How do you like your Coffee Specialty? Espresso, Machiato, Latte, Cappuccino, Filter or Drip

There are so many ways to serve your gourmet coffee specialty. Each bring the rich aromatic flavors in a different manner.

We will have a look at some of these ways here, and I am sure that someone, somewhere will contact us to tell of one that we missed. If that is you, please do! We would be delighted to hear from you and feature your suggestion. Contact us! and list your coffee specialty.

So, in no particular order:

  • Black Coffee - my very favorite. (No particular order?) :o)
  • Espresso - probably the basis of most coffee specialty drinks
  • Filter or American - which is the way the majority of black coffee is made
  • Cappuccino - espresso with milk and a frothy topping
  • Turkish Coffee – a very strong coffee often served with a glass of cold water
  • Café latte – similar to cappuccino but served in a tall glass
  • Flat white – mainly in Australia and New Zealand
  • Café au lait - similar to latte
  • Caffè machiato or Espresso machiato
  • Greek Coffee – similar to Turkish

Black coffee can be made in different ways, including: drip or filter, percolated, vacuum brewed, or coffee press, often called French Press. This is served without anything else other than sometimes a bit of sugar or sweetener. Some may not think of plain black coffee as a coffee specialty, but what really makes black coffee good is using the very best gourmet coffee specialty brands.

Espresso is made using a finely ground, dark roasted bean, where the water is forced through it under pressure. It is a strong coffee served with a "crema" or frothy, creamy looking layer of foam over it. It is difficult to get the exact process right with this coffee specialty. Most "makers" need special training before being able to present a top class Espresso. Usually served black, the espresso flavor is distinctive due to the somewhat oily crema. Espresso is also the basis of many other coffee specialty serving styles. Having the right Espresso Coffee maker goes a long way toward making a good espresso.

Filter or American, sometimes known as "Drip brew" is made by letting hot water drip onto coffee grounds held in a coffee filter. See some of our favorite filter machines. This style can be made as strong or as weak as one likes simply by adjusting the mix of coffee grounds to water used. The coarseness of the grind will also affect the strength of this style.

Cappuccino is made by mixing equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk froth. Sometimes you will find it presented with a light sprinkling of powdered cocoa over the top. Actually it is not mixed at all, but rather espresso is gently poured through the foamy milk, where it sinks to the bottom of the cup, and the foam closes over it.

Cappuccino is right up your street if you have an artistic flair. This coffee specialty lends itself to some wonderful decorative patterns. How do you like this example of latte art? (Must be something for Valentine's day!)

Turkish coffee has it's origins in, would you guess? Turkey! (Yes, I know that is debatable). A narrow topped pot is used where the very finely ground coffee is mixed with water and sugar. This is brought to boil only for a relatively short time. This produces a very strong coffee with foam on the top and a thick layer of sludgy grounds at the bottom of the cup, often referred to as the "mud". It is usually served in small cups. Sometimes it is flavored with cardamom. This is still the drink of preference in vast areas concentrated around Turkey, and including parts of North Africa.

Café latte is usually served in a tall glass and is made with steamed milk and espresso. The precise proportions of steamed milk to Espresso can vary but is usually around two-thirds milk to a shot of espresso. The foam created by the steaming of the milk is used as a topping. The trick with a latte is to allow the espresso to pour into the milk gently from one side. If done correctly this creates the unique three layers visible through the glass.

Flat White also comprises one part espresso with two parts steamed milk, but no foam. The fact that it is normally served in a cappuccino cup makes it a much stronger drink than the latte. Both of these drinks can be flavored with a syrup or other type of flavoring.

Café au lait is made with equal parts milk and drip-brewed coffee. Otherwise it is similar to the latte and flat white.

Caffè machiato, sometimes known as espresso machiato is really a normal espresso with just a small amount of steamed milk as a "seal" on top. This is said to seal in the special aromas and flavors generated by the espresso process.

Greek coffee is very similar to Turkish coffee. With Greek coffee, the beans are ground into a finer powder. Like Turkish, Greek coffee is served in a small cup, and is always served with a glass of water. A small biscuit is served more often than not. There is a legend that Greek coffee is ground even finer than Turkish, because the Turks kept the "best" coffee for themselves during the time of the Turkish occupation. Only the "left overs" went to the Greeks, and this was that which was ground so fine as to be rejected in the grinding process. Fact or legend? Who knows? What is most important is that the Greeks love their unique style of coffee!

Naturally, there are many other types and styles of coffee specialty, especially when it comes to unique indigenous methods. We will look at a few here, without much detail:

  • Bica is a Portuguese version of espresso. Generally it is a bit milder than conventional espresso.
  • Americano is made by combining espresso together with hot water to achieve a texture close to drip-brewed or filter coffee but having a different flavor.
  • Mocha is a latte with chocolate added.
  • So-called Cowboy coffee is a simple boiling of coarse grounds in a pot. Once it has brewed to your liking, the grounds settle and the liquid is then poured. There are many coffee lovers who use this method as a preference. In fact it is widely used in some of the Scandinavian countries. Hardly coffee specialty, but popular nevertheless.
  • Café con leche is in essence a Spanish version of Café au lait
  • In Latte macchiato a tall glass of steamed milk is served with just a dash of espresso. It is often served with a flavoring agent.

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