BY Cheng Ma

For the uninitiated, coffee can be quite intimidating. What’s the difference between a latte and a flat white? How big is an espresso? 

Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of the different types of coffee to help you understand all the fancy Italian names. Next time you’re at the coffee shop with your friends, you’ll be the most interesting person to talk to, or at least the most knowledgeable.


This is the fundamental component of coffee and is what other espresso-based coffees are built on. It’s coffee in its purest form, and so may not be suitable for those new to the drink. This is the drink for experienced coffee connoisseurs that require the coffee pick up in the most efficient way.

Comes in the espresso (short-black), double shot espresso, ristretto (more-concentrated espresso with half the water content) and affogato (single or double espresso shot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream) variants.


An espresso with more water, also known as the ‘long black’. Suitable for those that are intermediate level coffee drinkers with a big day of study or work ahead of them.


Espresso with a dollop of steamed milk and foam on top to ease the intensity of the coffee. Suitable for intermediate drinkers looking to transition to drinking espressos.

Comes in both the ‘short’ (one shot of espresso) and ‘long’ (double shot of espresso) variants.


Includes a shot of espresso, steamed milk, micro-foam and chocolate sprinkled on top to give you a drink that is suitable for those still new to coffee and want something to sip on when you have a steady day of studying or work ahead of you.

The flat white is a variant of the cappuccino that removes the foam and chocolate on top, being equally suitable for the scenarios mentioned above. Whichever coffee you choose is contingent on how sweet and foamy you like your drink.


Similar to a cappuccino, however it has less foam and chocolate placed on top of the drink. This drink is quite suitable for beginner coffee drinkers.

The piccolo latte (piccolo) is a latte variant in an espresso cup. It has a very strong but mellowed down taste, thanks to the milk and foam present in the drink.


This drink is half hot chocolate and half coffee. It’s suitable as your very first coffee ever. It is also suitable if you are looking for the taste of a hot chocolate but want the coffee pick me up.

This drink is made by mixing chocolate powder, an espresso shot, steamed milk and micro-foam into the beverage.

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