Updated: Nov 10, 2022
Ah, coffee. The must-have caffeine kick consumed daily by 64% of adults in America. Everyone has their preferred way to drink it. We're here to break down your favorite coffee drinks. Grab a hot (or cold) cup and enjoy!
Espresso vs. Drip
Many people believe that by drinking espresso, they will be more caffeinated than if they drank a regular cup of coffee. Actually, for most espresso drinks such as a latte or cappuccino, when pulling a double shot of espresso, the caffeination is actually fairly equivalent to one cup of standard drip coffee.
This false belief of espresso being more caffeinated may have been born out of other incorrect information, such as the darker the coffee, the stronger the caffeination.
When coffee beans are roasted, the darker beans actually have a lower percentage of caffeine. Much like cooking reduces the nutrient potency of many foods, as you are heating the temperature of the coffee bean, you are essentially burning out the caffeine.
Contrary to popular belief, espresso doesn’t necessarily indicate the level of roast, but rather the size of the ground of coffee. Fine-ground coffee is what qualifies it as espresso because it creates a concentrated form of coffee as it is pressed into a small area. Some restaurants use darker roasted beans for espresso, but others may use a medium, or blonde roast, which would indeed produce a more caffeinated beverage.
What About Cold Brew?
Since heat helps extract more caffeine, cold brew is typically brewed like a concentrate, using a much higher-than-normal coffee-to-water ratio; around 1:4 to 1:8, as opposed to 16 to 20 parts water. This produces a much stronger, more caffeinated cup of coffee.
Now that you understand the caffeine difference between your regular drip coffee, cold brew, and espresso, you may find it difficult to choose which coffee drink will suit you. Save yourself from asking your barista to explain the difference between various drinks, and come in looking like an expert. We’ve got you covered!
An Americano is similar to your typical morning cup of joe, but is made with espresso instead of drip coffee.
Fun fact - in Italy during World War II, the primary way of drinking coffee was via espresso. The American soldiers stationed there were used to something less robust, so baristas would pull the shots of espresso and dilute it by filling the rest of the cup up with hot water. Fantistico! The Americano was born.
Cafe Au Lait
Cafe Au Lait is French for “coffee with hot milk”. Just like it sounds, it’s made with equal parts drip coffee and steamed milk.
A cafe latte is espresso with steamed milk and a shallow layer of foam on top. Any latte can have flavoring added to it.
A cappuccino is similar to a latte, but not the same. A standard cappuccino is served in a slightly smaller cup. Though it contains the same amount of espresso, the milk is divided evenly between steamed milk and foam, creating 3 equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, and foam.
Side note - Frappaccino is not a true espresso drink. It’s an American adaptation, which combines lettering from “frozen” with “cappuccino”. Frappaccino is really just an iced, flavored latte that’s been blended.
Those who are used to the “caramel macchiato” would be shocked if they were served a true macchiato. The word “macchiato” in Italian translates to “stained”, referring to the dollop of milk/cream that is added to the top of straight espresso and served in a very small cup.
Some places market having “caramel macchiatos”, but that’s actually not a real coffee drink. If you order a caramel macchiato at a chain coffee shop you are really just ordering a caramel latte. It’s ok if you wanna keep that just between us!
Phoenix Roasters sells and serves only top-ranked, quality coffee, purchased directly from our farmers at above Fairtrade price. We roast and distribute coffee from Panama, Guatemala, Honduras, and Ethiopia. Each can be roasted and ground according to your preferences.
You can visit our warehouse and coffeehouse at 2650 Main Street NW, Duluth, Georgia 30097 where we make standard drip coffee, espresso drinks, and nitro cold brew coffee.
If you are interested in supporting our efforts to end the cycle of poverty in the underdeveloped communities where we purchase coffee, you can donate directly to our Foundation. The Phoenix Roasters Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) that raises funds to help specifically with education, vocation, medical care, affordable housing, and church planting.