7 of the Most Popular Coffee Drinks Around the World

Coffee drinking is a human tradition that seems almost as old as time itself. Over the years, many different ways to drink coffee have originated that continue to garner popularity to this day. Here are 7 of the most popular coffee drinks from all around the world.


Espresso is simply a highly concentrated form of coffee that is made from exerting some extremely high pressure on lightly boiling water through very fine coffee grounds. One single serving of espresso is generally about 2 ounces while a serving of coffee is generally about 12 ounces, yet they have the same amount of caffeine.

If you can’t do the math, this means that espresso has about 6 times the amount of caffeine per volume as traditional coffee does, so be careful with it! Espresso can be taken as a shot but is also oftentimes mixed in with something else to create many different unique coffee drinks, some of which we’ll look at further on.


Ristretto is pretty much espresso times two. This means that a shot of ristretto is an even more concentrated coffee variant than a shot of espresso. It is made with the same process except half the amount of water, meaning you are getting the same amount of caffeine as you would with espresso in half the shot. 

The name “ristretto” means “restricted” in Italian, and you can see how that pertains to this “restricted” coffee drink.

Caffè Americano

Caffè Americano was popularized during World War II as a way for American soldiers to combat the incredibly strong coffee that was all they could get their hands on in Europe at the time. They would dilute the coffee with extra hot water, which the Europeans took note of. 

Scared off by the intense flavor of espresso, American soldiers found this diluted concoction much more suited to their taste buds, hence “caffè Americano”. You can almost hear French baristas giggling mockingly while coming up with the name, yet this coffee still remains popular to this day. 

When you order this drink now at your local coffee shop, caffè Americano is simply defined as a shot of espresso diluted to some extent with hot water.


The cappuccino originates from Italy. It consists of foamy steamed milk poured over a shot of espresso. This is a delicious and frothy coffee drink that is slightly luxurious to some and the ideal form of consuming espresso for many. 

It is generally made from a small amount espresso and a larger amount of steamed milk, which means this is a fairly light coffee drink as far as espresso goes, generally just about the same amount of caffeine as a normal cup of coffee. 

The mixed concoction, when made right, will result in a hearty amount of foam on top. This foam can act as a form of insulation that keeps the main body from cooling too fast.


The macchiato also originated in Italy and it is practically the direct inverse of the cappuccino. Whereas the cappuccino is more parts milk than espresso, the macchiato is more parts espresso than milk. 

This makes the macchiato a very strong coffee drink and people who are strongly affected by caffeine may choose to opt for the lighter variant.

Cafè au lait

Originating in France, this coffee drink is generally made using coffee brewed in a French press mixed with warm milk. It will traditionally feature equal amounts of coffee and milk and, unlike the cappuccino, it does not feature any foam on top.

This is a sweet, smooth and fairly light coffee drink that will suit those who just want something pleasant to sip on and don’t want to be overloaded with caffeine. Although sometimes espresso is added, the traditional version is simply brewed coffee and milk.

Irish Coffee

Irish coffee is a sweet and strong coffee drink that is made from a mix of brown sugar, Irish whiskey, black coffee, and thick cream. If you’re a hard alcohol drinker and you’ve tasted Baileys Irish Cream, then this is where the idea for that sweet coffee-flavored liqueur came from. This is a thick, creamy, and hard coffee drink that probably shouldn’t be consumed in the morning before work. 

After work, however, when things are winding down at home, you may find yourself craving an Irish coffee. No one blames you, as they are delicious and at once take the edge off thanks to the whiskey and sharpen up your mind after the doldrums of the day thanks to the caffeine. The perfect mix!


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