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Have you ever been curious about those specialty coffee drinks you consume everyday? Do you get confused when viewing the menu at your local cafe, or are are you wondering how to order a drink at a coffee shop? What are all of the options available on a coffee shop's menu? What's in them? How are they made? They taste good, but how much do you really know about them? Let's shed some light on the most popular coffee drinks for you:


Most people have heard of an espresso at some point. It's a strong concentration of black coffee made in an espresso machine by forcing steam through pressurized coffee grounds. This drink contains no milk and is usually just one shot of espresso unless more is requested. One shot of espresso is 1 oz. and has about 80 milligrams of caffeine. It only has 1 calorie per oz.


This specialty drink is a single shot of espresso added to a cup of hot water. This is really just a diluted version of espresso. Still, only 80 milligrams of caffeine and only 1 calorie.

Cafe Latte

Any kind of latte will have steamed milk involved in the recipe. A latte is one part espresso with three parts steamed milk with froth on top. The calorie content will vary depending on the kind of milk used. However, one 12 oz. medium sized regular latte - with no alterations - will be about 135 calories. A medium latte will usually have a double shot of espresso, so will be about 160 milligrams of caffeine.

Cafe Mocha

This drink is very similar to the latte, however, chocolate is added...yum. A cafe mocha is two thirds steamed milk, one part espresso, and one part chocolate syrup or powder. Again, the calorie content will vary depending on the kind of milk used. As an example, one 16 oz. grande sized cafe mocha with no alterations will be about 260 calories and contain a little more than 160 milligrams of caffeine since there is also chocolate added.


Image By David Dewitt

This specialty coffee drink is perhaps one of the most widely recognized. A cappuccino is three equal parts of steamed milk, foamed milk, and espresso. You can add flavoring syrups to make vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, and other cappuccinos. A medium 12 oz. cappuccino will have about 80 milligrams of caffeine and about 110 calories without adding any flavorings.

Cafe au Lait

This is almost identical to a cafe latte and cappuccino except that the coffee/espresso and milk ratio is different for each of these. A cafe au lait can also be made a couple different ways. A cafe au lait can be made with a single shot of dark brewed coffee or espresso mixed in a 1:1 ratio with steamed milk. The cafe au lait has about 80 milligrams of caffeine and about 85 calories.


The breve is almost identical to a latte except that it uses half and half instead of milk. It's a richer, creamier version that is one part espresso with three parts steamed half and half with froth on top. Since it uses cream, this drink has about 568 calories in a 16 oz. cup and has about 80 milligrams of caffeine.


The macchiato is a whole lot of espresso with a little bit of milk. This espresso drink has a dollop of steamed milk added on top in a 4:1 ratio. Most people like to enjoy a caramel macchiato...yum. A large 16 oz. caramel macchiato has about 160 milligrams of caffeine and about 240 calories.

Flat White

A flat white is yet another steamed milk/espresso drink. This one is 2/3 steamed milk on top of 1/3 espresso. A 12 oz. flat white has about 130 milligrams of caffeine and about 170 calories.

Red Eye (Or Black Eye)

This coffee drink will give you a little jolt when you need it. It's basically coffee with a shot of espresso added into it. There will only be about 2 calories in this, but the caffeine content can vary depending on the size cup. In a 12 oz. cup of this beverage, you will find about 216 milligrams of caffeine. Just enough to really get you going in the morning!

Iced Coffee

There's really not a whole lot to say about this drink except that it's chilled coffee with ice added to it. Some might add a little milk and sugar if desired. So the math on this one is pretty simple: a 12 oz. cup of plain iced coffee will have about 1 calorie and 135 milligrams of caffeine.

Caffe Affogato

This yummy coffee drink is more like a desert. Think root beer float, but with coffee! It's 2/5 espresso and 3/5 vanilla ice cream. Yum! There is only about 266 calories in this drink and about 160 milligrams of caffeine in a one serving amount.


These drinks keep getting sweeter and sweeter! This coffee beverage is also like a desert. Frapuccino's are widely popular and can be found in many coffee shops and fast food places. A 16 oz. frapuccino has approximately 420 calories give or take depending on what flavors and toppings are used, and about 100 milligrams of caffeine.

Irish Coffee

We couldn't have a list of coffee drinks without adding a very special specialty drink. The Irish coffee is a delightful coffee spiked with whiskey and cream added on top. Despite sounding sinister, an Irish coffee generally only has about 210 calories per serving and around 155 milligrams of caffeine.

We hope we have brought a little clarity to your coffee ordering. These coffees are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to coffee drinks, but they are generally the most popular ones. You really can't go wrong with any of these. You could always just make your way through the whole list and try them all!

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    Mike :

    Great read, I love Espresso. Picked up that habit in Italy years ago. My in-laws are from Farley,we visit often. Hope to visit you on next trip.

    Apr 06, 2021

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