You love coffee, but you’ve not truly loved it until you’ve experimented a bit. Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. As such, there are variations and preferences in every country. The classics like Espresso and Latte might be all-pervasive, but don’t let that stop you from giving your taste buds a treat with some other flavors. With that in mind, here are 10 Underrated coffee flavors that only true enthusiasts know.
These coffee types aren’t exactly obscure, they’ve just been overshadowed by their popular siblings for too long.
10 Underrated Coffee Types That Enthusiasts Enjoy
I feel committed to my Espresso, but sometimes, I fall for the allure of the Macchiato. Translated from Italian, the name literally means “marked” or “stained” — a reference that divides the Macchiato from the Espresso. It starts its life as an espresso until it’s topped by a thin layer of milk foam. If you’ve been downing espressos for a while, give the Macchiato a shot.
The small amount of dairy sweetens the espresso ever so slightly and brings out some subtle notes from the coffee. It’s simple, it’s delicious, and it’s flavorful.
2. Caramel Macchiato
While it shares the name with our previous entry, the Caramel Macchiato is fairly distant from the espresso. In fact, you’ll probably find it closer to the Cappuccino, or more likely, the Starbucks hit, Frappuccino. It’s flavorful, and served cold, which should qualify the Caramel Macchiato to your attention as an iced coffee for this summer.
The conventional ingredients:
- Two shots of espresso
- Cold milk
- Vanilla syrup
- Caramel sauce
To start, pour the freshly made espresso over the ice as you would for a simple iced coffee. The next step is to add milk and vanilla syrup and blend the concoction to a smooth texture. As the last step, top it with caramel sauce. Yum!
3. Cafe Cubano
Cafe Cubano is a strong, very sweet brew that is popular in Cuba. You could unimaginatively describe it as a conventional black coffee, only stronger and sweeter. To be more specific, you start with an espresso. While your espresso machine whirrs and purrs to get your coffee going, add heaped teaspoons of sugar to the carafe.
Yup, this thing is supposed to be very sweet. Ideally, you’ll have a heaped teaspoon for every demitasse cup of sugar you want. You can use some hot water to make it easier to dissolve the sugar. Once you’re ready, briskly mix the espresso and sugar (or sugar water) to ensure every grain of sugar has dissolved.
4. Cafe Breve
This is an American variation to the classic Italian Cafe Latte. The ingredients are simple, being espresso and half-and-half cream. You start with espresso and top it up with a layer of half-and-half cream in equal volume. You could also use steamed half-and-half, and top your beverage with milk foam. Cafe Breve is quite an interesting variation on the Latte, and its unique approach certainly adds an extra dimension to this beverage.
5. Miel Latte
Another variation of the Cafe Latte, the Miel Latte originated in France. Because apparently everyone wants to make the Latte their own. Well, good for us, because many of these variations are wonderful – like the Miel Latte. The name is taken from the French word for honey, so as you can guess, this latte uses Miel (honey) for sweetening.
Miel Latte works great as hot or iced coffee. Personally, I think the honey works so much better in the iced coffee. A combination of creamy milk and espresso start off the latte, while honey adds sweetness, and cinnamon brings in its delicious flavor.
Cortado is a popular drink in Spain, Portugal, and Latin America. It’s also a close cousin to our beloved Macchiato. The process is fairly simple, you start with espresso and top it up with a layer of milk.
The difference is that the Cortado does not use the milk foam like Macchiato, but instead it uses frothed milk with higher consistency. You could also place the milk at a slightly lower temperature than the espresso, letting the milk complement the espresso and reduce its acidity.
7. Cafe Au Lait
Another mark of French ingenuity and culinary skills on coffee, the Cafe Au Lait is a subdued and subtle beverage. The coffee is matched with plenty of milk to create a robust taste. Cafe Au Lait does not require pure coffee. Instead, it is recommended that you use three-quarters of coffee mixed with one-quarter of chicory. Brew the coffee in half a cup of water. When you’re done, just add the same volume of milk as the coffee.
8. Flat White
This coffee originated in Australia or New Zealand, with each claiming the “invention”. This drink is another variation on the Cafe Latte, but with a stronger flavor of coffee. As the conventional method goes, you start with two shots of espresso, add three shots worth of steamed milk, and top it all up with microfoam. The double shot gives it the stronger coffee flavor, while the microfoam is, well, just regular foam gathered on top of the beverage.
9. Espresso And Tonic
Talk about a strong drink – espresso and tonic will have you tottering! Well, maybe not so much the tottering, but you certainly could do a bit of jig after drinking this flavorful coffee. As you may have surmised from the name, it is espresso mixed with a glass of tonic, and perhaps even topped with some foam. The sweetness of the tonic works wonders with the strength of the espresso. Plus, the chill tonic picks up quite a fight with the hot espresso, creating a combination that could very well be expressed with the effervescence in the cup!
Delicious coffee finds its soulmate in dessert for the Affogato. In a crude sense, it’s pretty much like iced coffee. Except, instead of regular ice, you get to use ice cream! Since the beverage originated in Milan, Italy, it usually employs Gelato (Italian-style ice cream). Although, there is no problem employing regular ice cream as well.
Interestingly, Affogato translates to “drowned”, representing the fate of the ice cream as it melts and makes specks on the coffee. For this amazing dessert/beverage, you place the ice cream in a cup, and then pour a shot of freshly brewed espresso into the cup. You could probably add two shots, but it’s much better to use just one and have the ice cream float, rather than immediately drown into the coffee.
Well, there you have it, a quick recommendation of some amazing and delicious coffee types you may have missed. The 10 types of coffee listed here are a must try for every coffee lover. The uniqueness of flavors, combinations, and servings make these quite alluring, underrated as they may be. Do you have a recommendation of a coffee that isn’t on the list? Let us know in the comments.