Maybe you’re someone who has their favorite signature drink that you order every time at a coffee shop. Or maybe you like to switch it up and try something new. Perhaps you fall somewhere in between and have your favorite caffeine line up to choose from. Regardless of your preferences, it’s always good to know what is trending in the coffee world. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your new favorite coffee drink.
Coffee choices differ vastly across countries and cultures. Can you guess which coffee drink is most popular in the United States? The classic latte, of course. But most Americans want more than the steamed milk and espresso and prefer to sweeten it up with additional flavor add-ons. Iced coffee and cold brew have also becoming increasingly popular in the United States, especially in the summer months. Italians love espresso, Germans prefer Americanos, and the French favor a café au lait. In Egypt and parts of the Middle East, Turkish coffee is consumed most frequently. In Colombia, the most popular drink is classic black coffee called Tinto, while Brazilians appreciate their Cafezinho, which is a black coffee with lots of sugar. China mostly consumes instant coffee, Japan loves the pour over, Vietnam favors Vietnamese iced coffee, and Thailand prefers roasted espresso beans over intense charcoal fire. As you can see, the coffee world is one with diverse tastes and traditions.
Aside from the latte, there are many other hand crafted favorites among Americans. The first is the classic Americano, which features espresso shots that are diluted with hot water. This drink is typically comparable to black coffee, both in taste and caffeine content. The cappuccino is another worldwide favorite and contains one third espresso, one third steamed milk, and one third milk foam on top. The mocha is similar to the latte, as it contains espresso and steamed milk with the sweet addition of chocolate and whipped cream. Try different types of chocolate to discover a new flavor! The French favorite, café au lait, features equal parts coffee and steamed milk to create a smooth, creamy masterpiece. Espresso is also becoming more popular in the United States, as it is a staple drink in many European countries. A breve is the same as a latte, except it uses steamed half-and-half rather than milk to accompany the espresso. A macchiato contains espresso shots topped with milk foam. Most of these drinks can be ordered in the traditional hot form, but also over ice or even blended. Finally, the red eye is the perfect option for anyone needing that extra caffeine boost during the day. This drink is simply a cup of coffee with an added shot of espresso. Try one of these next time you visit your favorite coffee shop!
What about just normal brewed coffee? There are over 100 coffee species around the world, so there are endless blends and flavors available. The two most popular coffee types are Arabica and Robusta. Arabica coffee beans have a milder flavor, less caffeine, a fuller body, and lower acidity. Arabica beans are the most common because of their sweeter, more delicate flavor. These beans are grown in areas with high elevations above sea level where there is lots of rain.
One important aspect to remember is that the taste of the Arabica beans can be diminished when it is served cold or blended with milk.
On the other hand, Robusta beans are more acidic, bitter and have twice as much caffeine as Arabica beans, making them better for espresso. These beans are more popular in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa due to their strong and sometimes harsh flavor profile. With a reputation for tasting burnt or rubbery, Robusta beans are most popular in these countries where strong coffee is a cultural norm. The high levels of caffeine make the Robusta coffee plant much more resilient than Arabica beans. If you’re looking for an extra caffeine boost, try Robusta beans with cream and your favorite flavoring to cut the bitterness. Depending on your preferences, be sure to seek out the beans that complement your taste and at home brewing methods.