Coffee. It seems no matter where you are, who you’re with, or what you’re doing, a cup of coffee is usually available. Not only is coffee used as a quick picker-upper, but some people aso use it for beautification purposes. Coffee contains a heap of antioxident compounds, natural oils that help moisturize the skin, and is a natural astringent, detoxifier and exfoliant.
Coffee grounds can be used as a facial scrub to eliminate dead skin cells and improve skin circulation. In terms of coffee drinks, how well versed are you on the many different coffees that are available? Do you know the difference between a café au lait and a café latte? Below is a breakdown of the various different kinds of coffees and ways coffee can be prepared. Enjoy, and we hope you find something new!
First, it’s good to know that there are two primary species of coffee in the world: coffea arabica and coffea robusta. More than three quarters of those sold in the world are a variety of coffea arabica while the bulk of the remainder is coffea robusta. Most Arabica varieties are named after the country or region where they are predominantly grown or found.
Second, it’s also good to know that there is a difference between ‘espresso’ and ‘coffee’. Espresso is not a specific bean, but rather a specific process by which coffee is brewed. In southern Italy, for example, a darker roast of bean is generally preferred, while in northern Italy, it is more common to use a lighter roast. This type of brew is made by forcing very hot water under high pressure through finely ground, compacted coffee. Generally, this ‘quick’ process is achieved by using an espresso machine and steam pressure, is generally more dense than other brews and has a creamy foam on top known as ‘crema’. If you are not looking to have an espresso based drink, then expect the brewing of the bean to be done more slowly either by drip or filter, French press, or percolator. These kinds of brewed drinks are more simply known as ‘coffee’. All coffee bean drinks are based on either ‘espresso’ or ‘coffee’, have varying strengths and flavors, and both kinds can include milk, added flavorings, and even alcohol.
Espresso can be enjoyed by itself or as a base to other drinks. Here is our list of favorite espresso drinks:
Cappucino is espresso; a small amount of hot milk, with remaining amount of cup filled with steamed milk foam (optimally rising above the side of the cup).
Café Latte is an espresso that has at least 2 to 3 times more steamed milk than a regular espresso, and a very small amount of foam on top. In parts of Europe and Scandinavia this is traditionally called a café au lait. In France it is called a ‘grand crème’ and in Germany, it’s called a ‘Milchkaffee.’ In Portugal a ‘galao’.
Latte Macchiato is a small amount of espresso with milk foam on top. A macchiato is very similar to a café latte in its ingredients but is about the preparation of the drink. Here, the milk is poured and the espresso is added to the milk. (the literal meaning of the drink is ‘stained milk’). The amount of espresso is about half, and it features more foam on top than a traditional latte.
Café Mocha is hot milk, milk or dark chocolate. A mocha is a chocolate variant of the café latte with the chocolate coming traditionally in the form of a sweet cocoa powder but also sometimes in a syrup. Like a cappuccino, a mocha contains the distinctive milk froth on top although, like a hot chocolate, it is sometimes served with whipped cream on top. Variations include using white chocolate for a white mocha, and blends of different chocolates to make black and white, tan, marble, tuxedo and zebra mochas.
Americano is 1-2 shots espresso and hot water. The strength of this drink varies by the amount of water and espresso used and resembles the flavor and body of a drip coffee. It is said to have been devised as a sort of insult to Americans who wanted their Italian espresso diluted. Specifically, it is made by adding water to espresso and is sometimes confused with a long black.
Long Black: Hot water, 1-2 shots espresso. This is very similar to an Americano except that the espresso is poured into the hot water. This order allows the long black to retain the crema from the espresso and creates a less voluminous and more strongly flavored drink.
Flat White is 2 shots espresso and steamed milk specifically prepared with a unique pour. The milk is prepared by steaming and then folding the upper frothy layers into the lower milky layers. It is then poured from the less-frothy bottom which creates a white coffee with the crema still intact on top and gives the drink a velvety and smooth texture. This drink originated in New Zealand and has since spread to Australia and the U.S., but is rarely found in Europe.
Café au lait is coffee with small amount of added steamed milk. Literally translated, it means ‘coffee with milk’. An au lait is generally served in a cup – a distinction which separates it from a café latte, which is espresso based and served in a ‘bowl’. However, depending on where the drink is served in Europe and even the U.S., it is interchangeably made with espresso or coffee (for example, some parts of Italy use espresso exclusively so an au lait is simply espresso with milk.)
White Coffee is coffee with small amount of cold milk. Predominantly served in England, this is a variation of how the British serve their tea (cold milk first, hot tea poured over).
Irish coffee: A coffee combination with whiskey and cream, often further sweetened with sugar.
Viennese Coffee is coffee topped and served with whipped cream. In some cafes in Austria, a small amount of milk is poured before adding the whipped cream. Vanilla, chocolate or cinnamon is also sometimes sprinkled on the cream.
Eiskaffee is chilled coffee, milk, vanilla ice cream and sometimes sugar and/or whipped cream. Literally translated from German means ‘ice cream coffee’.
Want to hear some more good things about coffee? Studies show that:
The caffeine in coffee can specifically increase the burning of fat, by as much as 10% in obese individuals and 29% in lean people.
The caffeine in coffee makes the fat cells break down body fat, releasing them into the blood as free fatty acids and making them available as fuel. It’s not surprising to see that caffeine can improve physical performance by 11-12%, on average.
A single cup of coffee contains (21):
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 11% of the RDA.
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5): 6% of the RDA.
Manganese and Potassium: 3% of the RDA.
Magnesium and Niacin (B3): 2% of the RDA.
People who drink the most coffee have a 23-50% lower risk of getting type 2 diabetes; one study showing a reduction as high as 67%.
Coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease, which is a leading cause of dementia worldwide.
Coffee appears to lower the risk of developing depression.
So now you have a overview of different coffee drinks available and the health benefits of coffee. While there is no conclusive proof of the benefits of drinking coffee on wrinkles and anti-aging, it’s quite clear from the enormous popularity of the drink that it tastes great and will be around for a long, long time.