A Guide to Identifying Coffee Drinks

It’s easy to get confused at a barista or café, thanks to the number of different coffee options on the menu, all with exotic names. You may find yourself at a loss for what to pick and probably don’t want to embarrass yourself by asking what’s what. To make things easier, here’s a guide to identifying different types of coffee drinks that breaks each one down to their basic ingredients. Now you’ll know exactly what to pick the next time you step out for a coffee.

The Common Component Is Espresso

All coffee-based drinks contain espresso, aka, short black. Espresso-based coffee drinks are made up of three main ingredients, which are: espresso, steamed milk and foam. These beverages are usually made with a cappuccino machine and the main difference is the proportion of each ingredient. Some coffee drinks have different toppings added, to enhance the flavour and give it a kick. For example, chocolate syrup in mocha, or a dollop of ice cream in an Affogato. But the important thing to remember is that every drink contains these main three ingredients.


As previously mentioned, this is the basis of all coffee drinks.  Espressos generally consist of one shot of black coffee to a cup with nothing else added, though you could always sprinkle in some sugar to your liking. If you love strong, freshly roasted coffee made with venezianocoffee coffee roaster perth you can’t go wrong with a steaming cup of espresso. Double espresso or Doppio consists of two shots to a cup, so this is extra strong.


A macchiato is an espresso with a touch of steamed milk and foam added. This helps even out the bitter taste of the espresso. The traditional way of making a short macchiato is one shot of espresso, followed by a dollop of steamed milk and foam, in a glass or cup. So if you order a macchiato, what you should see is three layers composed of dark coffee at the bottom, a middle layer of light brown coffee and milk and a topmost layer of frothy foam. A long macchiato is similar, but uses two espresso shots instead of one.

Café Latte

A latte is made with steamed milk and micro-foam added to coffee. The proportion of steamed milk added is much larger than that of a macchiato, more than 50%. As a result, this coffee drink is much lighter and sweeter, thanks to the extra milk. A latte can be either served in a tumbler or a cup.


This is similar to the latte, and it’s quite common to get the two mixed up. However, the main difference between them is that the cappuccino has more foam, about 2-3 cm, compared to 1 cm in the latte. It can also be served with a dusting of chocolate on top and is always served in a coffee cup.


A mocha is basically a cappuccino with chocolate powder mixed in. The espresso shot is mixed with one spoon of chocolate powder, followed by steamed milk and foam. If you’re a chocolate lover, you shouldn’t miss this!

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