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Understanding the types of coffee

Nowadays, there is an enormous variety of coffee on the market and it can be hard to know what to choose. Whether you like your drink long or short, weak or strong, wet or dry, there is something on the menu to suit you. This article gives you a guide to the different types of coffee available on the market in café chains such as Starbucks, Costa and Coffee Republic, as well as in local coffee shops.

Concentrated coffees

Espresso The most concentrated of all types of coffee, an espresso shot is made by a special coffee brewing technique which involves filtering hot water through ground coffee beans. An espresso shot is a very small and intense coffee which is usually drunk black. Many coffee lovers prefer to drink a double espresso on account of its diminutive size. However, an espresso contains a large quantity of caffeine. Espressos can be topped with a dollop of foamed milk to make a machiatto. Espresso forms the basis for most coffee shop coffees. Americano The most basic form of coffee is made by adding hot water to shots of espresso to make a longer drink. Similar to a traditional filter coffee, an americano can be drunk black, or with milk. Americanos vary in strength depending on the number of espresso shots used as a base, and the intensity of your drink can thus be altered by your barista (professional coffee maker). Baristas are specially trained in how to make a good coffee and will tailor your drink to suit your request.

Milk-based drinks

Cappuccino Cappucino is one of the milky types of coffee drinks and is made by adding steamed hot milk and milk foam to espresso shots. A standard cappuccino is usually made up of 1/3 espresso, 1/3 hot milk and 1/3 milk foam, though this can be adjusted to suit your tastes. Latte Like a cappuccino, a latte is a milk-based coffee drink. Lattes are made from espresso shots topped-up with steamed milk, creating a longer and milder drink. Coffee flavouring syrups such as vanilla, irish cream, hazelnut or cinnamon are often added to lattes to sweeten and enhance the flavour. Mocha A mocha consists of espresso shots topped up with hot chocolate, or hot milk and chocolate syrup. Also known as a mochaccino when milk foam is added, or a mocha latte without foam, the mocha is a sweeter, comforting drink and is the perfect winter warmer for chilly days!

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