If you were brought up to believe that coffee was simple crumbly brown stuff that comes in jars then we feel your pain. We live in a world with more coffee shops than record shops and for the uninitiated, that can be a minefield. So to help you out here is our simple guide to posh covfefe.
There is a reason this features at the head of this list. The espresso forms the basis for many of the other coffees on this list. It is formed by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee. How quickly this is done affects the flavour and strength of the beverage. If it’s done quickly this is known as a ristretto shot and is slightly sweeter. If it’s done for longer it is called a lungo.
A latte is one of the more popular coffee options out there. It consists of an espresso shot, usually a single, but occasionally a double, mixed with steamed milk. This usually has a layer of froth on top due to the milk being steamed for a lengthy period. These are sometimes served with syrup to give them a unique flavour. A popular example of this is the caramel latte.
This is a good starter drink for many people. It is effectively a halfway house between a latte and hot chocolate. Although personally as an adult I have no problem ordering a hot chocolate, many consider this a “kids drink”. It is made by adding chocolate powder or syrup to a latte or cappuccino and often served with whipped cream and sprinkles.
This layered coffee is globally one of the most popular. An espresso shot with a small amount of milk finished with a large amount of foam, often served with chocolate or cinnamon sprinkles. The original frothy coffee is a staple of the Italian breakfast and in the eyes of many is the cup of java that started the coffee-shop craze.
Bad baristas can’t tell the difference between this and a latte. The milk has very little air injected into it in order to create very fine, silky micro-foam, which is then poured in with the espresso. Some coffee shops will make this with a ristretto shot giving it a sweeter flavour. It is an easy coffee to get wrong.
This is quite simply an espresso served with hot water. Traditionally you add hot water to the shot, although most coffee shops do it the other way around. It is thought this originated in the US during the war where soldiers would add water to their coffee in order to make it go further.
Similar in some ways to a cappuccino. This is made by taking an espresso shot and having a small amount of foamed milk, usually like a small island in the middle of the drink. This is to “take the edge off”.
This is a beautiful coffee when done correctly. Black coffee is mixed with Whisky and brown sugar before a layer of double cream is poured over the back of a teaspoon which settles on top. This gives the coffee the appearance of a pint of Guinness. You can’t get much more Irish than that, can you?
A novel takes on a macchiato. Take an espresso shot and add whipped cream. Once again this is designed to take the edge off of the espresso.
So there you have it. If all else fails just walk in and ask for “just a normal coffee” Baristas absolutely love that. May as well go in with a jar of Nescafe and ask to borrow some hot water – uncultured swine.