Drinks Hit-Or-Miss

The Meaning Behind Your Favorite Types of Coffee Drinks

Coffee is a wonderful thing, yet, people rarely consider the actual meaning behind the names of all the different types of coffee drinks around the world.

Thanks to an infographic created by, there’s some reasoning to exactly why and how the names of the world’s most popular coffee beverages came to be.


types of coffee drinks

While it might seem like it, the term espresso has nothing to do with speed. In Italian, espresso also translates to the phrase, “made to order.”

Additionally, “cafe express” is a term used to define a cup of coffee, “expressly” made for someone. When paired with the Italian word for coffee, “cafe,”  the term “cafe espresso,” means “pressed-out coffee.”


types of coffee drinks

Made simply with espresso and hot water, an Americano is about as American as apple pie.

In fact, there’s a popular theory that American soldiers in World War II would dilute their coffee with water, in order to lessen the bitter taste. Now, the term, “Americano” takes on a whole new meaning.


Types of coffee drinks

The Macchiato is well-known for its creamy, flavorful characteristics. It’s made with a shot of espresso, and topped with foamed milk.

In Italian, the word macchiato actually means, “spotted,” so essentially the name is a hat tip to the small amount of foamed milk the drink is topped with.

Piccolo Latte

Types of coffee drinks

The piccolo latte is a small, yet powerful shot made with espresso, and mixed with steamed micro foam. In Italian, piccolo means “small.”

The concept of this latte was created by baristas as a means for quality control. As a result, baristas were able to taste their brew — after milk had been added — without consuming too much coffee.


Types of coffee drinks

This dark, more concentrated version of a standard espresso shot is made with half the amount of water.  In Italy, ristretto means, “limited,” which translates to the limited amount of water used.

Caffe Latte

Types of coffee drinks

A latte is made with steamed milk and topped with foam. The Italian influence on this drink is apparent, as “latte” is the Italian word for milk. Just remember, in Italy, there’s a difference between “latte,” which is just milk, and “cafe latte,” which is steamed milk and espresso. 


Doppio, or double espresso, serves a vital role in the coffee industry as the primary drink used to judge barista espresso quality in competitions.

The Italian word doppio actually translates to, “double,” in English, which is fitting considering it’s double the amount of a single espresso.


Types of coffee drinks

A cappuccino is similar to a latte, but is topped with more foam and chocolate. “Cappuccino” comes from the latin term “caputium,” which describes a type of head covering.

Flat White

A cappuccino is a very light espresso beverage, similar to a latte, but with less foam on top.

Some might suggest that the term, “flat white” is used to describe coffee one could make at home, which is called a flat in some countries.


While mocha can be used to describe a color, or chocolate flavors, the Cafe Mocha was named after the Yemen’s Port of Al Mokha, where the mocha-specific beans were shipped.


types of coffee drinks

Traditionally a dessert beverage, an affogato is made with ice cream and espresso. However, the term, “affogato” is actually somewhat morbid, because in Italian it means, “drowned.”

Now that you’ve learned the secret meanings behind the names of different types coffee drinks, go order one at your local coffeeshop.

Drinks News Now Trending Restaurants

Starbucks Is Putting ICE CREAM In Their Coffee

If someone had to ask me what my favorite dessert is of all time, I’d immediately tell them it’s an affogato. This perfect blend of cold, creamy ice cream and warm, bitter espresso is ideal for any time of the year, and is the perfect way to end any day.

Usually, I have to go to a fancy-ish coffee shop that has ice cream and coffee to pick up one of these awesome desserts. Now, I’m going to be able to find one in my local Starbucks.

After the success of their ice cream beverages in the Seattle-based Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room and some specialty stores across the U.S., Starbucks has finally decided to test them out in their traditional cafe stores. According to the Orange County Register, half of the 200 Starbucks cafes in Orange County will be serving their affogato, cold brew malt, and cold brew float beverages starting TODAY.

All three beverages are made with vanilla ice cream from a small-batch creamery in Washington, and the difference in the beverages depends on the coffee. The affogato is a scoop of ice cream with two shots of espresso poured over it. The cold brew float takes either regular or Nitro cold brew and pours it over ice cream, while the cold brew malt blends the ice cream with cold brew concentrate and chocolate bitters.

Affogatos have been among the top five drinks ordered at the Roastery, which is a place where Starbucks’ new premium drinks are often tested before their release into stores. It’ll be exciting to get a taste of one of these, as well as seeing how the affogatos do in a more traditional Starbucks setting.

I’m just happy I have many more places to go get an affogato now.


This Waffle is Made Out of Vanilla Ice Cream Swimming in Maple Syrup Espresso


Sure, wonuts are cool, but they’re really just circle-shaped waffles. This waffogato, on the other hand, is something else entirely.

Infused with actual bits of salted Belgian waffle, this latest creation from Cronut-maker Dominique Ansel sees Tahitian vanilla ice cream set inside a waffle mold and poured over with warm maple-syrup-spiked espresso. Sprinkled sea salt and pearl sugar lend some extra crunch, while little tapioca pearls laid in the vanilla float up once the ice cream starts to melt.

It’s just the touch of gastronomic brilliance worthy of ringing in the Cronut’s anniversary (happy birthday little buddy!). Created for New York’s Taste of the Nation fundraiser tonight, the waffogato should be available at Dominique Ansel bakery “soon.” The rest of the world, meanwhile, will be waiting patiently for our knock-offs.

PicThx Dominique Ansel Instagram

Fast Food

McDonald’s Germany’s New Iced Coffee is Obnoxiously Pretty

iced coffee

It should come as no surprise that another country has better fast food than we do (see exhibits A through ZZZ). But this is just embarrassing.

In Germany, McDonald’s is whipping up some new iced coffees that bring our American dessert game to a whole new low. Called “eiskaffees” or “ice cream coffees,” they’re technically more affogato than coffee-flavored milk, and feature vanilla bourbon ice cream slathered with espresso and vanilla syrup, topped with a cool whipped cream swirl, reports Brand Eating.

Is it mind-blowingly innovative? No. Will it taste good? Probably for fast food. Is the fact that we don’t have it here enough to make us insanely jealous of Germany? Damn straight.


Gratuitous Drink Porn: Coffee Edition


We’re not such total snobs that we don’t appreciate a good latte. Black, brown, half tea, half sugar, Frappuccino or Americano, coffee is one of nature’s little, underrated blessings which has the unique quality of tasting great almost no matter how you spin it. During the week, we can tend to take coffee for granted, sucking it down indiscriminately between long pretending-to-work sessions. But this week, let’s kick things off the right way, right out of the gate. So sit back, relax and sip up with this special coffee edition of Gratutious Food Drink Porn.

(Beware: inordinate amounts of mason jars ahead.)


Butternut Chai Latte


Recipe: Adventures in Cooking


Frozen Irish Coffee


Recipe: Sugar Magnolia


Fresh Ground Iced Coffee


Recipe: Pretty Plain Jane


Cinnamon, Ginger and Nutmeg Pumpkin Spice Latte


Recipe: Pastry Affair


Blueberry Iced Coffee


Recipe: Anyzkowo


Spiked Gingerbread Cocktails


Recipe: Tasty Trials


Toffee Caramel Dessert Coffee


Recipe: Simple Bites


Kahlua Cafe


Recipe: Muy Bueno Cookbook


Kopi See


Recipe: Singapore Shiok


Orange Spiced Iced Coffee


Recipe: Kitchen Treaty


Orange and Cardamom Infused Cold Brew Coffee


Recipe: 10th the Kitchen


Bacon, Coffee and Maple Whiskey Martini


Recipe: She Knows


Creamy Boozy Iced Coffee


Recipe: Averie Cooks


Cafe Helado


Recipe: Amantes de la Cocina


Iced Coffee with Whipped Cream and Chopped Peanuts


Recipe: Rustykalna Kuchnia


Salted Caramel Affogato


Recipe: Vikalinka


Cold Brewed Iced Coffee


Recipe: Aris Menu


Frozen Thai Iced Coffee


Recipe: Girl Versus Dough


Coffee Cocktails and Star Biscuits


Recipe: Sandra Bakes a Party


Mint Mojito Iced Coffee


Recipe: Oh My Pancake


Caramel Iced Latte


Recipe: Offbeat and Inspired


Ultimate Iced Coffee


Recipe: Simply Delicious


Cold Brewed Maple Almond Iced Coffee


Recipe: Coffee and Quinoa


H/T Tasteologie, Tastespotting