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Expand Your Coffee Horizons with These Popular Drinks

The coffee shops we all know and love are a relatively new phenomenon. In times of old, you were lucky to get a cup of drip coffee at the corner diner; now, there seems to be a local coffee house everywhere you look.

While now is not the time for a history lesson (perhaps a topic for a future blog), the explosive popularity of coffee bars has been remarkable. For caffeine fiends and coffee connoisseurs, finding a “local coffee shop near me” has never been easier.

A Chelsea Coffee barista uses frothed milk to make a flower design in the foam of a latte.

Whether you’re new to the coffee scene or looking to expand your knowledge and horizons, a coffee shop is the place to try new drinks and enjoy everything the world of coffee has to offer. From cappuccinos to macchiatos, there’s plenty of variety to tempt your taste buds.

Without further ado, here are the top coffee and espresso drinks you should sample at your favorite local coffee shop in Ocala, Chelsea Coffee!

A Beginner’s Guide to Ordering Specialty Coffees

It’s not uncommon to walk into a coffee shop only to be faced with a myriad of beverage choices. It can be overwhelming, especially as a line starts to form. With a little familiarity (and hopefully, some taste testing), you can set yourself free from these uncomfortable moments.

With that goal in mind, here are the most popular coffee drinks you should try.

What is Cold Brew?

It’s common to mistake cold brew and iced coffee as being one and the same. In reality, iced coffee is often regular brewed coffee that is chilled and served over ice, while cold brew is a unique method of brewing coffee. In other words, they’re entirely different drinks.

Cold brew is a time-consuming process that involves leaving grounds to soak in water for many hours—preferably through the night—then straining and filtering to remove any debris and create an incredibly smooth drinking experience. The result is a coffee concentrate that must be diluted, typically with water, to be enjoyed.

A stunning glass of cold brew coffee with cream and ice sits atop a white table with coffee beans scattered around it.

Cold brew is rich, full-bodied, and tends to exude the tasting notes of the beans from which it is brewed. You can also dress it up with flavors, cream or milk alternatives, and more to customize it to your liking.

What is Espresso?

The foundation of almost every modern coffee shop is espresso. While we could write an entire blog dedicated to crafting the perfect espresso shot, we’ll keep our explanation of this particular coffee brew succinct here.

By using high pressure to force hot water through coffee grounds, you can produce a concentrated form of coffee known as espresso. These espresso “shots” can then be drank as-is or combined with other ingredients to create a bevy of beverages like lattes and cappuccinos.

What is a Latte?

As one of the most popular coffee shop orders, lattes are a go-to for just about anyone with an affinity for delicious espresso-based concoctions. Thanks to their smooth flavor and velvety texture, they serve as an excellent foundation for different flavor combinations, making them an excellent canvas on which Chelsea baristas can paint.

The process of making a latte is deceptively simple but takes quite some time to perfect. It is a mixture of espresso and steamed milk topped with a slim layer of foamed milk.

What is a Cappuccino?

Where lattes tend to lean toward a higher milk content, cappuccinos strive for more balance. Typically, a cappuccino is made with equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and foamed milk. In other words, they are composed of about one-third of each component.

A Chelsea Coffee cappuccino with foam art rests on a white dish with a spoon against a rustic oak table.

Because of this, they share a similar creamy taste and texture with lattes but tend to be slightly less sweet with a noticeable espresso flavor.

What is a Macchiato?

For the hardcore espresso enthusiasts who crave the rustic bite of a freshly-pulled shot, a macchiato is hard to top. Created with espresso and the smallest splash of milk, this drink is known for its rich, aggressive coffee flavor and minimal size.

Don’t be surprised when your macchiato clocks in at just a few ounces. It may be a tiny beverage, but it packs a punch!

What is an Americano?

Often mistaken as a version of drip coffee, an Americano (sometimes called a “café Americano”) is far from its drip-brewed counterpart. Instead, it is an espresso shot mixed with hot water (unless you’re making an iced Americano).

As you might expect, an Americano carries a bold, intense espresso flavor that is only mildly diluted by the addition of water. If you’re in the mood for a palate wake-up call, an Americano will do the trick!

What is a Frappe?

This iced treat is often teased as the go-to coffee drink for people who don’t like coffee. While we understand the jest, the truth is that a frappe can be a delicious and refreshing drink for coffee newbies and diehards alike, especially in a hot state like Florida.

Frappes are typically made with coffee, milk, sugar, and various flavorings. These ingredients are mixed together and then blended or shaken with ice. Often, they are topped with whipped cream and more toppings. Thanks to their inclusion of flavors, they tend to mask the taste of coffee with sweetness and other tasting notes.

A frappe - or Chelsea Chiller - with chocolate sauce and whipped cream sits on a white outdoor table with beautiful Florida fauna in the background.

Around here, we call frappes "Chelsea Chillers," and have a specialty menu dedicated to them. Be sure to check out all our flavors next time you stop by!

Dirty Chai Latte

Are you looking for a tea-based beverage that still has that kick of coffee-driven caffeine? A chai latte combines the best of both worlds by giving you a spicy, sweet, and creamy drink that includes chai tea (black tea with spices), steamed milk, and milk foam. Throw a shot or two of espresso into the mix, and you have what’s known as a “dirty chai latte.”

Dirty chai lattes are complex and imbued with tasting notes that often include nuttiness, cinnamon, and the undertone of espresso. If you’ve never tried this drink, we encourage you to sample it at your local coffee bar!

Chelsea Coffee – Your Go-To Local Coffee Shop

The world of coffee is full of exciting variations, brewing methods, and specialty drinks. If you want to break away from your standard order or expand your coffee knowledge, we suggest trying all of the drinks mentioned here. Then, you can continue your journey with a newfound coffee connoisseur foundation.

At Chelsea Coffee, we have the highest-quality coffee options, from staples to outlandish creations from the minds of our baristas. Be sure to stop by our Ocala, FL, coffee shop to sample our menu, and check out our blog for more fascinating coffee content!

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