In many place like blogs, facebook I have seen the following picture describing different types of coffee. Is it accurate?

enter image description here

Also one thing I do don't understand is how espresso is coming on top of steamed milk (Latte Macchiato) and in another place it is coming below steamed milk (Caffe Breve)

  • As far as I know, yes.
    – talon8
    Commented Aug 17, 2012 at 17:43
  • 6
    It's inaccurate in that espresso should never be served in a cup that big.
    – jscs
    Commented Aug 17, 2012 at 19:15
  • Depends on what country you live in? These coffee's have been developed all over the world, and there is NO international standard
    – TFD
    Commented Aug 18, 2012 at 22:03

4 Answers 4


It's the order of pouring, not how the drink looks. The espresso is a shot, like a measure for fully automatic machines like the ones they have in Starbucks. In fact, I think I have seen the very poster in some coffee chain shop.

  • 9
    Do Starbucks make coffee?
    – TFD
    Commented Aug 18, 2012 at 22:04
  • Sometimes it's a pity you can only vote once, TFD :-) Commented Aug 18, 2012 at 22:36
  • for more drinks, coverage of the different ways of obtaining the "coffee" part, and more accurate serving cup depictions, check popchartlab.com/products/the-compendious-coffee-chart Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 16:21

As the other answer says, that is just the order of pouring (for instance, water will immediately mix with coffee, you cannot have a layer of coffee and a layer of water, it is physically impossible)

Aside from that, these things are quite country specific.

In Italy, for instance, caffè breve definitely would not be that. If you order a caffè breve in Italy you'll get a ristretto (and a weird look possibly, as caffè breve is an odd way of saying it) that is a short espresso (breve means short in Italian).

Caffèlatte is just milk + coffee, there is no foam on top.

Espresso macchiato is espresso + a dash (not as much as in the picture) of milk. The milk can be cold (macchiato freddo) or hot (macchiato caldo).

Most of the other things seems quite in the line with what you generally see in the US or in the UK I guess.

  • Many of them are accurate for Australia, too.
    – staticsan
    Commented Aug 20, 2012 at 7:19

The only inaccuracy that I can see, and it is a fault with many of these charts, is that an americano should be the hot water at the bottom and the espresso should be added on top. Doesn't sound like much of a difference but it is - make yourself one using both methods and you will see when the espresso is added to the top of the hot water not only does it look better with the crema present but it tastes better too!

Great coffee is always in the details.

  • Please use capital letters where appropriate - I fixed it for you this time. Again, welcome to the site!
    – Stephie
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 6:54

For the first ten; The picture describes not different coffees, but different hot drinks based on coffee (which is espresso in this case), in other words it describes coffee- based(espresso) hot drinks.

On the other hand they are accurate by description/ingredients.

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