So many types of coffee, which one is right for you?

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So many types of coffee, which one is right for you?

It’s well known that Australians take coffee drinking very seriously. This is evident from the long list of different types of coffee you’re likely to find on almost every café or restaurant menu. Cappuccino, latte, long black, short black, espresso, macchiato, piccolo and there’s more. Then there’s the milk options - full milk, skimmed milk, almond milk, lactose-free, coconut milk, the list goes on. For newbie coffee drinkers or for those searching for their preferred cup, this can all feel a bit overwhelming. Which drinks have milk, are served with chocolate, have a frothy top, or have no milk at all? What do these different drinks taste like? Which are the most popular? Are all coffees caffeinated? In order to cut the confusion, we’ve put together a guide on all of the different types of coffees and the ways that they can be enjoyed.

Double espresso cup

How many coffee types are there?

There are thirteen main types of coffee that are commonly consumed across Australia, but of course there are a lot of variations across the world that reflect the coffee-drinking cultures of different countries and regions.

Short coffees

These options are served in smaller portions and are meant to be sipped and savoured. They are less diluted with milk or water meaning that they are best enjoyed by those looking for a strong and intense flavour from their coffee.

Espresso (Short Black)

The espresso is a key component to almost every coffee out there. But, it can also be enjoyed on its own as a short, strong, silky and intense way of drinking your coffee.

Double Espresso

This is just more of the above. Two shots of espresso and that’s all there is to it. If you are interested in finding out more, check out our double espresso guide.


A short macchiato has the intensity and flavour of an espresso with the addition of a splash of steamed milk and foam on top of it. It’s the perfect introduction to the intensity of an espresso.


A ristretto is an espresso shot but that contains with half of the amount of water. This is by far the strongest and shortest coffee available.

Milk-based coffees

Milk acts as a sweetener to the bitter, strong taste of coffee. Milk-based coffees also tend to be a more filling option for coffee-drinkers.


A latte is an espresso-based drink topped with steamed milk and a fine layer of milk foam on top. In Australia, it is commonly served in a tall coffee glass.


A cappuccino is similar to a latte but with one key difference: the cappuccino milk is thicker and foamier and comes with the delicious addition of chocolate sprinkle on top. It is usually served in a cup or a mug, depending on the size ordered.


A mocha is an indulgent combination of a cappuccino and a hot chocolate. Chocolate powder is stirred through the espresso shot before thick, foamy milk is added and then topped with a sprinkle of chocolate.

Liqueur coffees

Liquor and coffee can go hand in hand, and quite nicely we might add. Liqueur coffees are a popular after-dinner option and dessert alternative. As delicious as they are, their alcohol content means they should be consumed responsibly and in moderation. Looking for more? Check out our recommended best coffee cocktails.
*This recipe contains alcohol, please enjoy responsibly.

Irish Coffee

An Irish coffee consists of espresso, Irish Whiskey, sugar and thick cream. The coffee is drunk through the cream that sits on top.
*This recipe contains alcohol, please enjoy responsibly.


An affogato is a dessert coffee made by placing a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of a double shot of espresso.

Espresso Martini

This cold, espresso-based cocktail is made with vodka, espresso, coffee liqueur, and sugar syrup and is commonly served in a martini glass with two coffee beans resting on the surface.
*This recipe contains alcohol, please enjoy responsibly.

Which type of milk should I use?

Milk will play a big part in how your coffee ends up tasting. Generally speaking, full cream milk offers the creamiest and foamiest milk and is therefore best for cappuccinos, lattes, mochas and other drinks that include milk foam. This is because it is the fat content within milk that produces a thick and creamy finish. Non-fat milk is more suited to thinner milk-based coffees such as flat whites. For those seeking a dairy-free alternative, soy milk has a good level of ‘stretch’ meaning that it can create milk foam. Almond milk is another popular option as it has the potential of creating a silky foam but it does have a tendency to separate when heated.

What are the most popular types of coffee?

The Square Australian Coffee Report 2017 determined that the latte is, by far, the most popular coffee consumed by Australians with 43% of coffee drinkers declaring the drink as their favourite.
But, as Aussies come to learn, understand, taste and enjoy all of the different types of coffee out there, we’re sure this figure could change. If you’ve never strayed from the reliability of a latte, perhaps you can use this guide as a base for trying new and exciting ways to enjoy your coffee.

Want to explore all the varieties of coffee out there?

Find the perfect Nespresso machine to help you create all of the coffee you’ll ever need from the comfort of your own home

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