Getting to Know the World of Coffee

Owning and running a café can be a great way to connect with new people and offer a valuable dining service to your community. Cafes are popular because they combine the pleasures of eating lighter fare with the complexities of the coffee world. It's important, therefore, to understand the different types of coffee beverages that you may feature in your café.

Coffee Beans

Of major importance is a basic understanding of coffee beans. Coffee beans are the seed of a berry that grows in many tropical regions throughout the world. Coffee beans are roasted before they are ground and used to brew coffee. During the roasting process, the beans are exposed to high temperatures. Typically, coffee will "pop" twice, which is an indication that it has finished roasting. For darker roasts, the coffee beans are exposed to greater heat. The darker the roast, the stronger the coffee flavor will be in the finished beans. For an incredibly fresh taste, coffee beans are usually ground in a coffee grinder right before being used in making coffee.

Drip Coffee

Drip coffee is one of the most popular coffee beverages throughout the world. Drip coffee is made in a coffee brewer by running hot water over ground coffee beans. Coarsely ground coffee beans will typically produce a weaker coffee blend, while finely ground coffee beans will produce a stronger brew. Drip coffee will likely be the most popular beverage ordered by customers in a café.


Throughout most of Europe, espresso takes the place of drip coffee. Espresso beans are darkly roasted coffee beans. Espresso is made by forcing boiling water out through a metal filter that contains tightly packed coffee grounds..The combination of the dark roast and the method of brewing espresso makes a very strong and almost creamy finished product. Espresso can be drunk by itself, known as drinking a shot of espresso, or it can be mixed with steamed milk, cold milk, or hot water for a variety of other drinks.


A cappuccino is a very popular café beverage. Consumers like cappuccinos because they are frothy, creamy, and indulgent. Cappuccinos are made by mixing espresso with a combination of equal parts steamed milk and milky foam. A dry cappuccino has less milk and more foam, while a wet cappuccino is more similar to a latte.


A latte is made by mixing espresso shots with steamed milk. Sometimes lattes are prepared with a layer of foam on the top. Flavors can be added to a latte, such as chocolate, white chocolate, caramel, vanilla, or hazelnut syrups, to create different types of latte beverages. A latte mixed with chocolate is usually referred to as a mocha.


An Americano is a slangy beverage that gets its name from the members of the American military who visited the European continent during the Second World War. Because espresso was considered too strong and bitter, American G.I.s mixed their espresso with hot water. Those who like the flavor of espresso without the strength will enjoy this caffeinated beverage.

The world of coffee is becoming more and more popular, and cafes that offer a combination of coffee beverages and light lunch items will likely have great success in the current economy. Understanding the world of coffee and the different types of brews, mixes, and beverages that are popular among coffee aficionados will help your café restaurant be a definite crowd-pleaser.