The 17 types of coffee (and its characteristics and benefits)
Since it was prepared in infusion in Arab countries for the first time and later exported and disseminated throughout Europe in the 17th century, coffee has become one of the most consumed beverages in the world.
Highly known for its stimulating properties and its ability to combat fatigue and fatigue, in addition to other beneficial properties, from the origins of its consumption have been developed different forms of preparations, existing today a wide variety of types of coffee that we can take . That is why throughout this article we will see some of the most common and known in the market.
What is coffee?
Although it is a widely known concept, before talking about types of coffee it may be convenient to make a brief mention of what we call coffee.
We call as such the beverage obtained through the infusion made with roasted beans (whether whole or ground) of the coffee tree or coffee plant, a small shrub native to Africa and Asia that has subsequently been exported to the whole world. With bitter and intense taste, it is a product high in caffeine, which has stimulating and activating properties for our body.
The type of flavor and properties of the beverage obtained will depend to a great extent on the conditions under which the plants from which the grains are going to grow, being for example light, humidity, weather, separation method. of the grains and the roasting process prior to grinding elements to be taken into account in addition to the existence of different species and varieties to explain the variations in terms of flavor and potency.
Three basic types depending on the origin of the plant
Although there is a large number of countries in which coffee trees are grown, the truth is that at a general level we can find three types of coffee depending on the variety of the plant that is grown, two species being used and third of the options the combination of the grains of both types.
The type of coffee that is used the most and in turn that is the most appreciated is that which corresponds to the first variants used to make the drink: Arabica coffee.
This species from Ethiopia and with several subspecies tends to be delicate and to provide a grain with a very aromatic flavor and a considerable amount but less than the other existing variety in terms of caffeine level. Despite its African origin, it is currently more cultivated in the countries of South America, Asia and Central America .
Although it tends to be less used at a general level, this variety has the important characteristic of having a much higher level of caffeine than the previous one, something that suggests that the flavor it produces when drinking is much more intense . and with a much more bitter tone.
A large part of the coffees that we drink do not come only from one of the two previous species and their varieties, but usually we have a mixture in different proportions of both. The exact proportion may depend, among other things, on the type of processing that is intended to be carried out.
Main types of coffee according to their preparation
Besides the type of coffee from which it is obtained, it is very useful to take into account that there is a wide variety of types of coffee based on the type of preparation we carry out with the grains or if we accompany it with elements such as milk, cocoa or even alcoholic drinks. Some of the best known are the following.
1. Expresso / Café solo
One of the most basic and simple types of coffee, only consists of an infusion of coffee which is made by boiling water in contact with the grain . It can be prepared in a few seconds. It is a type of short coffee, and its size is usually around 30 cl. The use of coffee of the Arabian variant is usual. Usually it usually has some foam on top.
This variant of espresso is characterized by having the same amount of coffee as the previous one but using a smaller proportion of water .
3. Cut or macchiato
One of the most commonly demanded, we call sliced or macchiato a type of espresso coffee to which a slight amount of milk is added, which stains or dyes the coffee.
American coffee is a type of coffee derived from espresso which is characterized by adding much more water than usual in this type of preparation, resulting in a product with a less powerful flavor and something more watered down, something that It makes less bitter and facilitates a sweet taste. In this case , an espresso would be made first, and boiling water would be added externally .
5. Lungo / long
The so-called long coffee is a type of coffee in which the extraction of water in contact with coffee beans is carried out in a more prolonged manner, which entails a greater amount of infusion. It differs from the previous one in the fact that here it is directly the infusion that is produced in greater quantity , without having to add water externally. It is usually served in cups or even long glasses.
The carajillo is a coffee prepared as an espresso to which is added in addition to the infusion a certain amount of some spirit, being the most general brandy, orujo or whiskey. For this purpose, first the previously heated liquor is made , to which the coffee will be added and later other elements such as sugar can be added. If brandy is used together with lemon zest, we have the so-called coffee brulé.
7. Coffee with milk
Similar to the cut, coffee with milk supposes the incorporation of milk to coffee, only that in this occasion an equal or similar proportion of milk and coffee is used. It has a sweeter flavor and much less intense, but it is still potent in terms of the presence of caffeine.
8. Chocolate coffee
A much sweeter version of café con leche is the well-known chocolate coffee variant, in which normal milk is replaced by condensed milk . It is usual to put this first and then add the coffee.
Cappuccino is another of the most common coffees, being similar to coffee with milk with the exception that in this case we will only find about a third of coffee, the rest being milk. Usually much of this is foamed, and usually sprinkled with some cocoa powder to give it a sweeter flavor.
It is a variant of coffee with milk in which, in addition to milk and coffee, chocolate or cocoa is used in the form of syrup or powder.
11. Irish coffee
A type of double espresso in which Whiskey is added and a layer consisting of whipped cream or cream. It is usually served in a cocktail glass .
12. Viennese coffee
A type of coffee that can be simple or double espresso which is accompanied instead of milk by cream or cream , in a lower proportion than the coffee itself.
One of the few variants whose conceptualization is directly like cold coffee, the frappé is made with instant ground coffee, ice and cream or cream.
Little known and also conceptualized as cold coffee, this variety is characterized by incorporating in addition to coffee, ice and milk one or more balls of ice cream, regardless of its taste (but usually chocolate). Practically it is closer to a dessert than to an infusion.
Those cited so far are probably the best known types of coffee, but they are far from the only ones. There is a large number of possible variants more or less common in different countries or regions, and even today they come out from time to time others that incorporate new flavors or ingredients.