Different types of coffee

Rachel Thomas

UK

Just like the drink itself, the world of different types of coffee and different types of coffee drinks is incredibly rich and vibrant. From the beans to the grind sizes to the brew methods and recipes, there’s always more to explore. As a coffee lover, you can never get bored!

Discover the bean belt

Most of the coffee we drink comes from the ‘bean belt’, a strip of countries lying between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. This covers: 
•  Central America
•  South America
•  Indonesia
•  Southeast Asia
•  Africa and Arabia
•  Australia, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Jamaica.

The soil is nice and rich, and there's plenty of warm shade, which coffee plants love. 

Flavours from coffee regions

With so many countries and continents growing and producing coffee, you can explore a wonderful variety of flavour profiles – from caramel to floral, from smokey to citrus. 

To taste the flavours is to travel the world (well, almost!), as you move from the nutty tastes of Costa Rica and Honduras to the fruity notes of Ethiopia or Kenya. 

To best appreciate these flavours at their freshest and most pungent, choose a coffee grinder to grind the beans yourself. This means those precious beans will be freshly ground and still bursting with their natural flavours and oils.

See the coffee grinder >

Coffees from plant to roast

The story starts with the evergreen coffee tree, Coffea, which grows in tropical climates. Coffee beans are the seeds from the tree’s cherries. Once the cherries are picked, the beans are removed, hulled and, for higher quality coffee, polished.

The beans are then put into a drum and roasted, doubling in size and changing colour from green, to brown. This roasting stage is considered an art in itself, bringing out all the aromas and flavours for you to enjoy in your fresh cup of coffee.

Light or dark? Different coffee roasts

Roasting transforms the green, raw, tasteless beans into the brown, aromatic, flavourful beans we know and love. Most roasts fall into the following categories. Which is your favourite? 
•  light – for more mild-bodied coffees: floral, fragrant and citrussy
•  medium – a stronger and more ‘traditional’ flavour: sweet and rich
•  medium-dark – a deeper-bodied taste: spicy and bittersweet
•  dark – a heavy, strong flavour: bitter and smoky.

Roasts for different brew methods 

There are so many ways to brew coffee today that it can be difficult to know where to start. Are you a pour-over coffee fan or prefer the convenience of drip-coffee? Do you like the robust hit of espresso or enjoy the gentle charms of cold brew?

Whichever way you like to make your coffee, it should have a bearing on which type of roast you choose. That’s because dark roasts are more porous and suit faster brew methods like espresso, which extract the flavour quickly. Light roasts are less porous and so it takes longer for the hot water to extract the flavours of the coffee grounds. 

Different types of coffee beans

Passionate coffee fans know that there are four main types of coffee bean:
1.  Arabica varieties are the most popular, with a smooth, sweet, chocolatey taste
2.  Robusta, next in popularity, is a stronger, almost bitter bean
3.  Liberica is much rarer and more distinctive, known for its smoky flavour
4.  Excelsa, although part of the Liberica family, has a unique tart, fruity taste.

Some coffee drinkers prefer a single origin, while others swear by blends. Wondering whether single origin or blends are right for you? Blends tend to be more well rounded as the flavours are carefully balanced and toned down. Single origin coffees allow you to sample the pure, distinct characteristics of the region to the full, but can be wild and intense.

Be an expert on coffee grinds

Once you’ve selected your beans and roast, it’s time to decide on your grind. You won’t be surprised to hear that again, it’s not a case of one size fits all. Different types of coffee brews need specific grinds to bring out the best flavour from the beans. 

General rules to keep in mind:
•  Coarse grind – looks like coarsely cracked pepper, good for a cold brew coffee maker
•  Medium coarse grind – about the size of sea salt, perfect for French press or percolator coffee 
•  Medium grind – the most common grind setting, ideal for filter coffee machines
•  Fine grind – like the consistency of ground cinnamon, best for espresso.

The KitchenAid coffee grinder gives you maximum precision to control the final size. You can check the included chart to make sure that you get it just right without any hassle.

Look at the coffee grinder >

Keeping your beans fresh

Preserve the freshness of any unused beans for as long as possible, by storing them in an opaque, air-tight container at room temperature. Why? Because coffee easily gets tainted and absorbs odours, moisture and flavours from the air. That means it’s best to keep it away from heat, light and moisture. 

Specially designed hoppers are built into our KitchenAid coffee grinder to ensure your beans keep that precious fresh-roasted flavour. Using them as quickly as possible means that you can enjoy them at their wonderful best, before they start to degrade and stale. 

Tip: Grind the amount of coffee you need each day for the best coffee drinking experience. 

Different types of coffee drinks

When it comes to different coffee drinks on the menu in coffee houses, they usually start with the perfect espresso and then combine steamed milk and/or milk foam. With our espresso machine you have a steam wand included, so that you’re all ready to try out favourites like: 
•  Cappuccino – 1/3 espresso; 1/3 steamed milk; 1/3 milk foam
•  Café Latte – 1/3 espresso; 2/3 steamed milk; small layer of milk foam
•  Americano – a shot of espresso topped with hot water (to taste)
•  Macchiato – a shot of espresso and a small dollop of milk foam
  Doppio – a double espresso
•  Flat White – a doppio (double shot), with smooth steamed milk.

Check out the Espresso machine - Artisan >

 Which espresso machine is for you?

Stainless steel Artisan espresso machine

Espresso machine - Artisan

Dual, smart temperature sensorsYes
Flat, commercial portafilterYes
Low press pre-infusionYes
Accessories includedYes
Colours7
Material housingStainless steel
Guarantee5 years

Espresso machine

Dual, smart temperature sensorsYes
Flat, commercial portafilterYes
Low press pre-infusionYes
Accessories includedYes
Colours2
Material housingDurable plastic
Guarantee2 years

Black espresso machine

"Love is in the air, and it smells like coffee."

 

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