Coffee Glossary: The Difference Between Coffee Drinks Explained

Leah Bourne

2_28_11_SupremeCoffee7598Struggle to understand the difference between a cappuccino and a latte? What about an Americano and a redeye? You aren’t alone. Finally master the difference between different coffee terms with our handy glossary, and go to your local coffee shop and order like a pro from here on out.
AMERICANO: A shot of espresso diluted with hot water.
CAPPUCCINO: An espresso shot with foamed steamed milk poured on top. Cappuccino’s should be five to seven ounces total.
COLD DRIP COFFEE: Coffee grounds are soaked in cold water for approximately 12 hours, then strained. This is then used to make iced coffee with either milk or water.
CORTADO: Espresso topped with flat steamed milk.
DRIP COFFEE: Coffee made with a filter, a press pot, or a traditional coffee maker. Flavor is produced when the coffee comes in contact with water.
ESPRESSO: Concentrated coffee made when hot water is forced at pressure through fine coffee grounds. The drink is traditionally two ounces total.
FILTER COFFEE: Drip coffee made with a ceramic, glass, or plastic cone lined with a paper filter.
FLAT WHITE: Espresso topped with flat, steamed milk.
FRENCH PRESS: Coffee made by soaking grounds with hot water in a vessel with a plunger and metal filter that pushes the grounds to the bottom.
LATTE: Espresso topped with steamed milk. The drink is traditionally eight-ounces or more.
MACCHIATO: Espresso topped with just a bit of foamed steamed milk. The drink is served as two to three ounces total.
MOCHA: Espresso combined with chocolate and steamed milk.
REDEYE: A cup of brewed coffee with espresso.
RISTRETTO: Espresso pulled short (made with less water), which creates a more concentrated drink.
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