Coffee drinking is more than just a means to boost energy levels at the start of your day – it’s a pastime, serves as a breather and downtime, and represents a form of self care helping mitigate psychological stress for good mental health. When consumed in moderation, coffee is a source of systemic benefits and advances both physical and mental health. And the type of coffee you like to drink can tell a lot about the benefits you will enjoy as a result. Let’s see what are 13 types of coffee drinks and the benefits they bring to the table.
1) Black coffee
If you always take your coffee black, you must surely like the taste. Drinking your coffee black, no milk, no sugar or other ingredients, has strong stimulating effects on both the nervous system and the cardiovascular system. Black coffee will definitely wake you up, making you alert and raising your blood pressure and heart rate for a boost in energy levels and productivity.
2) Coffee with milk
Now this type of coffee drink covers a wide range of coffee variation. Coffee with milk can range from mostly coffee with just a touch of milk to mostly milk with some coffee. Variation aside, coffee with milk is definitely a healthy choice. Dairy milk is a source of potassium, magnesium and calcium that counteract the stimulating effects of coffee on the cardiovascular system, and help mitigate the effects of caffeine (e.g. rise in blood pressure numbers, rise in heart rate, extrasystoles, palpitations and other forms of arrhythmia).
Non-dairy milk is hydrating, although it lacks the cardiovascular-friendly minerals in dairy milk. Even so, the presence of additional liquid in the coffee serves to dilute it and reduce the actual intake of caffeine, which is a good thing. However, always read the label on your non-dairy milk for sodium content – choose options that are low-sodium because you are already getting a boost in heart activity from the caffeine in coffee.
By definition, a cappuccino is a shot of espresso coffee mixed with hot milk and topped with a generous layer of foamed milk. An original cappuccino has equal amounts of espresso coffee and hot milk, and a thick layer of milk foam which is best obtained by using whole milk. A cappuccino reunites the benefits of both coffee and milk.
You get to enjoy increased alertness and a boost in energy levels from the coffee, and nutrition from the milk together with benefits for blood pressure, bones and teeth. Whole milk is also a natural source of iodine, vitamin D and protein with benefits for thyroid health and the immune system.
A latte is a type of coffee drink that is basically made up of coffee and milk. A true latte is espresso coffee and hot milk. Modern lattes are more cappuccino-style: espresso, hot steamed milk with foam on top. While the more modern latte appeals to the senses more with its light milk foam layer, there are benefits to both types of the coffee drink.
The coffee itself provides caffeine with a stimulating effect on the mind and body, while the milk provides nutrition and associated benefits. If it’s dairy milk, you get B vitamins, vitamin D, iodine, vitamin A, minerals, protein and fat for good physical and mental health. B vitamins boost energy levels and, together with protein and fat, hold benefits for the brain and nervous system.
A low fat milk will get you more minerals that you need for bones and teeth health and healthy blood pressure numbers. A non-dairy milk is good if you are allergic to actual milk, and is often just as low in calories as regular low fat dairy milks, perfect if you are looking to lose weight or maintain your current weight.
5) Decaf coffee
Decaf coffee is decaffeinated coffee, or coffee without caffeine. It’s the best type of coffee drink for those who love the taste of coffee, but feel sick from the caffeine in it. Decaf coffee and all the different types of coffee drinks you can make from it, from whipped coffee over milk such as Dalgona coffee to cappuccinos and lattes, are a good option for anyone with high blood pressure, palpitations, extrasystoles and other types of arrhythmia.
Decaf coffee is also good for you if you have insomnia, anxiety or are experiencing high levels of stress that are not compatible with the stimulating effects of caffeine. Decaf coffee is also a smart option for excessively warm weather – high temperatures predispose to dehydration and increase risks of cardiovascular events such as stroke or heart attack, and the intake of caffeine can further amplify these risks.
6) Herbal coffee
If you can’t have regular coffee, then herbal coffee is the next best thing. Herbal coffee refers to coffee substitutes made from plants other than the coffee plant. Different types of herbal coffee come with specific benefits for health.
For example, dandelion coffee made from roasted dandelion root has hepatoprotective properties, prebiotic benefits for gut health, and is scientifically proven to exert a protective effect against colon cancer. Dandelion coffee also has the best coffee taste – mildly bitter, with rich, warm notes and none of the acidity of actual coffee. Find out more about the difference between coffee and dandelion coffee.
Chicory coffee is another popular type of herbal coffee made from roasted chicory root. It has a pleasant bitter taste with more pregnant earthy, even woody flavor notes. Depending on the roast levels, bitter cocoa, mocha, nutty, herbal flavors or a slight bite may also be present. Drinking chicory coffee is a source of benefits for gut health, has anticlotting and anti-inflammatory properties, and is good for you if you have diabetes or high blood pressure.
Espresso is a type of coffee drink consisting of a small amount of very strong coffee. Espresso coffee is commonly drank as it is, and appreciated for its full body, thicker consistency and ‘crema’ on top which is actually coffee foam. It also serves as a base for other coffee drinks, and is meant to be consumed in limited amounts (typically only one or two shots).
Espresso has a concentrated flavor and that means a concentrated amount of biologically active components, from antioxidants to caffeine. While it’s not the best type of coffee to drink if you have high blood pressure, espresso can be a good option for you if you have low blood pressure. However, know that it can give you palpitations if you don’t usually drink coffee because it’s quite strong.
8) Espresso with coffee
Espresso with coffee is basically a really strong type of coffee drink. It’s high in caffeine and extremely potent in terms of health effects and side effects. Espresso with coffee will scare the sleep right out of you and really perk you up. It’s great for increasing alertness and stimulating the brain and nervous system, but can easily give you palpitations, extrasystoles and raise your blood pressure numbers. It’s the kind of coffee drink to consume with moderation and caution.
9) Instant coffee
Instant coffee is also known as powder coffee because it’s available in powder form, or soluble coffee because it dissolves in water and milk. It’s actually brewed coffee that is then processed so that it only needs rehydration before it can be consumed. It’s really the ideal type of coffee for anyone who doesn’t have the time to make coffee.
Instant coffee tends to also be lower in caffeine than regular brewed coffee, and may also be lower in some antioxidants and other bioactive components as a result of its production process, but data on the subject differs.
10) Mocha coffee (café mocha)
Also known as mocaccino, mochaccino, mochachino, it is essentially coffee with milk and cocoa or chocolate. Mocha coffee is usually made cappuccino-style: hot brewed coffee or espresso, hot steamed milk, and cocoa, cocoa with sugar, hot chocolate or chocolate syrup. Mocha coffee is preferred with a foamy layer on top and is considered a type of latte.
There are a few added benefits to drinking mocha coffee types. For one, cocoa adds to the antioxidant value of the coffee drink. Cocoa is also a source of bioactive stimulating compounds such as caffeine and theobromine which are stimulating for the nervous system and cardiovascular system. That is, mocha coffee adds to the boost in energy and productivity of coffee.
Cocoa and chocolate are also naturally high in minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and iron – in the amounts they are consumed in mocha coffee, they contribute modestly to daily nutritional values. Adding toppings such as cinnamon, orange zest, cloves or nutmeg further boosts the antioxidant value of the coffee drink.
11) Coffee with tea
There are people who like coffee and there are people who like tea. And then there are people who like both, and like to drink both at the same time. And that’s how coffee with tea came to be. As the name suggests, coffee with tea is a mix of coffee and tea, two brewed beverages made from different plants but consumed together.
Coffee with tea most commonly refers to black tea and espresso coffee served together, usually also with dairy or non-dairy milk. This is a strong type of coffee drink as both the black tea and espresso naturally have caffeine. Coffee with (black) tea can be consumed as it is, with sugar, with milk, with condensed milk or cream, or spiced with a mix of herbs and spices.
The added benefit of coffee with tea is the higher concentration of antioxidants, but also caffeine which can be a good if you need the boost in alertness and energy levels. Coffee with tea can be flavored with orange zest, orange blossom water, cloves, anise, star anise, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper etc.
While the spices further boost antioxidant content, they can also represent a source of stomach upset in some people. Avoid such as strong combination if you have high blood pressure, palpitations, extrasystoles or other forms of arrhythmia, anxiety, or are dealing with insomnia.
12) Coffee with honey (café miel)
Coffee with honey is the name used for various types of coffee drinks sweetened with honey. It can be regular brewed coffee with honey, espresso with honey, coffee with milk and honey. Cocoa powder, ground cinnamon, cream, condensed milk, chocolate or Nutella may be added to this type of coffee.
Honey is a healthy food product with an immunomodulating action and tonic properties, helping combat low blood sugar and fatigue. Ideally, the honey should be raw and certified organic. Just as important, it should be added to the coffee once it’s cooled down (warm, not hot) to preserve its properties.
However, honey is a common allergen – if you are allergic to honey, honey bees or have multiple pollen allergies which increases your risk of allergic reactions if you eat honey, it’s advised to avoid it in all forms and preparations.
13) Egg yolk coffee
Also called simply egg coffee, it’s a type of coffee drink of Vietnamese origin. Egg coffee is made from egg yolk, sugar and milk, or condensed milk, whipped together into a foam, often followed by cooking to remove risks of foodborne illness, after which coffee is poured on top.
Egg coffee is actually healthy, adding nutritional value to the coffee. The egg yolk provides protein for the immune system and muscles, and fat which both makes the coffee drink creamy, and is a source of benefits for the brain and nervous system.
Egg yolk is also a source of fat soluble vitamins A, D and E and rich in B vitamins, including vitamin B12, vitamin B6 and vitamin B9. Because of this, egg yolk coffee is actually energizing, not just stimulating. The yolk further reduces the glycemic effects of the coffee if it’s sweetened, and provides a boost in vitality.