Well, I was going to have a super cool coffee article this week, but last minute, the plan ended up failing. Oh well, there is always next week. So, for this week, I'll just be talking about a few different classic coffee drinks.
First up, brewed coffee in any form, such as a drip brewer or even a French press. While it may seem boring and bland, plain ol' brewed coffee is the backbone of society. The classic cup o' joe. Strong, bold, and found in 99% of the break rooms in office buildings. Brewed coffee comes in many forms, but I like to categorize it as coffee that is made using a standard drip brewer, a French press, pourover system, a percolator, a siphon pot, or a Chemex. Most take theirs with cream and sugar, but many don't. This is arguably the best way to taste your coffee.
Second up is the latte. A staple drink in cafes across the world, a latte is simply espresso shots with steam milk. About as basic as it gets really, but a go-to for many. The drink will typically have a small kiss of steamed milk foam on top, giving the mouth feel of the first several sips a rather velvety feeling. The latte is a base drink to several others, in which people will add different flavored syrups and toppings. The drink can easily go from a traditional morning pick me up to drinkable dessert.
The cappuccino is a close relative of the latte, only with a heck of a lot more foam, consisting of about 2/3 of the cup, depending on the cafe and country. The cappuccino is one of those drinks that can take practice to make, seeing how getting the plethora of consistent and non bubbly foam can be strenuous. Protip: Never go into a cafe and ask for a "no foam cappuccino."
Up next is the Americano. Espresso shots and water. Great alternative to brewed coffee. Some say that this drink comes from one of the World Wars, where American troops couldn't handle the strong espresso overseas, and diluted it with water, hence "Americano."
Do we really need anything else in this list? I say no, but the world says yes, seeing how there are a butt load of others.
The cafe au lait is composed of brewed coffee and steamed milk, typically a 50/50 mix. Depending on the roast used, the drink could have more or less of a body than a latte. Great if you don't want your coffee to get cold by adding too much cream.
Instant coffee: stay away from at all costs.
The classic doppio espresso: two shots of espresso. For people who love the bold flavor of espresso shots. Can vary immensely depending on where you go. Every cafe uses a different espresso blend and different beans. Traditionally, a blend of arabica beans with 10-20% robusta is used to stabilize the espresso after it is pulled. Though, a lot of modern cafes will use 100% arabica blends, because not a lot of people find beauty in the stigmitized robusta variety of coffee.
A cortado is one or two espresso shots cut with an equal amount of steamed milk.
Up next is the Australian brainchild, the flat white. Short pulled espresso shots, oftentimes called ristretto shots, coupled with steamed whole milk. The goal for the barista is to fold and steam the milk in such a way that when poured, the top of the drink will be completely flat. If you ever go to Australia or New Zealand, I suggest getting one... or 20.
Another classic, somewhat like a cortado, is the macchiato. A macchiato is espresso shots with a kiss of foam on top. One of my favorites.
Bonus: Cafe Cubano. Oftentimes made with a stovetop espresso machine, cafe cubano is espresso shots whisked with a fair amount of sugar. If made properly, there will be a nice creamy foam sitting on top of the espresso.
Bonus 2: Espresso Romano. This is any number of espresso shots, typically two, served with a slice of lemon. Sometimes, the lemon will be rubbed on the rim of the cup to highlight the natural sweetness of the espresso shots.