!

Arabica beans are used in most of the coffees we have at home or at coffee chains like Tim Horton’s or Starbucks. Compared to Robusta, Arabica beans are known to have less caffeine, about 2.7%, which makes them relatively sweeter. It can grow in cold climate conditions, on mountain terrains. 

What do these beans look like? They are oval in shape, and range from 2.5 to 4.5 meters in size. 

Arabica coffee beans have a smooth and delicate taste, with lower caffeine amounts. Majority of the coffee that we drink is made from these Arabica beans. This is the most common one out of all, and used for black coffee. It’s consistency makes it easier to drink straight.

Arabica coffee beans originated from Ethiopia – known to produce coffee that tastes the best. 

Here is a list of other Arabica coffee producers. 

  • Brazil widely produces Arabica coffee beans that are low in acidity, and great in terms of quality. 
  • Columbia has Extra and Supremo coffee that are popular world-wide. 
  • Uganda 
  • India 

The Real Question Remains: Is Coffee Good for You? 

Yes, coffee has become a huge part of our every day lives. But is it good for us? Is it healthy or not? Should we cut it out of our lives? Let’s dive into that. 

Just like with anything else, there are pros and cons to coffee consumption. 

Let’s start with health benefits. 

Benefit Number 1. Feel Brainy Again

It keeps our brain active and healthy. It improves the efficiency of the functioning of our neurotransmitters, thanks to its antioxidants. This means better cognitive functioning with a cup of coffee a day. Better attention span and better memory – need I say more? 

Benefit Number 2. Goodbye Diseases

 Studies show that moderate consumption of coffee (one to five cups a day) also reduces the risks of diseases like Parkinson’s disease, Alzeimer’s, dementia and diabetes. 

Benefit Number 3. The (Healthy) Heart Wants What It Wants 

Lower chances of having a stroke, or inflammation of heart arteries. Overall, coffee is great for heart health, as long as you do not over-consume it. 

Benefit Number 4. Killer Liver

Coffee consumption can also reduce the likelihood of developing liver cancer, as it inhibits the production of liver cancer and inflammation of liver. 

Benefit Number 5. Mood Boost 

It is known to make people feel better instantly. It enhances the production of dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline. 

However, having coffee in excess can be detrimental to our health. 

Con Number 1. Jittery and Anxious, No Big Deal?

Before that cup of coffee becomes an every day ritual, a few cups of coffee can have you feeling anxious and jittery. When it does become an every day ritual, not having those cups of coffee that your body has become accustomed to, can have you feeling anxious and jittery, accompanied by headaches and fatigue. This is what we call the coffee withdrawals. Your brain gets used to that daily dose of coffee to feel alert and awake every day. 

Con Number 2. Sleeplessness 

I mean, this could be a pro and a con. Coffee can be your best friend during those all-nighters you need to pull, to cram that exam material. But it can also be your mortal enemy, if you have to wake up early the next morning for an important meeting. That caffeine prances around you the whole night, keeping you awake and active, when you need to be asleep. It takes approximately 6 hours for the caffeine to wear off. You might want to limit your coffee intake to one cup a day. That also only in the mornings, so you can get a good night’s sleep.

Con Number 3. Cholesterol Issues 

If you have cholesterol issues, you might want to stick to filtered coffee to be safe. 

Con Number 4. Dehydration 

Coffee is known to be dehydrating. If you are a coffee drinker, it is essential to have a ton of water to avoid having respiratory problems. This can be bad for people who have asthma, bronchitis or other lung conditions. 

Make your pick. Would you prefer cutting coffee out of your life for good? Can you? Because I certainly cannot! I love making coffee at home. But also enjoying that cup of coffee at a nice coffee shop. 

So, How Do Different Coffee Chains Make These Drinks? 

Ever since coffee took over the world, different coffee chains emerged, and gained fame. Starbucks, Tim Horton’s, Second Cup, Dispatch Coffee, to name but a few. These cafes sell amazing hot and cold coffees – adaptable to different weather conditions! So, what are some of their famous drinks? Let’s have a look. 

Tim Horton’s 

My personal favorite is Tim Horton’s. It has an affordable range of coffees. Some of the ones I like the best are: 

  • The classic French Vanilla – but with a shot of espresso! That makes the drink not too sweet, but not too bitter either. It is the perfect mix indeed! This is perfect if you prefer a hot coffee over a cold one. 
  • With summer approaching, cold coffee is the way to go. So, you might want to add Tim Horton’s Iced Cappuccino to your coffee list! It’s extremely cold and sweet. The taste is beyond amazing. 
  • Somehow, the Latte at Tim Horton’s has a lot more caffeine than the typical latte at other cafes. I’m not complaining!
  • Original roast coffee is as basic as it gets, if you want to keep things simple.
  • Café Mocha is the best one for all the chocoholics out there.

Second Cup 

This one is pricier than Tim Horton’s, but still pretty good. The ambience of this café is unbeatable. It’s the perfect place to have that cup of coffee, and get to work. It is not too noisy, and not too silent – the perfect balance for people who love working at cafes. 

Second Cup has vegan-friendly coffee options as well. Some of my favorite ones in this category are: 

  • Toasted Nut Frappe with Oatmilk 
  • Oatmilk Mocca Flash Cold Brew 

Other than that, these coffee drinks are to die for: 

  • Their Caramel Frappe is the right amount of sweet. It gives salted caramel feels, which I personally love!
  • Espresso Frappe for the ones who like their coffee strong.
  • Mocca Frappe is perfect for people who love sweet coffee. The best part about this one is that it is not too sweet. 
  • If you prefer a little more basic beverages, then the Vanilla Bean Latte and Caramel Corretto are the right ones for you! 

StarBucks 

Ever heard of StarBucks? If you are a true coffee lover, you have most definitely heard of this one! This is one of the most popular coffee chains worldwide. It has every type of coffee that you can think of, so it is difficult to pick the best ones! Pick what suits your taste best. Some of my personal favorites are: 

  • Ever heard of Café Misto? Yes, that term was created by StarBucks for café au lait. It made the drink famous!
  • Customers rave about the Blonde Espresso as well, for being bittersweet. 
  • Vanilla Latte is the one we see most of the influencers and celebrities on Instagram featuring in their pictures!
  • The Caramel Macchiato is too good to be true. 
  • Did someone say White Chocolate Mocha? Now that is a unique combination!

How Can I Make Coffee At Home? 

Well, yes all of us love coffee. But is spending $2-$5 on coffee per day sustainable? That adds up to more than $61 a month! 

So, what options do we have with making coffee at home? There are different types of coffee makers available. 

1. French Press

If you enjoy making coffee manually, this one is perfect! 

Crush those coffee beans, add boiling water to it, crush and mix that together by pushing the plunger on that, and voila there you have it! There’s your dark roast coffee, ready in minutes. 

2. Single Serve 

The name says it all – it is meant to serve a single person. It has a reusable filter, which lets you put the amount of coffee you prefer to have. All that’s left to do is pour water in it and you have a cup of coffee!

3. AeroPress 

This one is very similar to the French Press, since it is manual. Did I mention that this machine can make cold brews? 

4. Cold Brew 

Are you more of a cold coffee person? If yes, then Cold Brew is the coffee maker of your dreams. It brews cold coffee, that lasts more than 24 hours. What else do we need right? All you have to do is chuck the coffee beans in there, let them brew and voila, ready to serve! 

5. Pour Over 

Once again, the name says it all. All you got to do is sink those coffee beans in hot water, by pouring it over them. 

So that’s most of the different coffee-makers that you can use to make coffee at home. Otherwise you have the option to get instant coffee packets from any convenient store. They come in powdered form. You just have to add hot water to it, and it’s ready to drink. Brands like Nescafe, StarBucks and Tim Horton’s also sell instant coffees at their stores or at convenient stores. There’s one last option. If you are really in a hurry, and need cold coffee ready-to-go right away, StarBucks sells bottles of different flavored cold coffees at convenient stores. So, might as well pick up a few bottles on your way out, instead of waiting in line at StarBucks. 

Drink Up!

Coffee break is over. It’s time to wrap up this article. 

Well, that was a lot of coffee talk! Honestly, it is pretty hard to understand the differences between different coffees. How much milk to water to coffee beans ratio there is in each one, determines the difference in tastes. I think the best thing you can do is, gauge what coffee you think you might like. I always prefer to go for cappuccino or mocha to be safe! If you like sweet, chocolate flavored coffee, then mocha is the way to go.

If you want that instant coffee buzz, without downing a whole big cup of coffee, you can get a single or double espresso shot and just chug it. If you prefer basic coffee, without any fancy flavors, cappuccino is the way to go. The choice is all yours. Make your pick. 

Or you know what? If you like experimenting, then why not try a new type of coffee every day? New day, new coffee. Surprise yourself and enjoy a different flavor of coffee each day. Just do not be disappointed if you end up disliking one of the types that you try out! That is part of the experimenting game. That is part of the journey to discover which one you like best. Imagine the coffee of your dreams existing, but you have never tried it. Would you rather live that life, or conquer it? Suit yourself! You do you. 

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