Here are the top coffee drinks to try at home! Hone your barista skills with coffee recipes for pour over, cold brew, cappuccino, and more.
Love a good coffee drink? Or simply wondering the differences between the types? Here’s a list of our top popular coffee drinks that give you the most bang for your buck: and are easy to make at home! We love coffeeshops, but there’s something special about mixing up coffee recipes at home, too. Whether you’re trying to understand the difference between a latte vs flat white or ready to whip them up at home…we’ve got you covered! Here are our top 10 coffee drinks to make, and recipes for each one.
And now…the top popular coffee drinks (plus recipes)!
One of the simplest of all coffee drinks? Pour over coffee! The glass Chemex looks like a science beaker, but it makes the perfect cup of black coffee. It will take your coffee game to the next level. Here's the equipment you need to make the perfect cup of pour over.
What's pour over coffee? Pour over coffee is drip coffee made by pouring water over coffee grounds in a filter. Drip coffee is made using a percolator coffee machine, whereas pour over is made by a human. Controlling the pouring over the water helps to bring out the nuances in the flavor of the coffee beans.
Next up: the Americano. Smooth out your espresso into a Caffe Americano, a type of coffee drink that’s tempered with a bit of hot water! This is our favorite way to drink espresso because it makes the drinking experience last a little longer, and it smooths the bitter flavor into something altogether new.
What's an Americano? An Americano is an espresso drink made with hot water and espresso. The drink can be made with either one or two shots of espresso, and varying ratios of water (usually 2:1).
The Cappuccino is one of the most famous of all coffee drinks, with that perfect combination of steamed milk, espresso and frothy foam. Guess what? You can make a barista-quality cappuccino at home that tastes like it’s straight out of an Italian café.
What's a cappuccino? A cappuccino is an espresso drink with steamed milk, milk foam and espresso. It has equal parts espresso, steamed milk and foam (⅓ each).
What's a more iconic coffee drink than the Latte? All you need is a few key tools and you can make a Cafe Latte that rivals your favorite coffeeshop. It comes out perfectly creamy and topped with frothy foam. An espresso machine is preferred, but not required. Want to get fancy? See our How to Make Latte Art (The Basics!).
What's a latte? A latte is a coffee drink with espresso, steamed milk and a layer of foam on top. It has ⅓ espresso and 2/3 steamed milk, with a thin layer of foam on top.
The Flat White is another coffee drink with espresso, steamed milk and a layer of foam on top! It’s similar to a latte and cappuccino, but has a thinner layer of foam on top. Modern coffee shops have very small differences between these three coffee drinks, and often times the lines are blurred.
What's a flat white? A flat white is a coffee drink with espresso, steamed milk and a layer of foam on top. It’s similar to a latte and cappuccino, but has a thinner layer of foam on top.
The Macchiato is another favorite coffee drink of ours, ideal for when you want a jolt of caffeine without all the extra calories. The classic definition of a Macchiato is espresso with a generous spoonful of frothy milk on top. Here we'll show you how to make a macchiato…the classic way.
What's a macchiato? A caffè macchiato or espresso macchiato is a shot of espresso that’s topped with frothed milk.
The Mocha is one of the most famous types of sweet coffee drinks that combines a latte with chocolate! Here's how to make one: the classic way, with no shortcuts like hot chocolate mix or whipped cream. It's to die for!
What's a mocha? A mocha or mocha latte is a drink made with espresso and steamed milk that’s flavored with chocolate syrup.
Let's move to cold coffee drinks, shall we? It’s smooth, it’s refreshing: and it’s easy to make at home! This homemade cold brew coffee recipe requires virtually no special equipment and takes very little hands on time.
What is cold brew coffee? Cold brew coffee is made by steeping coarse ground coffee in cold water for 24 hours, instead of making coffee using hot water and a filter.
There’s something about holding a creamy, lightly sweet iced coffee that makes life just a little bit better! Iced coffee can be made with regular drip coffee or cold brew. The best part is pouring in the milk and watching it swirl! Also try Chemex Iced Coffee.
What is iced coffee? Iced coffee is hot coffee poured over ice, sometimes with milk or sweetener added. You can also make homemade iced coffee using cold brew, which tastes less acidic and bitter.
What is Irish coffee? Irish coffee is a cocktail of warm coffee with a shot of Irish whiskey, topped with fresh cream or whipped cream. The modern version was invented in the 1950’s in Ireland.
Do I need an espresso machine?
Well, it depends. If you love espresso drinks and want to make high quality coffee recipes at home: yes! There’s really nothing better than the creamy, rich flavor that comes from a top quality espresso machine. But if you want a quick and dirty latte: you can do that with minimal equipment! Here are our top recommendations for espresso-making equipment:
Top choice: an espresso machine. An espresso machine makes top quality espresso drinks: hands won. The steamer steams milk to perfection, and you can pull the most beautiful creamy, espresso. Here’s the one we use: Countertop Espresso Machine.
Cheaper option:manual espresso maker. It’s portable and it makes good espresso, just not as good as the machine. You’ll need to use it in combination with a milk frothing tool. Here’s the one we use: Manual espresso maker
Cheapest option: Aeropress. The Aeropress is not nearly as good for espresso, but it works. It’s actually very good for black coffee, though! You’ll also need to get a milk frothing tool for lattes and cappuccinos. Here’s our recipe: Aeropress Espresso
Milk frothing tools: milk frother, French press or whisk. For the frothing: a handheld milk frother is just $10 and works well. If you already have a French press, it’s great for frothing. Or you can go simple and just use a whisk (not as effective but does the trick).
Make the best cup of pour over coffee! Here’s what you need to know to make it at home. (For the other coffee drink recipes: scroll up!)
34 grams light or medium roast coffee beans*
520 grams filtered water (the flavor is best with filtered water)
Heat a pot of filtered water to 200 to 205F. We use an electric kettle that shows us the exact temperature. You could also use a teapot on the stove — just heat to boiling, then let the water cool down for a few minutes.
Use a food scale to weigh out 34 grams of coffee, then grind it to a medium coarse grind (about the size of kosher or sea salt). We use an electric burr grinder to get a consistent grind.
When the water is heated, place the filter in your Chemex (see the video below for exact instructions). Pour in just a bit of water to wet the filter, then pour out the water into the sink. Place the ground coffee into the Chemex and shake it to level it out.
Place the Chemex on the food scale and tare it so the scale reads 0. Slowly pour in 70 grams of water in a circular motion. Then stop and wait for 1 minute: this allows the coffee to bloom (you may have to tap your scale once so that it doesn’t time out!).
Then slowly add the remaining 520 grams water in two batches, pouring very slowly in concentric circles, pouring right onto the coffee and not touching the coffee filter. Fill to about ½ inch from the top (it will likely be around 400 grams water), wait for the water level to go down a bit, and then fill the remaining water up to 520 grams.
After a few minutes, all of the water will filter through the coffee grounds into the pot below. Remove the filter and discard it (we compost ours). Enjoy!