Types of Coffee: A Complete List and Their Caffeine Differences

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Ah, coffee.

It’s one of the most distinctive scents in the world, one of the most consumed beverages, and it’s usually the first thing that goes into our mouths in the morning. 

I know I struggle to start my day off right if I don’t have my morning Americano.

Maybe it’s a habit, maybe it’s comfort, but whatever it is, my day isn’t the same without it. 

Did you know there are four different types of coffee beans and many more varieties of coffee drinks?

Even if you happen to be a tea person (there is less caffeine in coffee than many teas), you’ll find a beverage here to tickle your tastebuds! 

How Many Types of Coffee Are There? 

Coffee is incredibly varied.

There are different types of coffee beans, different varieties or mutations within each species, and a multitude of ways to make a tasty drink out of them. 

Let’s begin with a run-down on the four different types of coffee beans

Coffee Beans 

Types of Coffee

The coffee beans are the rawest element of the morning beverage you drink every day.

Many of us drink the instant version or coffee grounds, so we don’t know the nuances of good beans or the variety of coffee beans. 

Those who do know their types of coffee beans will know that there are four distinct varieties

  • Arabica
  • Robusta
  • Excelsa
  • Liberica

Arabica is by far the most widely used type of coffee bean in the world, accounting for around 60 percent of products across the world. 

Robusta beans are much more potent in taste, so they’re often used in espresso drinks.

Those who prefer coffee types that would wake them from a deep sleep would most likely choose Robusta beans

Excelsa and Liberica are far less common, but worth a mention.

Excelsa comes out of Southeast Asia and makes up around 7 percent of the world’s coffee consumption.

Liberica is grown in the Philippines and is not imported to the US. 

Excelsa beans were recently classified as a sub-type of Liberica, so most modern coffee connoisseurs consider there to be three distinct types of coffee beans. 

Arabica 

The darling of the coffee world, Arabica is the first choice of 60 to 75 percent of Americans.

Arabica beans are bright and light in body, with complex flavor profiles that lean towards sweet and fruity, and a classic scent. 

While caffeine content can vary from bean to bean and cup to cup, there are general estimates that quite accurately calculate the caffeine amount in a cup (depending on how it’s brewed, but we’ve gone for drip-brewing): 

Espresso shot (1oz): 40 mg caffeine

8oz cup: 200 mg caffeine

Robusta

Robusta is for hardcore caffeine drinkers.

It’s strong and bitter, with an earthy profile.

Because of their heavy body, these beans are better complemented by cream and sugar than Arabica. 

They’re also higher in caffeine than Arabica beans, so if you really want a wake-up kick, Robusta is what to go for. 

Espresso shot (1oz): 72 mg caffeine

8oz cup: 360 mg caffeine

Liberica 

Liberica has the lowest caffeine content of the different types of coffee beans.

The chances of you actually drinking a cup of Liberica in your lifetime is pretty low, though, unless you find yourself in the Philippines

You’ll more likely find Excelsa beans, but both of them have a smoky flavor that is unusual and quite noticeably different from the more popular coffees. 

Espresso shot (1oz): 30 mg caffeine

8oz cup: 152 mg caffeine

Varieties 

Within each type of coffee beans are sub-varieties, hybrids, and mutations.

The growing and harvesting process can alter the taste of the beans, as can the location, climate, and environment in which they’re grown. 

You don’t need to understand all the intricacies of the types of coffee to enjoy a great cup of it.

If you’d like to learn more, here’s a cool Periodic Table of the Coffees for your daily science lesson, and this variety library

Decaffeinated

It’s highly important to note that decaf is not caffeine-free.

Sure, it is much lower in caffeine than normal coffee, but if you’re drinking an excessive amount of it every day, it’s practically the same as drinking the good stuff. 

8oz cup: 8–14 mg caffeine

Coffee Roasts 

Types of Coffee

You may not have known that whether you prefer dark, medium, or light roast coffees, there’s the same amount of caffeine in them, provided you’re comparing beans of the same variety. 

When coffee beans are roasted they lose some mass, so the confusion comes in because, for a dark roast, you’ll physically use more beans than a light roast, resulting in slightly higher caffeine content. 

Coffee Brewing Methods

Types of Coffee

The way you brew your drink can also have some effect on how much caffeine is in the finished beverage.

The logical reasoning here is that the longer you brew your coffee, the more caffeine will be extracted from the beans

The most common ways of brewing coffee (from most caffeine extracted to least) are: 

  • Pour Over
  • Drip
  • French Press
  • Cold Brew

Of course, it also depends largely on what type of coffee beans you’re using. 

Types of Coffee Drinks

Types of Coffee

There’s a coffee-type beverage for every preference out there.

It’s an incredibly versatile drink, but that usually has to do with what’s added to it—usually sugar, cream, steamed milk, or syrup. 

Each variety begins with espresso and is built on from there.

Here are some of the more well-known and liked versions.

Espresso 

Known as the “short black,” the espresso is the foundation for each of the coffee drink types to follow.

A shot of espresso is 1 ounce of concentrated coffee, that is usually made in an espresso machine to achieve a smooth texture. 

If one shot isn’t enough, you can order a double, or doppio espresso.

If you really want something even stronger, you can request a ristretto.

It’s a standard espresso shot but extracted with only half the amount of water

Americano

The beverage of the people!

An Americano (sometimes called a Caffe Americano) is a simple but powerful drink—espresso topped with hot water to fill the cup. 

This method takes some of the strength away from the espresso, leaving a cup of Joe similar to drip coffee, but with a unique taste. 

Cappuccino 

A cappuccino is a shot of espresso layered with hot, steamed milk and milk foam.

It’s most often topped with grated chocolate for an extra dash of sweetness. 

You can order a “wet” cappuccino, which consists of the 3 classic ingredients mentioned above.

There is also a “dry” cappuccino option, which is only 1 part espresso and 2 parts milk foam.

Most baristas avoid making dry cappuccinos due to how long it takes to make the milk foam.

Latte 

A caffe latte is an espresso topped with steamed milk, with a little layer of foamed milk on the very top. 

A true latte is served in a tumbler glass, although it’s common in the US to see it in a normal cup. 

If you’re feeling cute, go for a piccolo coffee latte, which is a latte made in an espresso cup.

Mocha

Mochas can be made in a few different ways, but the important distinction is the addition of a chocolate component. 

It’s similar to a latte, with steamed milk and a little foam.

Some varieties add a spoonful of cocoa powder to the espresso before filling up with milk, while others use chocolate syrup

Of course, chocolate sprinkled on top is the finishing touch

Macchiato 

Macchiatos come in two types, short and long.

As usual, it begins with an espresso—a single for a short, a double for a long. 

Just a splash of milk is added to take the bitterness out of the base.

Other Coffee Drinks

If none of the above really grab you, you could try: 

  • Flat White: This is basically a cappuccino with no foam—just espresso with steamed milk. 
  • Affogato: Affogato is a hybrid coffee-dessert bit of magic. Drop a dollop of vanilla ice cream into a single or double espresso shot. 
  • Vienna: Espresso with whipped cream. It is sometimes mistaken for a cappuccino. 
  • Cafe Au Lait: Literally means “coffee with milk”, this is a strong coffee and milk in a 1:1 ratio. 
  • Irish: Coffee with a shot of whiskey. 
  • Turkish/Greek: Ground coffee soaked in water, plenty of foam. 
  • Bulletproof: Creamy drink made by adding 1–2 tbsp butter (not margarine!) and an optional tablespoon of coconut oil to your coffee. 

In the US, the latte has been the coffee of choice in recent years.

It’s much harder to get an idea of what Europe enjoys because it tends to vary by country.

Europeans also have a very different coffee culture to America, so their coffee preferences could depend on the time of day

How Do You Make Different Styles of Coffee? 

It’s not difficult to vary your style if you know what each one is.

Check out this video and give some new recipes a try! 

Why Is Coffee Healthy? 

Types of Coffee

If you prefer your caffeine in its simplest form, chances are your daily drink is adding some great health benefits to your life

While green tea is all the rage, coffee has shown itself to be a big player in the health world, if consumed in the right quantities, which is 3-5 cups per day.

Below are some of the awesome benefits of consuming liquid gold. 

Reduces Chance of Various Diseases and Conditions 

Studies across the board have shown evidence of coffee being helpful in preventing the following: 

Improves Mental Performance 

Apparently, we don’t even need to drink coffee to reap the rewards!

A study showed that even the scent of it can enhance mental performance. 

Many people feel they cannot start their day without coffee, with coffee providing the essential morning mental boost.

Can Assist in Weight Loss 

Although nobody should increase their caffeine consumption purely to try and lose weight, research suggests that drinking coffee daily can improve your chances of slimming down. 

This is mostly relevant for those of us who are carrying a few extra pounds and need to rewire our blood sugar and metabolism a little. 

Of course, it should be consumed in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise plan for maximum effect. 

When Is Coffee Not Healthy? 

While coffee in its purest form is greatly healthy, it loses a lot of those benefits when it’s paired with sugar, cream, and syrups

There’s nothing wrong with having a luxury drink here and there.

It’s also totally cool to have yours with milk and sugar, which is the most popular way of preparing the beverage. 

The problem comes in when you’re drinking more than one luxury mix a day.

Let’s quickly explore the calorie content of three popular drinks:

  • Black: 2 calories
  • Coffee + 50 ml milk + 2 tsp sugar: 69 calories
  • Starbucks 12 oz cappuccino: 120 calories

While Starbucks is delicious, if you’re drinking more than once a day, you may be shocked at how many extra calories and grams of sugar you’re consuming.

FAQs 

Types of Coffee

Pour yourself a steaming mug of your favorite type of coffee, and let’s go through some common questions. 

Which Coffee Has the Most Caffeine? 

If you’re comparing types of coffee beans, Robusta beans have the highest caffeine content.

In terms of types of coffee drinks, an espresso shot has the most caffeine for its volume! 

How Much Caffeine Is In a Cup of Coffee? 

The answer to this depends on which type of coffee bean you’re using, how you brew it, and how long you brew it for

The most commonly used types of coffee beans are Arabica, which yields roughly 200 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce cup of coffee.

Robusta beans will produce a strong cup, with around 360 milligrams per 8-ounce drink. 

The pour-over method of brewing generally gives a higher caffeine content per cup than other brewing methods. 

What’s the Most Popular Coffee Drink? 

It would appear that the latte wins the prize for the most popular coffees in 2019. 

This is fairly reputable info, as it comes from data analyzed by Square, one of the largest financial services and mobile payment companies in the US.

They’ve published it in conjunction with the Specialty Coffee Association, which has compiled coffee-trend reports for the USA, Canada, and Australia for 2019. 

Does Coffee Make You Sexually Active? 

While your brew can hardly get up out of its mug and make you sexually active, there is a chance that consuming it regularly during the day will boost sex drive

Some studies have revealed that caffeine can have a positive effect on men struggling with ED

It’s difficult to get a good idea of what the answer is to this question.

Caffeine is a stimulant, so its effects are likely to range from increased blood flow (as a result of vasodilation) to increased energy and stamina, both of which are positives and could well have a good effect on libido. 

Of course, drinking a great cup of Joe also improves mood, so there’s no reason it can’t precede some intimacy. 

Is 2 Cups of Coffee Per Day Bad? 

No!

Two cups a day is a great number to stick to.

If you drink the regular Arabica, you’ll be getting around 400 milligrams of caffeine in. 

If you like the strong stuff, you’ll be consuming slightly more than 700 milligrams daily.

This is enough to reap some health benefits from your drink without overdoing it and suffering the bad effects, such as jitters, gastric upset, and insomnia. 

Other Helpful Coffee Information 

If you’re after a caffeine fix, we recommend getting yourself a Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker.

Our favorite Arabica ground coffee is Mount Hagen Arabica Coffee, and Organic Vietnamese Coffee if you’re keen on Robusta. 

If you’re more of a bean person, we suggest giving Seriously Good Coffee’s Arabica a try, or Dalat Highlands Robusta beans.

You’ll need a reliable coffee grinder for your whole beans, and this Hamilton Beach model works wonders.

Alternatively, brave the strongest ground coffee on the planet right now, Death Wish Ground Coffee

For more information on how coffee affects the liver, read all about the relationship between drinking coffee and your liver health.

Types of Coffee

Coffee; A Nightcap

You may have a better idea of what you’re drinking now and what types of coffee are your favorites. 

If this was your first introduction to the types of coffee beans, roasts, and the magical drinks that can be created, go forth and improve your coffee-making game! 

If you knew all this already, go and prepare your favorite variety and rest in the knowledge that your trusted beverage is keeping you healthy and happy

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The Husband

The Husband

Hi! I’m Mike. I’m happily married and have a young daughter. I’ve lived all over the world and have learned a lot from seeing others’ perspectives. I’ve also had many life altering health challenges. Fortunately, my lovely and brilliant wife helped save me by finding a new and better way for us to live. We started The Healthy Treehouse to share what we’ve learned and to learn from others, too.
 

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