What are the different kinds of coffee, viz espresso, latte, etc.?

Updated: Nov 13, 2020

Coffee is brewed by primarily two methods:

  • Immersion: just like making tea, this method involves steeping coffee in hot water. It is the oldest method of brewing coffee. French press and the Ibrik aka turkish coffee pot are two examples of the immersion method.

  • Percolation: passing water through coffee using some sort of filter - the moka pot, drip coffee makers, pour over and espresso are examples of it. In espresso, pressure is an added variable.

Now espresso is significantly different from all other methods of brewing coffee because of high % of dissolved coffee solids in it - about 8–10%. Whereas in all other methods it is usually between 1.5 to 2%.

As a result, many tasty beverages can be derived from a shot of espresso by adding milk foam, steamed milk or simply hot water to it such as a cappuccino, latte, americano etc.

Here’s a handy reckoner from 9GAG on espresso based beverages:

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