If you’re a coffee drinker, then you probably already have your favourite way to enjoy this delicious beverage. But do you know how many options there are? In this guide to the different types of coffee drinks, we’re looking at everything you need to consider when it comes to your cup so that you can enjoy the experience every time.
Different types of Coffee Beans:
There are two main species of coffee beans to consider - Arabica and Robusta.
Arabica beans are considered the gold standard of coffee beans and are highly prized by coffee connoisseurs for their exceptional quality. These beans are known for their mild, smooth, and slightly acidic flavour profile. Arabica plants thrive at higher altitudes, typically between 700 and 1,800 metres above sea level, in regions with moderate temperatures and ample rainfall. The beans themselves are oval-shaped with a curved crease on one side. Arabica coffee is often described as having nuanced, complex flavours with notes of fruit, flowers, and nuts. It's these delicate and varied flavour profiles that make Arabica beans the preferred choice for specialty coffee.
Robusta beans, on the other hand, are known for their bold, strong, and sometimes bitter taste. These beans come from the Coffea Canephora plant and are generally grown at lower altitudes, typically below 700 metres. Robusta coffee has a higher caffeine content compared to Arabica, which contributes to its more pronounced bitterness. The beans themselves are smaller and rounder with a straighter crease. Robusta coffee is used in some espresso blends to provide a rich, thick crema and a robust, earthy flavour. While it may not have the complexity of Arabica, Robusta is valued for its strength and ability to withstand harsher growing conditions.
Commercial Grade Arabica vs Specialty Coffee Grade:
Commercial Grade Arabica:
Commercial grade Arabica coffee beans are still traded as a commodity alongside oil and gas and are typically grown in large volumes. They are produced with an emphasis on quantity rather than quality. The beans are likely to be machine-harvested, possibly leading to inconsistencies and potential defects in the final product. The flavour profile of commercial grade Arabica coffee tends to be more generic, with less pronounced and less complex flavours. These coffee beans are commonly used in mass-produced coffee products, like pods and some pre-ground supermarket coffee blends.
Specialty Coffee Grade:
Specialty coffee grade Arabica beans are of premium quality and score highly (over 80 points on the Specialty Coffee Association scale) when graded. These beans are cultivated with care, often in high-altitude microclimates where they develop their unique flavours. Farmers take great care in the harvesting and processing of these beans, ensuring that only the ripest cherries are picked and that they are processed to perfection. Specialty coffee grade Arabica is known for its outstanding flavour profiles, which can include floral, fruity, and nutty notes, as well as a pleasing acidity. These beans are typically hand-picked and subject to rigorous quality control standards. Specialty coffee beans are sought after by artisan coffee roasters and coffee enthusiasts who value exceptional taste experiences. As opposed to commercial grade coffee, specialty beans are traded in more direct relationships, typically with specialist coffee traders and sometimes directly with the roaster. Specialty coffee commands a higher price than commercial grade coffee and this allows farmers to earn a living and continue to invest in and improve their understanding of the product they love.
In summary, the choice between Arabica and Robusta beans, as well as the quality grade of the beans, significantly impacts the flavour and overall coffee experience. Specialty coffee grade Arabica beans, with their nuanced and exceptional flavour profiles, are a testament to the dedication of skilled coffee growers and roasters who strive to bring the best of the coffee world to your cup.
At Bean Smitten, we roast 100% specialty Arabica beans that embody the highest standards of quality and taste. Visit Bean Smitten to explore our range and discover the world of exceptional coffee.
The different ways to drink coffee.
There are so many wonderful ways to consume coffee, whether you add milk or drink it straight and black. Here are a few of the different types of coffee drink, some of which you may not have tried yet.
Espresso: Espresso is the essence of coffee. It’s a concentrated shot of coffee brewed by forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee beans. The result is a small, intense shot of coffee with a rich, bold flavour and a layer of golden crema on top. Espresso forms the base for many coffee drinks, and it’s the perfect choice if you crave a quick, strong coffee fix.
Latte: A latte is a delightful and creamy coffee option. It starts with a shot of espresso, which is then combined with steamed milk. The addition of steamed milk provides a smooth, mellow flavour, and a touch of froth on top adds a pleasant texture. Lattes are sometimes enjoyed with a sprinkle of cocoa or cinnamon for extra indulgence.
Flat White: Similar to a latte, a flat white is a popular choice among coffee lovers. It consists of a double shot of espresso combined with steamed milk, but with less milk than a latte. This results in a velvety, coffee-forward experience where the espresso shines through.
Cappuccino: A cappuccino is a classic coffee drink made with equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, and froth. The balance of these elements creates a harmonious and creamy coffee with a bit of a kick.
Americano: An americano is made by diluting a shot of espresso with hot water, resulting in a coffee that's similar in strength to drip coffee but retains the rich, robust flavours of espresso. Drink it black or with a little milk.
Long Black: The long black is a popular choice in Australia and New Zealand. A double espresso is gently floated on top of around 5 – 6 fluid ounces of hot water. This preserves the espresso's crema whilst creating a well-balanced and aromatic coffee.
Cortado: The cortado is a Spanish-inspired coffee drink that balances the boldness of espresso with the smoothness of steamed milk. It's typically made with equal parts espresso and steamed milk, creating a small, yet potent, coffee experience.
Macchiato: The macchiato, meaning "marked" or "spotted" in Italian, is a simple yet delightful coffee. It consists of a shot of espresso with a small amount of frothed milk on top. This results in a coffee that's strong and bold, with just a hint of creaminess.
Mocha: The mocha is a delightful marriage of coffee and chocolate. It combines espresso with chocolate syrup, steamed milk, and a dollop of whipped cream. The result is a decadent and indulgent coffee treat that's perfect for those with a sweet tooth.
Ristretto: Ristretto is a concentrated and intense shot of espresso, made with even less water than a traditional espresso. This results in a shorter, more robust coffee experience, highlighting the coffee's unique flavours.
Cold Brew: Cold brew coffee is a refreshing and smooth option. It's made by steeping coarsely-ground coffee beans in cold water for an extended period, often 12 to 24 hours. The result is a chilled coffee concentrate that's less acidic and incredibly refreshing, often served over ice with additional water or milk.
No matter which coffee drink you prefer, there's a world of flavours waiting to be explored. At Bean Smitten, we're dedicated to providing you with the finest beans to create your favourite coffee at home or enjoy a meticulously crafted cup at our coffee roastery. Visit Bean Smitten to discover more about our range and elevate your coffee experience.
Making coffee yourself
There are almost as many options to make your coffee as to drink it - here are a few:
French Press/Cafetiere: The French press, also known as a cafetiere, is a popular choice for those who enjoy a full-bodied and aromatic cup of coffee. Here's how it works: coarsely-ground coffee is steeped in hot water for a few minutes. After steeping, a plunger with a metal or mesh filter is pressed down to separate the grounds from the liquid. The result is a rich, bold coffee with a pleasant depth of flavour. It's a straightforward method that allows you to control the strength of your brew by adjusting the coffee-to-water ratio. Find out how you can make the perfect cafetiere coffee here.
Aeropress: The Aeropress is a portable and versatile coffee maker that offers a quick way to brew a strong cup of coffee. It operates by using air pressure to extract flavour from coffee grounds. The coffee and hot water are mixed in a chamber and then pushed through a paper or metal filter into a cup. This method produces a clean and crisp cup of coffee, and you can experiment with different brewing techniques to achieve the flavour profile you desire.
Moka Pot: The Moka pot, also known as a stovetop espresso maker, is an Italian classic. It consists of three chambers: a water reservoir at the bottom, a filter basket in the middle filled with finely-ground coffee, and a collection chamber at the top. As the water heats, it creates pressure, forcing the coffee through the grounds and into the top chamber. The result is a strong, espresso-like coffee with a rich, concentrated flavour. Moka pots come in various sizes to suit your preferences.
Pour Over/Chemex: Pour-over coffee brewing methods involve carefully pouring hot water over coffee grounds in a filter. The water drips through the grounds and into a vessel below, creating a clean and well-balanced cup of coffee. The Chemex is a popular pour-over device known for its elegant design. The key to pour-over brewing is precision and control over variables like water temperature, pour rate, and coffee-to-water ratio. It allows you to highlight the unique flavours of different coffee beans and is favoured by those who appreciate the art of coffee brewing.
Espresso: While espresso is often associated with espresso machines found in coffee shops, you can also make espresso at home with the right equipment. Home espresso machines vary in complexity, from manual lever machines to semi-automatic and fully automatic options. These machines use pressure to extract a concentrated shot of coffee from finely-ground beans. With practice, you can create espresso shots that rival those from your favourite coffee shop, perfect for crafting various espresso-based drinks.
These are just a few of the many ways you can make coffee at home, and each method offers a unique coffee experience. The choice ultimately depends on your preferences, available equipment, and the flavour profile you seek. At Bean Smitten, we provide you with exceptional coffee beans to enhance your home brewing adventures.
Whether you're a coffee enthusiast or just starting your coffee journey, we have something for everyone. Explore our range and order your favourite beans at Bean Smitten. Elevate your coffee experience with us, where quality and accessibility meet. At Bean Smitten, we believe that specialty coffee should be enjoyed by all.