10 Most Popular European Coffees

10 Most Popular European Coffees

Last Updated on October 4, 2023

Europe cannot be understood without its cafeterias, the cradle and place of inspiration for great intellectuals, writers, painters and philosophers. Paris, London, Prague or Vienna are just some of the nerve centers where more historic and emblematic cafes are concentrated.

European coffee culture is rich. So if you are planning to visit Europe, we will help you know what to order and how to do it. And if you just want to enjoy a lovely cup of coffee at home, here you will find inspiration to prepare the ten most popular European coffees.

Macchiato (Italy)


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The Macchiato is considered to be created in Italy back in the 80s by many coffee experts. The word “Macchiato” is an Italian word that means “stained” in English, a pretty descriptive word isn’t it?

There are many versions of this type of coffee all over the world, however, the original or basic recipe is just a single shot of espresso, 10ml of steamed milk, and a spot of foam on the top.

Ristretto (Italy)

The Ristretto (pronounced Ri-strét-to) comes from Italy, it was starting to gain popularity in the 90s. It became the standard due to its unique flavor and beauty.

The word Ristretto means restricted, in English, and it is essentially a shorter or restricted shot of espresso. It has the same amount of coffee, but a limited water flow. The idea of this is to get a strong shot of coffee, but without the bitterness of an espresso.

Café au Lait (France)


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The Café au lait is originally from France. The word “Café au Lait”, translated into English means “coffee with milk”. This type of coffee is traced back to the mid-17th century.

The difference between the Café au Lait and a Latte is that the Café au Lait tends to be made with regular brewed coffee from a Drip coffee maker or French Press. On the other hand, the Latte is milkier and it is always prepared with a base of espresso.

Eiskaffee (Germany)

Eiskaffee means “coffee with ice cream”, and it is originally from Germany. This kind of coffee is really popular in Germany during the warmer months.

This coffee is very sweet, the recipe needs vanilla ice cream, chilled sweetened coffee, whipped cream, and grated chocolate. It is served on large glasses or mugs due to the number of ingredients it requires.

You may also like: Coffee Pairings Around The World – Infographic

Cortado (Spain)


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Cortado in Spanish or “Cut” in English is the name of this coffee. It refers to the milk cutting through the intensity of the espresso, attenuating its acidity while maintaining the flavor of the coffee.

The traditional way of serving it is with a little bit of foam and a proportion of 1:1 of milk for every shot of espresso, however, this coffee is served differently depending on the part of the world.

Espresso (Italy)


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Espresso is considered both a brewing method and a type of coffee. The method for brewing an espresso shot is by using high pressure of water (9–10 bars) and finely ground coffee beans. 

Espresso is thicker and stronger than other kinds of coffee, and it is often used as a base for other caffeinated beverages.

It was invented in Italy back in the 20th century by a businessman called Luigi Bezzera, who created this drink by accident when he was experimenting with coffee to see how to accelerate the brewing process.

TAKEAWAY: Today you don’t need a fancy espresso machine to brew a shot of espresso at home. There are hundreds of affordable espresso machines that you can choose from, these are either automatic or manual.

You may also like: 3 Amazing coffee dessert recipes made with espresso

Espresso Con Panna (Italy)

Espresso con panna in Italian or “espresso with cream” in English, is a single or double shot of espresso with some whipped cream at the top. This type of coffee is also served in France and the United Kingdom and it’s known as café Viennois.

Doppio (Italy)


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Doppio is just a double shot of espresso, simple as that. To be prepared, twice as much ground coffee is needed, in addition, the preparation process includes a larger filter basket. The word “Doppio” can be translated as “double”.

Similar to a single shot of espresso, the Doppio is used as a base for a wide variety of caffeinated beverages. Also, keep in mind that the amount of caffeine in a Doppio is double that of an espresso.

Galão (Portugal)

Galão (Aka Portuguese coffee) is a type of coffee originally from Portugal. In simple words, it consists of 1/4 espresso and 3/4 frothed milk (very similar to a latte cafe). 

This drink is highly popular in Portugal, where it is served at breakfast time. Due to the high amounts of coffee and milk that this kind of coffee needs, it is often served in a tall glass

Frappé (Greece)


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The Frappé, also called Greek frappé, Nescafé frappé or just Frappe (without an accent) is a kind of coffee that originated in Greece. It was invented by a Nescafe representative named Dimitris Vakondios. 

The word frappé comes from French, this word is often used to describe cold drinks chilled with ice. As the name suggests, the Frappé is an iced coffee drink made with coffee (often instant), water, sugar, and milk. 

Since this is an extremely popular drink, people often experiment with flavors by adding materials like pistachios, caramel, and chestnuts.

Final Words

Now you know some of the most popular types of coffee that people like to drink in Europe. Keep in mind that each coffee shop brews coffee their way, and the flavors may vary from coffee shop to coffee shop.

Another thing to keep in mind is that often people don’t know the original names of each type of coffee, so showing them a picture of the coffee you want while ordering might be a good idea to avoid confusion.

Also, if you are not a traveler, but you are passionate about European coffee culture, remember that you can brew some of these types of coffee with a home coffee maker like the K-Slim or K-Mini.

And you want to discover the 6 Hottest Cafes With The Best Coffee in LA and 8 Must-Try Coffee Foods You’ll Find in New York

About Maria Kennedy

Maria Kennedy is the managing editor at Travel for Food Hub. Maria is on a full-tilt mission to share local food and travel inspiration. When she is not writing about food and travel, startups or social media, she is enjoying her time with her boys in sunny Spain.

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