Which coffee to choose on a ride? – Coffee Explained

We explain the differences between the most popular coffees.

Cycling and Coffee Culture

Coffee is an inherent part of cycling culture. Does a ride even count without a cup of the brown stuff? We have broken down what each drinks mean so you know what to order when you’re next on a ride. If you have any tips or suggestions for cycling and coffee culture, let us know if the comments below.



Starting with an espresso, a latte is made by adding steamed milk followed by a thin layer of foamed milk. In true Italian style, a latte should only be consumed in the morning.

Order if you like your coffee milky, but find a cappuccino goes too far.

– Main Ingredient: Espresso & Milk
– Place of origin: Italy 


Similar to a latte in that it starts with an espresso, but with a much thicker layer of foamed milk on top. Cappuccino’s are milky, and when made correctly, provide a truly velvety experience.

To fit in with the cycling and coffee culture, don’t order a cappuccino after 11am.

Main Ingredient: Single or Double Espresso, Steamed Milk Foam & Hot Milk
Place of origin: Italy


Espresso is the basis of any good coffee. Made by forcing water through ground beans under pressure, espressos tend to be thicker than normal instant coffee.

A firm favorite with the pros, espressos can be ordered anytime of day.
Place of origin: Italy

Cafe Macchiato

A Cafe Macchiato is an espresso with a small amount of milk on top, usually foamed.

Can be ordered anytime of the day.

Main ingredient: Espresso & Milk
Place of origin: Italy

Cafe Americano

A cafe Americano or just Americano is a coffee made using a double espresso and diluted with water. Otherwise know as a black coffee in the UK.

Can be ordered anytime of the day.

Main Ingredient: Espresso & Hot water
Place of Origin: Italy


If you’re looking for a small, milky drink then a cortado could be for you. Made with a shot of espresso with the same quantity of milk, usually warmed but not frothy.  Ideal if you want a hit of coffee, but can’t stomach a naked espresso.

Can be ordered anytime of the day.

Main Ingredient: Espresso & Milk
Place of Origin: Spain

We asked cyclecafe.cc’s founder James for his thoughts on coffee…

“It’s often rare to get one that’s spot on, but when it’s been made correctly, your can’t beat the silky smooth cappuccino mid ride. Served alongside a scone, clotted cream and jam – now you’re talking”.

Ever wondered what coffee do the pros drink?

GCN asked 11 profession riders at the 2017 Giro D’Italia that exact questions. Here are their answers:


The results are:

– Chad Haga – Americano
– Joey Rosskopp –  Filter Coffee
– Rory Sutherland – Any Coffee
– Sean De Bie – Espresso
– Adam Hansen-  Double Espresso + 4 sugars
– Manuel Quinziato – Espresso
– Casare Benedetti  – Espresso
– Jurgen Van Den Broeck – Eappuchino
– Adam Yates – Any Coffee
– Joe Drombroski – Morning Cappuchineo / Espresso Post Ride
– Rohan Dennis – Cortado / Machiatto


With that, what coffee graces your lips during your mid-ride cafe stop? Let us know and thanks for reading!

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