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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for Top 5 Coffee Varieties - An Introduction to Coffee
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 5 Coffee Varieties - An Introduction to Coffee

Coffee is now a normal part of daily life but do you know the differences between most of the espresso-based drinks available at coffee shops? Our list of the top 5 coffee varieties will help!



Also known as the short black, the espresso is a coffee that is brewed by forcing a small amount of water close to the boiling point under pressure and through finely ground coffee beans. This outcome is thicker than normal coffee and has a creamy foam on top. Double shots of espressos are known as doppio. Espressos can be found on the menu of almost all of the restaurants in Bangkok, Thailand and it would also be served at most of Bangkok's hotels such as the Anantara Baan Rajprasong Bangkok Serviced Suites. It is also the foundation for all the other drinks listed below.



Macchiato means 'stained' or 'spotted' and the name originated due to a common practice of baristas who used to mark the difference between an espresso and an espresso with a tiny bit of milk to make it easier for servers to distinguish between them. Macchiato drinks can be long or short. A short macchiato has a shot of espresso with a dollop of steamed milk and foam to reduce the overwhelming taste of the espresso. A long macchiato is essentially the same but it has two shots of espresso.



Often referred to as long black, an Americano is made when an espresso is extracted over a cup of hot water. The strength of the Americano can be varied by changing the number of espresso shots and the amount of the water added. One story about how its name originated states that American soldiers in Italy would add hot water to their espressos to make it more palatable.


Café Latte

Alternatively known as a latte, this sweet drink is made using steamed milk, a shot of espresso and micro foam. The steamed milk creates a sweetness in the drink that offsets the harshness of the espresso shot. In the US, lattes are generally served in cups but in other countries, they are generally served in tumbler glasses. This is not to be confused with a piccolo latte which is a latte made in an espresso cup. Interestingly, in Italy, lattes are almost always made at home on the stove and consumed primarily for breakfast. Iced versions are created by using chilled espresso and chilled milk instead of steamed milk and foam.



A cappuccino has one shot of espresso, steamed milk and more micro foam than a latte. It is finished off with a sprinkling of chocolate on top of the coffee. Variations of this drink use the cream as a substitute for milk and flavoured with chocolate powder or cinnamon. The name for this drink comes from the fact the drink was initially the same colour of the habits of Capuchin friars. Originally, the drink used full cream instead of fresh milk as it was easier to store full cream but the original drink can still be found in traditional Viennese cafes.