coffee drink names

30 Coffee Drink Names Every Coffee Lover Should Know

Dive into the fascinating world of coffee with this guide. We’ll explore over 30 coffee drink names, uncovering the stories and flavors behind each. Whether you’re a seasoned aficionado or a curious newcomer, prepare to embark on a global tour of coffee culture, from the robust espresso shots of Italy to the frothy delights of South Korean Dalgona.

Classic Coffee Drinks

1. Espresso


A staple in coffee culture, espresso is a concentrated beverage brewed by forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water through finely-ground coffee beans. Known for its rich flavor and creamy consistency, the perfect espresso serves as the foundation for many other coffee drinks. Originating from Italy in the early 20th century, espresso is both a quick caffeine fix and an art form, embodying the essence of Italian coffee craftsmanship.

2. Americano

The Americano is a simple yet elegant coffee made by diluting a shot of espresso with hot water, resulting in a strength similar to drip coffee but with a different flavor profile. It’s believed to have originated during World War II when American soldiers in Europe would add water to their espresso to mimic the coffee back home. This drink is perfect for those who enjoy the flavor of espresso but prefer a less intense experience.

3. Cappuccino


Characterized by its equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk, the cappuccino is beloved for its rich flavor and velvety texture. The name cappuccino comes from the Capuchin friars, referring to the color of their habits and the coffee’s light brown hue. A traditional cappuccino showcases the skill of the barista, balancing the espresso’s robustness with the creaminess of milk, often served with a sprinkle of cocoa powder or cinnamon.

4. Latte

The caffè latte, or latte, is a coffee classic that consists of one or two shots of espresso topped with steamed milk and a thin layer of foam. Originating from Italy, “latte” simply means “milk,” so ordering a “latte” in Italy will get you a glass of milk. The key to a perfect latte lies in the smooth integration of the espresso with the milk, creating a creamy and inviting drink that’s less potent than a cappuccino but richer than an Americano.

5. Mocha


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A delightful fusion of espresso, steamed milk, and chocolate syrup or cocoa powder, topped with whipped cream, the mocha is a chocolate lover’s dream. Its name is derived from the port city of Mocha, Yemen, an early coffee trade center, though the drink itself originated in Italy. The mocha offers a perfect balance of coffee bitterness and chocolate sweetness, making it a popular choice for those who enjoy a decadent treat.

6. Macchiato

The macchiato, which means “stained” or “spotted” in Italian, is an espresso with a small amount of frothed milk on top. This drink evolved as a way for baristas to mark a cup of espresso that had a dash of milk added for customers who preferred a slightly milder version.

There are two variations: the espresso macchiato, which emphasizes the coffee, and the latte macchiato, which is mostly steamed milk “stained” with a shot of espresso, serving those who enjoy a creamier beverage.

7. Ristretto


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A ristretto is a highly concentrated espresso shot made with the same amount of coffee but half the water of a regular shot, resulting in a richer and more flavorful espresso. Its name, meaning “restricted” in Italian, refers to the limited amount of water used in its preparation. This method highlights the espresso’s complex flavors, making it a favorite among coffee connoisseurs.

8. Latte Macchiato

Similar to the macchiato but with a greater emphasis on milk, the latte macchiato consists of steamed milk marked with a smaller shot of espresso. The preparation involves pouring the espresso slowly into a glass of frothed milk, creating a layered effect that is visually appealing and offers a milder taste compared to a traditional latte. This drink caters to those who appreciate the flavor of espresso but prefer their beverage to be milk-forward.

9. Café au Lait

Café au Lait

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Popular in France and often enjoyed as part of breakfast, café au lait is made with equal parts brewed coffee (not espresso) and steamed milk. The drink’s simplicity and comforting qualities make it a staple in French cafes and households. It differs from the Italian caffè latte in its use of brewed coffee, providing a less intense but equally delightful coffee experience.

10. Café Breve

A café breve is an American twist on the Italian cappuccino, made with steamed half-and-half instead of whole milk. This substitution gives the café breve a richer, creamier texture and a unique taste. It’s a luxurious option for those seeking a decadent coffee treat, blending the boldness of espresso with the indulgent creaminess of half-and-half.

Specialty and Modern Innovations

1. Flat White

Flat White

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Originating from Australia or New Zealand (the exact origin is a topic of friendly debate), the Flat White has gained international popularity for its strong coffee flavor balanced with velvety microfoam.

Made with a shot of espresso and steamed milk, the key to its creamy texture is the fine microfoam, which creates a silky consistency without the frothiness of a traditional cappuccino. The Flat White offers a concentrated coffee experience with a smoother texture, perfect for those who appreciate the essence of espresso coupled with the creaminess of milk.

2. Cortado

The Cortado, hailing from Spain, equalizes the boldness of espresso with the softness of steamed milk, mitigating acidity while enhancing the coffee’s rich flavors. The name ‘Cortado’ means ‘cut’ in Spanish, referring to the milk cutting through the espresso’s strength.

This balance makes the Cortado a favorite among coffee aficionados who seek harmony in their cup, providing a smooth, even sip that highlights the espresso’s natural flavors without overwhelming them.

3. Affogato


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An Italian masterpiece, the Affogato is a simple yet indulgent dessert that combines the warmth of espresso with the cold sweetness of ice cream. Typically made with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato “drowned” in a shot of hot espresso, the Affogato offers a delightful contrast of temperatures and tastes. This treat blurs the lines between beverage and dessert, creating a luxurious experience that satisfies both coffee cravings and sweet tooths.

4. Cold Brew

Cold Brew coffee has surged in popularity due to its smooth, mild flavor profile and lower acidity compared to traditional hot brewing methods. Created by steeping coarse coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period (usually 12-24 hours), Cold Brew offers a refreshing alternative to hot coffee, especially in warmer climates. Its versatility has led to a variety of Cold Brew-based drinks, including flavored infusions and cocktails, catering to a wide range of preferences.

5. Nitro Coffee

Nitro Coffee

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A novel twist on Cold Brew, Nitro Coffee is infused with nitrogen gas, creating a rich, creamy texture reminiscent of stout beer. Served from a tap, Nitro Coffee features a beautiful cascade effect that culminates in a thick, frothy head. The nitrogenation not only enhances the coffee’s sweetness without added sugar but also creates a velvety mouthfeel that’s both luxurious and invigorating. Nitro Coffee has become a staple in specialty coffee shops, offering a unique and visually appealing coffee experience.

6. Pumpkin Spice Latte

The Pumpkin Spice Latte, a seasonal favorite, epitomizes the fusion of coffee with the flavors of fall. Combining espresso with steamed milk, pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove), and often topped with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spices, this drink has garnered a cult following. Its popularity has paved the way for an array of seasonal flavored lattes, highlighting the coffee community’s love for integrating traditional coffee with festive flavors.

7. Iced Coffee Drinks

Iced Coffee

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The realm of iced coffee has expanded far beyond the simple iced Americano or iced latte. Innovations include cold brew lemonade (a zesty combination of cold brew coffee and lemonade), iced espresso tonics, and various flavored iced lattes. These refreshing beverages cater to the desire for coffee that not only invigorates but also cools, making them perfect for summer days or as a lively alternative to traditional hot coffee.

8. Dalgona Coffee

Dalgona Coffee, a trend that took social media by storm, originates from South Korea. It involves whipping equal parts instant coffee, sugar, and hot water until thick and creamy, then spooning it over cold or hot milk. The result is a visually striking drink with a frothy top layer and a strong, sweet coffee flavor underneath. Dalgona Coffee’s popularity showcases the global coffee community’s willingness to embrace and experiment with new coffee trends.

9. Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Vietnamese Iced Coffee

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Vietnamese Iced Coffee, or Cà Phê Đá, combines strong brewed coffee with sweetened condensed milk, served over ice. This drink offers a rich, sweet, and creamy experience, distinguished by the use of robusta beans, which lend a stronger, somewhat bitter flavor compared to arabica beans. Its simplicity, coupled with the depth of flavor, makes Vietnamese Iced Coffee a beloved drink both in Vietnam and internationally.

10. Bulletproof Coffee

Created by Dave Asprey, Bulletproof Coffee is a blend of coffee, grass-fed unsalted butter, and MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil. This concoction has gained popularity in health and fitness circles for its purported energy-boosting and hunger-suppressing properties.

The combination of caffeine with fats creates a sustained energy release, making Bulletproof Coffee a favorite among those following ketogenic diets or anyone looking for an alternative to the traditional breakfast.

Unique Coffee Drinks from Around the World

1. Turkish Coffee

Turkish Coffee

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Characterized by its strong, unfiltered preparation, Turkish coffee is made by simmering finely ground coffee beans with water (and often sugar) in a special pot called a cezve or ibrik. The mixture is heated until frothy, served in a cup where the grounds are allowed to settle.

It’s often accompanied by a glass of water to cleanse the palate before sipping the coffee. Turkish coffee is not just a beverage but a cultural experience, often enjoyed slowly, reflecting its rich heritage and the tradition of hospitality in Turkey.

2. Greek Frappé

Invented in the 1950s by a Nescafe representative, the Greek frappé is a frothy, iced coffee drink made from spray-dried instant coffee, water, sugar, and evaporated milk. Beaten to a froth, served over ice, this refreshing drink has become synonymous with Greek coffee culture, especially during the hot summer months. The frappé embodies the leisurely pace of Greek life, enjoyed in cafes and beaches across the country.

3. Italian Shakerato


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This Italian summer favorite involves vigorously shaking a shot of espresso with ice (and sometimes a bit of sugar) in a cocktail shaker until frothy. The shakerato is then strained into a chilled glass, often garnished with a lemon twist or a sprinkle of cocoa. The result is a cold, invigorating espresso drink that captures the essence of Italian innovation, combining simplicity with sophistication.

4. Swedish Fika

While not a drink in itself, the concept of “fika” is central to Swedish coffee culture, involving a coffee break paired with sweet pastries. However, the coffee served during fika is often a simple, strong brewed coffee, enjoyed in the company of friends or colleagues. Fika is more about the social experience, emphasizing the importance of taking a moment to relax and connect over a cup of coffee.

5. Café de Olla

Café de Olla

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Originating from Mexico, Café de Olla is traditionally brewed in a clay pot with ground coffee, cinnamon, and piloncillo (unrefined cane sugar). This method of preparation imparts a unique flavor to the coffee, with the clay pot adding a distinct earthiness complemented by the sweetness and spice. Café de Olla is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Mexican cuisine, offering a warm and comforting coffee experience.

6. Egg Coffee

Vietnamese Egg Coffee (Cà Phê Trứng) and Scandinavian Egg Coffee are unique takes on using egg in coffee. In Vietnam, a creamy, meringue-like topping is made by whisking egg yolks with sugar and condensed milk, then poured over hot espresso. The result is a rich, dessert-like coffee.

In contrast, Scandinavian Egg Coffee involves mixing a raw egg with coffee grounds and boiling water to create a clear, mild coffee, showcasing the versatility of egg as an ingredient in enhancing coffee’s flavor and texture.

7. Irish Coffee

Irish Coffee

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A classic cocktail combining hot coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar, and topped with a layer of cream. It was created in the 1940s to warm American passengers disembarking in Ireland. Irish Coffee perfectly balances the bitterness of coffee, the smooth warmth of whiskey, and the creamy sweetness of the topping, offering a comforting and invigorating drink that has gained popularity worldwide.

8. Kopi Luwak

Originating from Indonesia, Kopi Luwak is one of the world’s most controversial and expensive coffees. It is made from coffee beans that have been eaten and excreted by the Asian palm civet. The process is believed to improve the beans’ flavor through fermentation in the civet’s digestive tract. Kopi Luwak is valued for its smooth, mild taste, but it’s also critiqued for ethical concerns regarding the treatment of civets.

9. Café Bombón

Café Bombón

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Hailing from Spain, Café Bombón is a sweet treat that combines equal parts espresso and condensed milk. The visual appeal lies in the distinct layers formed by the dense milk and the dark coffee, often served in a glass to showcase the contrast. Café Bombón is a testament to the Spanish love for sweet, strong coffee, offering a simple yet indulgent coffee experience.

10. Australian Magic

A Melbourne specialty, the Magic is a 3:4 ratio latte made with a double ristretto shot in a smaller 150ml cup. This precise combination creates a strong but balanced espresso flavor, complemented by the creamy texture of the milk. Though less known internationally, the Magic is a testament to Melbourne’s sophisticated coffee culture, offering a unique twist on the traditional latte.

How to Order with Confidence


1. Understand the Basics

Start by familiarizing yourself with the foundational coffee types: espresso, americano, latte, cappuccino, and mocha. Knowing these basics will help you understand what variations you’re likely to enjoy. For example, if you prefer strong coffee flavors, focus on espresso-based drinks. If you lean towards milder, milkier options, lattes and cappuccinos are your go-tos.

2. Specify Your Preferences

Coffee is highly customizable, so don’t shy away from specifying your preferences. This includes the type of milk (dairy, almond, soy, oat), the amount of foam (none, light, heavy), the strength of the coffee (single shot, double shot), and any flavor additions (vanilla, caramel, hazelnut). Be clear about what you want; baristas appreciate precise orders.

3. Explore Milk Options

The choice of milk can significantly alter the taste and texture of your coffee. Whole milk offers creaminess and richness, while skim or 2% provides a lighter option. Plant-based milks like almond, soy, and oat add their unique flavors and consistencies. Don’t hesitate to ask for a recommendation if you’re looking to try something new.

4. Balance the Flavors

If you’re experimenting with flavored syrups or additives, start with a single pump or a small amount. The goal is to enhance the coffee’s natural flavors, not overpower them. You can always add more, but you can’t take it away once it’s in your cup.

5. Learn the Lingo

Phrases like “double shot,” “on the rocks,” “with room,” or “dry cappuccino” can streamline your order. A “double shot” means two shots of espresso for a stronger coffee flavor. “On the rocks” refers to iced coffee. Asking for your coffee “with room” leaves space for milk or cream. A “dry cappuccino” has more foam and less steamed milk.

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

If you’re unsure about a menu item or want to try something new but don’t know where to start, ask the barista. They’re usually coffee enthusiasts who enjoy sharing their knowledge and helping customers find their perfect drink.

7. Practice Makes Perfect

The more you order coffee, the more familiar you’ll become with the terminology and what you like. Experiment with different drinks, sizes, and customizations. Your preferences might evolve over time, so keep an open mind and continue exploring.


Our journey through the world of coffee drink names reveals not just the diversity of preparations available but also the rich cultural tapestry they represent. Each coffee drink, from the robust Americano to the creamy affogato, carries with it a story, a set of traditions, and a unique flavor profile. By exploring these varied beverages, we connect with cultures worldwide, one sip at a time.

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