Coffee is probably the most common drink of choice in the morning in the U.S. Upwards of 68 percent of Americans drink it on a daily basis, and the number is even higher when you add in people who drink it weekly.

Yet, given how popular drinking coffee is, U.S. consumers are often baffled by the different types of coffee. All of the coffee options on the shelves leave people with little clear idea of what they’re getting when they switch between types of coffee or to different coffee roasts.

If you’re always left confused when trying to buy coffee, keep reading for our quick guide to the types of coffee.

Coffee Beans

There are two main types of coffee beans: Arabica and Robusta. The Arabica bean is, by far, the more popular type of coffee. It produces a slightly sweeter coffee, which makes it popular among people who like their coffee black.

Robusta beans are the cheaper variety of beans and have more caffeine, but they produce coffee with a more bitter flavor.

Coffee Roasts

There are four main types of coffee roasts. They are:

  • Light Roast
  • Medium Roast
  • Medium-Dark Roast
  • Dark Roast

Light roast beans spend the least time roasting and reach the lowest internal temperature. Light roasts offer more caffeine, but also make for a more bitter cup of coffee. You sometimes hear these called a New England roast or cinnamon roast.

Dark roasts offer sweeter cups of coffee and you can see the oils, courtesy of the longer roasting process and higher internal temperatures. Common examples of dark roasts are French roast, Italian roast, and espresso.

The most common roasts in the U.S. are medium roasts.

Coffee Options

There are so many coffee options in terms of coffee styles that it would take an extensive article just to cover them all. Some of the more popular coffee styles include:

  • Black coffee
  • Americano
  • Espresso
  • Latte
  • Cappuccino
  • Cold brew
  • Iced coffee

All of these different options have made different kinds of home coffee makers popular, such as drip machines, French presses, espresso machines, and even the venerable percolator.

Benefits of Coffee

Coffee can even confer some benefits. There is the obvious energy boost and even improved focus. It may also support long-term brain health and reduce the risks of type 2 diabetes.

You can even find antioxidant coffee, which may prove some anti-inflammatory benefits and help protect your cells from damage done by free radicals.

Types of Coffee and You

With so many types of coffee out there, it’s no wonder that so many people find it confusing. The thing you should keep in mind is that it mostly boils down to two things: beans and roast style.

Odds are good that you like Arabica beans because most people do. If you want a smoother, sweeter coffee, aim for medium or dark roasts. If you want a bit more caffeine kick, pick a light roast or a Robusta bean coffee.

Looking for more food and drink info and tips? Check out the posts in our Food section.