Coffee Drinks: A Visual Glossary


Extracting the finest details on coffee from our experts.

[Photographs: Alice Gao]

Latte, cappuccino, and macchiato are all familiar words on the menu of our favorite coffee shops, but what do these terms really mean—and how do each of these drinks differ?

Just like different chefs have different interpretations of the perfect hamburger, every barista has his or her ideas about what constitutes the ideal version of one or the other option on their menu. That said, there are some standard features of each basic beverage, which can help when you're deciding if you're in the mood for a flat white or a cortado.

If you've ever had a hard time deciphering the difference between the coffee drink vocabulary listed on your favorite cafe's menu, we hope that this visual glossary will help you order your next cup.

About the author: Erin Meister trains baristas and inspires coffee-driven people for Counter Culture Coffee. She's a confident barista, an audacious eater, and a smiling runner, but she remains a Nervous Cook.