How to Make 4 of the Most Popular Types of Coffee Drinks

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If you’re a coffee lover with a weakness for yummy frothy and deliciously dark beverages, you probably know many of the most popular types of coffee can be rather pricey. 


Perhaps you’re ready to try your hand at making your own caffeinated creations at home, but you’re not sure how to even begin because let’s face it…making specialty coffee drinks can be a bit confusing. 


Each drink is made with its own particular roast of beans, particular grind, temperature, and ingredients. 


But that’s where I come in. In case you don’t know, I’m a no-frills kind of coffee person. 


I love a fancy and fun coffee beverage now and then, but I’m a working mom that’s always looking for a bargain and frequently reheats coffee too.


I don’t have a pour-over system at home and I’m happy to use my Keurig every now and then to make a quick and easy cup of coffee right at home.


And, I’ll be honest, I always thought making my own lattes and mochas was too hard. 


But, now that I’ve been doing more with coffee and researching recipes and brewing methods I’ve learned it’s really not hard to make your own coffee drink at home. 


You can make it complicated if you want to, but you can also do simple takes on the most popular types of coffee drinks and get amazing, tasty results! 


So, just relax, sit back and take a look at this simple primer on the most popular types of coffee drinks and how to make them right in your kitchen.




The Most Popular Types of Coffee Drinks Pin for Pinterest


First, let’s start with the basics and that’s learning the four most popular types of coffee drinks in general. 


You have Espresso, Mocha, Cappuccino, and Latte. There are more out there but, in the coffee world, these are typically the most popular. 


Personally, I like to get lattes when I’m out at a coffee shop or maybe a mocha. 


So let’s dive into each particular drink and learn a bit more about what it’s comprised of.


Espresso: A much stronger drink than a regular cup of Joe, the key to making a good espresso is the grind of the bean. 


A single cup of espresso on a server tray with a pitcher of coffee and coffee beans scattered on the tray.

You should use finely ground, quality coffee beans instead of the coarse grind used in regular coffee. 


To make an espresso, you use one tablespoon of coffee per ounce of water. 


The ground beans should be packed firmly and evenly in the basket prior to brewing. 


Because of its strength, a small cup is typically used for serving espresso (think of it like a coffee shot).


You can brew espresso in a Keurig or a drip coffee maker. Just make sure to get a good quality espresso bean and use that one tablespoon of coffee to one ounce of water ratio (a 1:1). 



Mocha: This chocolatey coffee drink is a blend of coffee, hot chocolate, and steamed milk. 


Steamed milk sounds fancy, but you can easily make it in the microwave with this method here.


Next up, prepare your favorite hot cocoa. 


Then add just a shot or so of coffee (to taste) and finish it off with steamed milk. 


Serve in a clear mug with some whipped cream on top for the perfect coffee house experience.



Cappuccino: A shot of espresso mixed with equal portions of steamed and frothed milk makes up this classic concoction.


To make frothed milk just use an electric milk frother


Add the shot of coffee to a large mug, and then fill it with the steamed and frothed milk mixture. 


You can dust the top with a sprinkle of cinnamon, cocoa powder, or nutmeg for additional flavor.



Latte: This yummy hot beverage is similar to a cappuccino, but has a different preparation.


A picture of latte art on a cup of coffee

Lattes use the same ingredients as a cappuccino, but the difference is that your frothy milk is combined with the coffee, rather than poured separately on top. 


Start with a shot of espresso at the bottom of your mug, and then slowly pour the milk down the side. 


The goal is to blend the two gently, so don’t dump it all in…easy does it!




Now that we’ve learned the basics of some of the most popular types of coffee drinks, check out some fun and easy recipes you can try right at home!







Eggnog Espresso

  • 8 ounces (1 cup) eggnog
  • 2 ounces espresso (or substitute with strongly brewed coffee)
  • 2 tbsp. chocolate syrup
  • Whipped cream
  • Shaved chocolate
  • Ground nutmeg


  1. Combine coffee and eggnog in a medium saucepan. 
  2. Heat on medium until thoroughly warmed. 
  3. Stir in chocolate syrup after removing from heat. 
  4. Pour into a mug. 
  5. If desired, add the topping of whipped cream with shaved chocolate and a dusting of nutmeg for garnish.

Tip: To make a larger batch of this espresso, use 1 quart of eggnog, 1 cup of espresso (or strong coffee), and ½ cup of chocolate syrup.



Peppermint Mocha

close up of a Peppermint Mocha
  • 1 cup of coffee brewed to your taste/liking
  • 1 packet of your favorite hot chocolate
  • 1 tbsp. peppermint syrup (store-bought)
  • 1-2 oz. milk
  • Whipped cream
  • Crushed candy cane


  1. Pour coffee into a mug, and then slowly add hot chocolate while stirring. 
  2. Be sure to dissolve the hot chocolate mixture thoroughly. 
  3. Add peppermint syrup and stir again. (You can add more syrup if you want, just adjust according to your preference.)
  4. Add just a splash of milk, then top with whipped cream and crushed candy canes to garnish if desired.



Milky Way Mocha

  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • ½ cup milk, steamed
  • Caramel sauce, to taste
  • Whipped cream


  1. Add caramel sauce to a mug and pour coffee over top. 
  2. Stir well until sauce is mixed thoroughly into liquid. 
  3. Then add steamed milk and stir again. 
  4. Dollop whipped cream on top and drizzle caramel syrup on top (iif desired). 



Frozen Banana Latte

  • 1 ½ cups strong black coffee
  • ¾ cup half and half
  • 2 frozen bananas sliced in half
  • 2 tbsp. chocolate syrup
  • ½ cup ice cubes


  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender until fully combined and frothy. 
  2. Pour into tall glasses. 
  3. Serve immediately and enjoy. (Seriously, it’s that easy!)



Fancy Italian Coffee

  • 3 cups of strong black coffee
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • Whipped cream
  • Ground cinnamon


  1. Add coffee and milk to a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. 
  2. Moisten just the top edges of four coffee mugs with water, and then dip into a shallow dish of brown sugar.  
  3. Pour coffee mixture into mugs. 
  4. Place whipped cream on top with a dash of ground cinnamon to garnish, if desired. 



Black Forest Coffee

  • 1 ½ cups hot coffee
  • ¼ cup chocolate syrup
  • 2 tbsp. maraschino cherry juice
  • 1 ½ tsp sugar
  • Whipped cream
  • Maraschino cherry
  • Chocolate syrup


  1. Combine the first four ingredients in a mug. Stir well to mix. 
  2. Place a dollop of whipped cream with a cherry on top, and then drizzle with chocolate syrup to garnish if desired.


A single hand holding a cup of hot coffee on a white background.


Although the fancy equipment makes it taste more like a coffee shop, you can easily make some of the most popular types of coffee beverages from the comfort of your own home.


You just need some simple coffee gadgets and good coffee.


Do you make coffee drinks at home? If so, what is your favorite coffee beverage to make? 


Tell me about it in the comments! 




6 thoughts on “How to Make 4 of the Most Popular Types of Coffee Drinks”

  1. I love this post. I love coffee…and I blame my daughter for that. I hated coffee until she became a teen and introduced me to lattes. That was about 14 years ago. And just this Christmas I moved up to my own espresso machine. Believe me there’s a huge difference in taste/pure yumminess between the Keurig and this machine. Anyway- I look forward to trying your recipes! They look amazing!

  2. I’m a HUGE coffee lover. Seriously there is not a day that goes by that I can’t go without a day without drinking A LEAST one cup of coffee; sometimes two depending on if I need the extra boost of energy. These recipes sound awesome too! Especially that frozen banana one; I’m definitely gonna be giving that a try very soon!

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Hi there! My name is Katie and I’m so glad you are here.


KT Likes Coffee is a lifestyle blog with a focus on coffee and motherhood.


My goal is to help busy moms and dads find the best cup of coffee to tackle the day with and also be a resource for busy parents who need a little extra help or encouragement.


Because let’s be frank, parenting is hard! So come grab a cup of coffee with me! 

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