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We’re a nation of coffee lovers, but when it comes to trying something new, our taste buds often prefer to stick to what we know and love. But, by staying to what you know, there’s a world of different coffee types you could be missing out on. So, what are different types coffee, and what do they taste like? 

At NESCAFÉ®, we know that straying from your treasured brew can be a little daunting, which is why we’ve put together these series of guides explaining different types of coffee, so you can go in, fully clued up on what you might enjoy. From creamy cappuccinos to strong americanos, you never know which types of coffee you might discover, one of them might become your new favourite…

Explore a world of coffee experiences

Different coffee types

  • What is an Americano?

    The americano is often mistaken for just a standard black coffee, but it's so much more than that.

  • What is a Cortado?

    The cortado is relatively new in the world of coffee and many get it confused with a flat white. So, what is a cortado and what makes it different?

  • What is a Mocha?

    Deliciously sweet, nutty and chocolatey. Find out what is a mocha, where it came from & how it's different.

  • What is a Macchiato?

    An espresso coffee drink, topped with a small amount of foamed milk to enable the espresso taste to shine through.

  • What is a Flat White?

    A newcomer in the coffee world that is increasing popular. Learn exactly what a flat white is and where it came from, here.

  • What is a Decaf?

    Many people like to enjoy a cup of decaf coffee as it offers the delicious taste with less caffeine content. But what is decaf coffee, exactly?

  • What is an Irish Coffee?

    You will recognise an Irish coffee as it is served in a distinctive toddy glass, with a generous layer of cream. But exactly what is it?

  • What is an Iced Coffee?

    On a hot summer's day, is there anything better than sipping on an iced coffee? Exactly what is an iced coffee & how do you make them?

  • What is a Café au Lait?

    The Café au Lait comes from France and means 'coffee with milk', but what exactly is Café au Lait coffee and how does it differ to other types?

  • What is Cold Brew?

    Cold brew coffee has taken the world by storm in recent years, but what is it and how does it differ from an iced coffee?

  • What is Drip Coffee?

    Drip coffee is one of the most popular ways to prepare and enjoy coffee, but what is it exactly and where did it come from?

  • What is Instant Coffee?

    Instant coffee is a staple in our lives. It’s quick and easy to prepare and, not to mention, delicious. But what is instant coffee? 



How many coffee types exist?

There are over 30 combinations of coffee types in the world. We've put together some of our favourite coffee types for you to try at home - easy recipes with NESCAFÉ® instant coffee as the starting point. From the well-known cappuccino, espresso, and latte, to the lungo, ristretto, café au lait and cold brew, there are so many types of coffee to enjoy. Give them all a try and find out which one is your favourite.

Which coffee type has the strongest taste?

The strongest type of coffee is freshly brewed espresso. It forms the base for most coffee drinks, and is easily enjoyed with added milk, but can be enjoyed by itself if you like bold, intense coffee flavours.

Which coffee type has the mildest taste?

A latte is generally considered the least intense coffee. Made with freshly brewed espresso, the taste is then made less intense because of the volume of milk added, which makes it sweeter tasting and with a more mellow taste.

Which coffee has the most milk?

A café latte has the biggest milk-to-coffee ratio, with 1/3rd being espresso and the remaining 2/3rd consisting of milk. The cappuccino is closely behind which contains equal parts of espresso, steamed milk and milk foam (in a ratio of 1:1:1)

Which are the most popular coffee drinks?

The cappuccino, the latte, and the espresso shot are probably the most popular types – or at least, the most well-known.

Different coffee types summarised


Below we have summarised the different types of coffee. 
•    Latte - One or two shots of espresso, lots of steamed milk and a final, thin layer of frothed milk on top
•    Cappuccino – Espresso, steamed milk and milk foam equally split into thirds
•    Americano - It can either be served 1/2 and 1/2 or 1/3 espresso to 2/3 water
•    Espresso - Concentrated form of coffee, served in shots and it’s often the coffee base of many other beverages
•    Cortado - Made with lightly steamed milk without froth or foam
•    Mocha - It is often 1/3 espresso and 2/3 steamed milk, with chocolate flavouring
•    Macchiato - Espresso coffee drink, topped with a small amount of foamed or steamed milk 
•    Flat White - A blend of micro-foamed milk poured over a single or double shot of espresso
•    Decaf - Made from regular coffee beans that go through a process to remove the majority of the caffeine
•    Irish Coffee - Made from coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar and cream
•    Iced Coffee - A cold version of your favourite coffee, with ice added
•    Café au Lait - brewed coffee and steamed milk. One part coffee to one part steamed milk with no froth or foam on top.