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Different types of coffee

Australians love their coffee! It can be overwhelming to understand the different types of coffee and hot drinks on offer at your local café, but we want to give you a guide or a list of popular coffee drinks.

There are two different categories: black coffee or white coffee. Black coffee refers to coffee that doesn't have any milk. Black coffee can be an espresso shot from a barista machine, hot or cold brew, drip coffee or made from instant powder. White coffee refers to a coffee with milk.

Black coffee

Espresso / short black

An espresso is also known as a short black and has one shot of coffee. A good espresso is about 25-30mL and has a small amount of crema on top. Crema is a light froth that appears on top of a coffee extraction.

Double espresso / doppio

Double espressos are a double extraction of a single espresso. This is about 50-60mL and is highly concentrated and strong.


Coming from the Italian word ‘restricted’, ristretto is a restricted variation of an espresso, usually the only 15-20mL. The main difference between a ristretto and an espresso is that a ristretto captures the strongest part of the coffee.

Long black

A long black is made from a double espresso shot topped up with boiling water. A regular long black is usually about 170-180mL made up of 50-60mL double espresso and 120mL boiling water.

Americano / Lungo

Depending on what type of café you go, to an americano or lungo will be similar to a long black. Some cafes have more or less espresso in the americano or lungo. If you would specifically like an americano or lungo, check with your local café to see how they make it.

different types of coffee
Image: Different type of coffee visual.

White coffee

Australians are known for beautiful latte art, and that can only be done with coffee with milk. Whether you opt for cow’s milk or any of the other non-dairy alternatives such as soy, oat, almond or even macadamia – the options for a milky coffee are endless.


The most popular coffee drink is a latte. Made with an espresso shot, 3/4 flat milk and 1/4 frothed milk and typically served in a glass. Lattes are commonly confused with a flat white, however there is a difference! Lattes are served in a glass, flat whites are served (generally) in a small ceramic mug. Lattes have 1/4 frothed milk, flat whites have very very small amounts of frothed milk.


Cappuccinos are made with an espresso shot, 2/3 flat milk and 1/3 frothed milk. Cappuccinos are usually topped with chocolate dusting. The main difference between a cappuccino and latte is the amount of frothed milk, cappuccinos have more frothed milk. Cappuccinos are usually served in a small ceramic mug, lattes are served in a glass.

Flat white

Made with a shot of espresso and mostly steamed flat milk with a very thin layer of foam at the top.


A mocha is a combination of a cappuccino and a hot chocolate. It is a cappuccino with chocolate powder or syrup. This is a much sweeter version of a cappuccino for those who want the energy hit of a cappuccino and the sweetness of a chocolate!


Piccolo is Italian for small and is basically a small extra strong latte. Made with an espresso shot and equivalent amounts of steamed frothed milk. It is technically half coffee and half milk.


Magics have become very popular in large cities such as Melbourne and Sydney. They are a ristretto shot (the strongest part of the coffee) topped with steamed milk to 3/4 of a small ceramic mug. The difference between a piccolo and a magic is that a magic is generally served in a small ceramic mug and the coffee used.

Takeaway coffee drinks

When enjoying your takeaway coffee, whether it is a long black, cappuccino, or latte (Australia’s most popular type of coffee!, make sure you think of the environment and bring a reusable cup.

If you don’t have a reusable cup, use a mug!

We do understand that at times you want to use a single-use disposable cup, just make sure you recycle your coffee cup properly. Single-use disposable cups cannot be recycled in traditional recycling, but can be with specialised coffee cup recycling program such as Simply Cups, find a coffee cup collection location near you.

Simply Cups accept all types of paper cups including compostable and biodegradable cups!


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