Espresso, Americano, Cappuccino… What’s What?

Espresso, Americano, Cappuccino… What’s What?

A look at the ‘Big Three’ which rule the coffee world!

Coffees Types

The world consists of a bountiful amount of coffee types that simply could not be numbered in its entirety - however you may have heard of some of the following: Espresso, Macchiato, Cappuccino, Frappe, Americano, Mocha, Café Latte to name a few.


These are just some of the most popular types of coffee around the world.


Each type of coffee has its own story and journey behind how it came into being and reached the levels of popularity to be a household name across multiple cafés and coffee brands across the world.


The Espresso

To start with, arguably part of the big 3 most popular types of coffee alongside Americano and Cappuccino, is the Espresso. Espresso is a coffee brewing method, first originating in Italy, in which a small amount of water, at near boiling point, is forced under a large amount of pressure through finely ground coffee beans. It can be made with a wide variety of coffee beans and roast temperatures, which likely added to its massive popularity. Another key to its popularity is due to the fact its’s used as a base for other extremely popular coffees such as: Cappuccinos, Macchiatos, Lattes, etc. Espresso itself is also a more strong, intense and arguably more flavourful than most other different forms of coffee. Espresso is also quick and easy to make, taking only about 30 seconds to extract, the speed taken to craft typically greatly influences the popularity of the coffee as it’s a more convenient option.


Two of the main variants of the Espresso which vary in the time taken and the volume of coffee extracted are:

Ristretto; a shorter, stronger coffee using half the water of an espresso coffee, and often using a finer grind of coffee.

Lungo; this is a double shot, using double the amount of water and taking closer to a minute to extract, resulting in a larger coffee.


Top tip: If you want to make an Espresso type coffee using instant coffee, simply add 2 teaspoons of coffee to a small cup, add a dribble of cold water, mix lightly using a teaspoon and then top up with 30ml of hot water and stir… add sugar and/or milk to your preference - thank us later!


The Americano

Next is Americano, or more accurately the Caffè Americano. Another one of the ‘big 3’ coffees of the world, the Americano is a type of coffee created by diluting an espresso with hot water, retaining the intensity but altering the flavour from your typical brew. The strength and intensity vary depending on the amount of boiling water and/or Espresso shots used. The name ‘Americano’ is just the Italian way of saying American coffee; the origin of the name came way back in the era of WWII when American soldiers, stationed in Italy, found the strength of the traditional Italian espresso too powerful and went with a more watered-down variant, and thus the Americano was born. The Americano is also extremely popular specifically in Korea, due to Its lack of milk and in turn cheaper price.


The Cappuccino

Now we have another top dog in the world of coffee, the Cappuccino. Cappuccino is another, of many, Espresso based coffees that originally came from Austria with later evolutions taking place in the homeland of coffee, Italy. The key factor of this type of Coffee comes with its preparation, which is done with steamed milk foam. The drink, like many different coffees, has its own popular variations. Some of these include: replacing milk with non-dairy milk substitutes as well as flavouring the drink with cinnamon and/or chocolate powder. Cappuccino, while originally coming from Austria didn’t gain its current iconic name till it was introduced in Italy – where it was named after Capuchin Friars due to the colour of the espresso mixed with frothed milk was similar to the colour of the robes of Capuchin. One of the reasons for Cappuccino’s popularity likely comes from the steamed milk foam that lies on the top of the actual coffee. This is due to the fact it essentially became a canvas for artistic drawings to be made on top of the foam which, especially in our modern social media age, makes for a very aesthetic drink to buy coupled with the great taste. The aesthetics has made it a staple among social media posts involving coffee, especially among millennials.


Hopefully you’ve learnt a bit more about the wonderous world of coffee – we’ll be back soon with a more detailed look into the many, many variations! Before you go... why not put our instant coffee granules to the test, visit our shop and  try Quokka Coffee for your own homemade version of the three most popular coffee types. Shop here.

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