Types of Coffee Drinks: Our Brew Guide for the 21 Best Espresso Drinks

types of coffee

Walk into a coffee shop, and you’ll be assaulted with endless options; espressos, flavored lattes, mochas, macchiatos, etc. Even the most diligent coffee drinkers would have a hard time understanding everything on the menu, and most shops don’t include definitions for these drinks. 

Rather than try to guess which drinks you might like (and which ones you won’t), we’ve included an in-depth guide below for the different types of coffee drinks, specifically, the different types of espresso-based coffee drinks. After looking at our espresso machine reviews, perhaps you are ready to start brewing up some delicious espresso drinks!

Types of Coffee

Whether it’s a flavored latte or a single shot of espresso, here’s everything you need to know about the complex list of espresso drinks and different types of coffee. While the list goes much deeper than this, these are the most common types of coffee drinks. 



Often used as the base for a variety of different coffee drinks, the most important drink on this list might be espresso. Many people consider espresso to be a different type of coffee since it uses a different brewing method than regular black coffee, and has a much bolder taste. 

To brew espresso, you’d need an actual espresso machine, which uses near-boiling water and pressure to turn to finely-ground coffee beans into a single caffeine packed shot of espresso. 

Unlike drip coffee, you’re not meant to consume an eight-ounce cup of espresso. Since it’s stronger, thicker, and more concentrated, you’ll only want to drink an ounce of espresso at a time, but you should get almost as much caffeine. Comparatively, a shot of espresso has about 64 mg of caffeine in it, while an eight-ounce cup of brewed coffee contains close to 95 mg. 

Of course, some coffee addicts may double-up on their caffeine dosage, and drink two or three shots of espresso at a time.  As strong as it is, many of the coffee drinks on this list, like lattes and mochas, use espresso as their coffee base rather than regular coffee. 

How to Make it at Home

You don’t need to go to a coffee shop to order espresso, but you will probably need an espresso machine. Here’s a quick guide to brewing a espresso at home: 

  1. You don’t need to specifically buy “espresso” beans to get a good shot, but if you can, try to find a single-origin dark roast. 
  2. Measure out your finely-ground coffee beans with a scale. A double-shot of espresso usually requires between 18 to 22 grams of coffee. 
  3. If you’re using an espresso machine, fill your portafilter with the ground coffee, and make sure it’s distributed evenly. 
  4. Place a small glass or an espresso mug under the machine, and allow your machine to run through. 

Brewing time may vary, although most machines take less than a minute to brew your shot. 

Red Eye

red eye

If you’re in need of a little extra caffeine, you may want to try a Red Eye, which mixes regular black coffee with espresso. Some coffee shops might make their Red Eyes a little differently, but the standard recipe is eight-ounces of drip coffee topped off with a shot of espresso. To spice things up, try it with some cold brew coffee instead!

How to Make it at Home

Here’s how to create the perfect Red Eye without leaving your home: 

  1. Brew eight ounces of regular coffee in your drip coffee maker. Since drip coffee takes longer to brew than espresso, you may want to start brewing a few minutes before you start your espresso. 
  2. While your drip coffee runs through, you should measure out 8 to 10 grams for a single shot of espresso. 
  3. Once both types of coffee have brewed, top off your drip coffee with a shot of espresso, and mix. 
  4. While it’s traditional to drink a Red Eye black, some people may prefer to add cream or sugar. 

Black Eye

black eye

If the Red Eye doesn’t provide you with enough of a caffeine kick, you may want to graduate to the Black Eye. Like the Red Eye, you’re combining regular black coffee with espresso, but in this variation, you’re using two shots of espresso rather than one. 

The final result is a stronger version of a Red Eye that’s likely to keep you awake all night. 

How to Make it at Home

Brewing a Black Eye is very similar to a Red Eye with just a few adjustments: 

  1. Start by brewing eight ounces of drip coffee. 
  2. Measure out 18 to 22 grams of ground coffee for your double-shot of espresso, and let it run through. 
  3. Add your double-shot of espresso to your regular black coffee, and enjoy!



For some coffee drinkers, the concentrated, bold flavor of an espresso may be a little much, which is why an americano is also a popular drink. It only has two ingredients: hot water and a shot of espresso. The espresso gets added in first, and the hot water pours over it, creating a layer of foam on the top of the cup. 

Depending on where you get it,  you can order an americano hot or iced, but it’s more traditional to drink it hot. If you want to learn more about the Americano, be sure to check out our American coffee review.

How to Make it at Home

  1. Brew three ounces of espresso in your espresso machine. You’ll need to measure out anywhere from 24 to 33 grams of your ground coffee for this. 
  2. Heat eight ounces of hot water until it’s close to boiling either in the microwave or on the stove. 
  3. In a separate mug, add your shot of espresso, and then pour your hot water over the espresso shot. 

While it’s more common to add the hot water to the espresso, some people may pour the water first, and pour the espresso shot second. 



Like an americano, a caffe latte dilutes the strong flavor of espresso, but it uses steamed milk rather than water. Although a regular latte is just an espresso shot with several ounces of steamed milk, many coffee shops offer flavored lattes that have flavored syrups in them as well. 

How to Make it at Home

  1. Brew a single or double-shot of espresso in your espresso machine. Small lattes only require a single shot of espresso, but for a larger size, you’ll want a double-shot. 
  2. Heat eight ounces of milk for a minute in the microwave, or for several seconds on high heat on your stove.
  3. Once you’ve heated the milk, you’ll want to vigorously whisk it with a kitchen whisk until it has a frothy consistency. If you have an electronic milk frother, you can use that (an electronic egg beater can also substitute for a milk frother). 
  4. Add your espresso into a separate mug, and pour the steamed milk on top of it. The foam should rise to the top of the mug. 
  5. If you want to make it a flavored latte, an optional step is to add a little bit of flavored syrup to the mug as well. 

Flat White

flat white

Another espresso drink that uses steamed milk, many people mistake a flat white for a latte, but there’s a little bit of a difference. While a latte is traditionally served in a bigger glass with a lot more foam, the flat white doesn’t use as much steamed milk, and they have very little milk foam, if any at all.  It’s also unusual to see flavored flat whites, many people drink it with just espresso and steamed milk. 

So, if you’re looking for a less diluted version of a latte without the foam, a flat white might be the right choice. Be sure to check out our flat white review for a more detailed assessment of this delicious espresso drink.

How to Make it at Home

  1. Brew a shot of espresso, and measure out four ounces of milk to steam for the flat white. 
  2. Heat the milk in the microwave or over the stove while the espresso brews. 
  3. Next, use a milk frother or a kitchen whisk to froth your milk. While you froth, use a spoon to fold milk from the bottom of the cup to the top. This will give your milk a smoother, more velvety texture. 
  4. Pour your steamed milk over the espresso shot, and enjoy!



Sometimes called a moccatino or a latte mocha, the mocha is a coffee drink popular amongst chocolate lovers. It uses the same amount of espresso and steamed milk as a regular latte does, but it has one more crucial ingredient  – chocolate syrup. 

How to Make it at Home

  1. Similar to a latte, you’ll need to brew a shot of espresso and steam eight ounces of milk for your mocha. 
  2. While you’re heating the milk and brewing the espresso, you can add half an ounce of chocolate syrup to a mug. 
  3. Brew the espresso directly into the mug that has the chocolate in it. The espresso will warm up the chocolate, and you should stir the two together once it’s finished brewing. 
  4. Heat your milk, and use a whisk or a milk frother to create the foam. 
  5. Pour the frothed milk over your espresso and chocolate.



A cappuccino may sound similar to a latte, but it has a more exact ratio of steamed milk and foam. Specifically, a cappuccino is one-third of espresso, one-third of steamed milk, and one-third of milk foam on top. 

Some people may order a “bone dry” cappuccino, which leaves out the steamed milk, and only uses espresso and milk foam. 

How to Make it at Home

  1. Brew one or two shots of espresso and steam three shots of milk. 
  2. Heavily froth your milk. While you want a little steamed milk, the end result should have more foam than milk. 
  3. If you encounter any large air bubbles in the milk, try tapping your pitcher against your counter to get rid of them. 
  4. Pour your frothed milk over the espresso shot. 

Espresso Macchiato

espresso macchiato

While you may see “espresso macchiato” and “latte macchiato” used interchangeably, these are actually different drinks. The espresso macchiato is the original version of the macchiato, and it includes a shot of espresso with a couple of teaspoons of steamed milk and foam. Unlike a latte, a macchiato uses a much smaller portion of steamed milk, so you’ll taste a lot more of the espresso. 

The word “macchiato” is Italian, and it means “stained”, this references how the frothed milk stains the espresso. 

How to Make it at Home

  1. Brew one or two shots of espresso, and if you have a steaming wand in your espresso machine, you can use it to froth the milk. If not, you’ll need to steam your milk over the stove or in the microwave. 
  2. Generally, whole milk may be the best option for a macchiato. Since it has the highest milk fat, it’s the easiest to froth  – but you can get away 2% or skim milk if you prefer those. 
  3. Hold your steaming wand just under the surface, and froth your milk until it’s almost doubled in size. You can also use a kitchen whisk too, it just may take a few minutes to get the right amount of foam. 
  4. Next, scoop the foam into your brewed espresso. Some people may only scoop the foam, but it’s more traditional to add a splash of steamed milk too. 

Latte Macchiato


When many people think of a macchiato, they’re actually thinking of a latte macchiato, which uses a little more steamed milk than a traditional macchiato does. The idea behind this drink is that it is suppose to get stronger as you drink it.

Certain coffee shops also add flavored syrups to a latte macchiato, Starbucks, for instance, has a famous caramel latte macchiato. If you are drinking an iced macchiato, you'll notice that it is flipped upside down with the milk towards the bottom of the cup to ensure it continues to get stronger the more you guzzle down.

How to Make it at Home

  1. Brew the desired amount of espresso in your machine, and prepare 3 to 5 ounces of milk for steaming. 
  2. Once again, you’ll want to use whole milk if you can, but any type will work. 
  3. Froth your steamed milk by holding the steaming wand just under the surface, or whisking it vigorously with a whisk. You’ll want to create a lot of foam. 
  4. If you want to add any flavoring to your latte macchiato, you should add the syrup to the espresso (before the milk) and stir it. 
  5. Scoop the foam onto your brewed espresso, and then pour the remaining amount of milk into your mug. 



If you’re a fan of espresso shots but you’re not a fan of the bitter, acidic aftertaste, a ristretto might be what you’re looking for. A ristretto shot is similar to espresso, but you make it by using finely-ground coffee beans and less water to reduce the extraction time. 

The result is a more concentrated shot, but it’s less bitter than espresso since there’s a shorter extraction time. 

How to Make it at Home

  1. While you can use espresso beans for a ristretto, you’ll want to grind them a little finer than normal. 
  2. For a single ristretto shot, measure out 7 to 9 grams of coffee. 
  3. Brew the coffee, and pull your shot at around 15 seconds (or half the time you would with an espresso shot). 
  4. Your end result should be much sweeter, less bitter shot. 



Many people refer to the breve as the American version of a latte. However, instead of using steamed milk, the breve uses half-and-half that’s topped off with a layer of foam. Some people may prefer a breve to a latte because the half-and-half makes it creamier. Just like nitro coffee is a step above nitro cold brew, a breve is a step above the latte in terms of enhancements.

How to Make it at Home

  1. Brew one or two shots of espresso, and prepare to steam your half-and-half. Make sure you take the half-and-half directly out of the fridge  – if it’s room temperature or warm, it won’t foam the right way. 
  2. If you use a steaming wand, hold it just under the surface of your half-and-half and froth it until it has a decent volume to it. The desired temperature for your half-and-half should be 160 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  3. Spoon the foam on your half-and-half into your espresso shot and let it settle into the bottom of your cup. 
  4. Add the rest of your steamed half-and-half to the cup, but make sure you do it more slowly. 



If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you can actually combine dessert with your coffee with an affogato. Making the drink is fairly simple: all you’re doing is adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream to a shot of espresso. The word “affogato” means “drowned” in Italian, which references how you’re “drowning” the ice cream in espresso. This is arguably one of the most delicious types of coffee.

How to Make it at Home

  1. Measure out 6 to 8 grams of coffee grounds and brew a single shot of espresso. 
  2. Once you’ve brewed the espresso, add a single scoop of vanilla ice cream. 
  3. The ice cream should sink into the espresso, and although you can mix it if you want, you don’t have to. 



A “Lungo” means “longer,” and considering what you’re getting with this drink, the name isn’t much of a surprise. You brew lungo like you would espresso, but you use double the amount of water, which means you get a much bigger shot. 

As a result, the taste isn’t quite as strong as regular espresso shots are, but the increased pull time means it’s usually just as bitter. Since it uses so much water, some people may compare it to an americano, but there’s no water added after the brewing process. 

How to Make it at Home

  1. Measure out 7 to 9 grams of coarsely-ground coffee to brew your lungo. Double the amount of water you’d use with a regular espresso shot. 
  2. With moderate pressure, you’ll want to take around 60 seconds to extract the entire shot. 
  3. The crema should be thicker on the end result and be a light brown color. 



If you like espresso shots but you’re not a fan of the bitterness, you may want to check out the cortado. Like a latte, it uses steamed milk, but a smaller amount. You’re using equal parts espresso and steamed milk. Most cortados use two shots of espresso and two ounces of milk. This has become one of the most popular types of coffee for those that enjoy a strong latte, but are looking for something a bit stronger without having to drink a straight shot of espresso.

How to Make it at Home 

  1. Measure out 13 to 18 grams of coffee, and brew two shots of espresso in your machine. 
  2. Steam your milk with a steaming wand or by heating it in a microwave or on the stove. 
  3. Make sure you froth the steamed milk until there’s a thin layer of foam on top. 
  4. Add the steamed milk to the two shots of espresso, and enjoy your finished Cortado!



Popularized by Starbucks, it’s unusual to hear people ask for doppios in other coffee shops, and some baristas may not even know what you mean. Essentially, a doppio is just a double shot of espresso with more coffee grounds, but you can also just ask for a double shot of espresso. 

Some coffee shops may even serve double-espresso shots as their standard espresso size, so ordering a doppio may seem redundant. If you like the doppio, and enjoy iced coffee, you may want to give cold brew coffee a try as well.

How to Make it at Home

  1. Brewing a doppio is simple since you’re just brewing two espresso shots. Measure out 16 grams of finely-ground coffee, and run it through your machine. 
  2. You should end up with a two-ounce drink that’s just as strong and bitter as espresso. 

Dripped Eye

dripped eye

If a Red Eye and Black Eye just aren’t strong enough for you, you can always opt for the strongest out of three, a dripped eye. Once again, you’re combining up to eight ounces of regular coffee with espresso, and this time, you’re adding three shots. This is easily our most caffeinated types of coffee.

How to Make it at Home

  1. Brew a cup of regular coffee, and then measure out 24 to 33 grams of ground coffee beans for your triple espresso shot.
  2. Once you’ve brewed both your drip coffee and your espresso shots, add the espresso to your black coffee, and stir. 

Lazy Eye

lazy eye

If a Red Eye, Black Eye, and Dripped Eye sound like too much caffeine, the Lazy Eye presents a little more of a balanced option. With this drink, you’re adding two shots of espresso to a decaffeinated cup of coffee. 

You’ll get a little bit of a kick from the espresso, but you won’t have to deal with the extra caffeine from the drip coffee. An alternative to this would be to use caffeinated coffee beans for the cup of coffee, and the espresso shot could be the decaf portion.

How to Make it at Home

  1. Brew eight ounces of decaffeinated drip coffee, and measure out 13 to 18 grams of coffee for your espresso. 
  2. Put your brewed decaf coffee in a mug, and once you’ve brewed your espresso, add it to the decaf coffee. 
  3. If you want a more balanced taste, you can stir the drink to mix the two up. 

Black Tie

black tie

As a traditional drink in Thailand, the Black Tie has gained popularity in other countries, especially the United States. With the Black Tie, you’re using Thai tea as the base and adding a double shot of espresso on top of it. 

While espresso and Thai tea are the basic ingredients of a Black Tie, many coffee shops may also add sweetened condensed milk or even a little half-and-half to it as well. This drink is frequently served iced, but you can drink it hot too. 

How to Make it at Home

  1. Boil a cup of water and add a bag of Thai tea to it. Let it steep for several minutes before you start brewing your espresso. 
  2. Once the Thai tea has sufficiently steeped, brew two shots of espresso in your machine. 
  3. If you’re making the drink iced, you’ll want to add ice to a glass and then pour your espresso in with the tea on top.
  4. Top off the glass with as much condensed milk or half-and-half as you desire. 

Espresso Con Panna

Espresso Con Panna

If you’re a whipped cream addict, you’ll probably love an espresso con panna. The name comes straight from Italian, where it means “espresso with cream.” That’s exactly what this drink is: it’s a shot of espresso that you’ll top with a dollop of whipped cream. You may also see this drink referred to as a Cafe Vienne in some coffee shops or areas. 

While it may seem like an odd combination, many people find that the whipped cream adds a light texture and sweet flavor to the bold, bitter espresso shot. 

How to Make it at Home

  1. Measure out 7 to 9 grams of coffee beans for a single shot of espresso. You can brew multiple shots if you want, but it’s standard to use a single shot for this drink. 
  2. Once you’ve brewed your espresso in a glass, add a dollop of whipped cream to the top. There’s no exact measurement for the cream, so you can use your discretion.



If you like the milk foam that comes with macchiatos or lattes, the galao, which originates from Portugese, might be worth trying. This drink has a ratio of one-quarter espresso and three-quarters of milk foam. 

How to Make it at Home

  1. Measurements can vary, but if you’re making a four ounce drink, you can use an ounce of espresso and froth three ounces of milk. 
  2. Brew your espresso, and heat the milk with a steaming wand or over the stove. 
  3. Heavily froth the steamed milk until almost all of it has turned into foam. 
  4. Either pour or scoop the foam into your brewed espresso shot. 

Final Thoughts: Why So Many Espresso Drinks?

The next time you encounter a coffee shop menu, there will be no reason to be stumped, with our extensive list of espresso drinks, you’ll be ready for anything! From the straightforward and common espresso shot to the rare galao and Black Tie drinks, there’s different types of coffee for every coffee drinker to enjoy. So, put down that cold brew coffee, and give once of these espresso drinks a try!

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Parker Russell is a coffee professional and the founder of Black Ink Coffee. As an expert in the field of coffee roasting, cupping (professional Q-Grader) and brewing, Parker has established Black Ink as brand that fuels the grind of dreamers.