Coffee Time – Which Coffee Should I Drink At What Time?

The huge range of different types of coffees that are now available can appear overwhelming and leave coffee lovers with a difficult choice to make when they want a drink, especially when they factor in the time of day!

Leaving aside personal preference, certain types of coffee may be better suited for drinking at different times of the day or when you are in a specific situations.


Traditionally a cappuccino is viewed as a drink that should only be consumed in the morning. It is made from a shot of espresso and frothed milk. Drinking a cappuccino in the morning means that the lactose and fat content of the milk can provide an energy boost for the rest of the day. A cappuccino is more filling than some other coffee choices so it may not be the best coffee to choose after a large meal.
cappuccino with biscuit


A latte is the milkiest form of coffee and is definitely regarded by traditionalists as solely a morning drink. Steamed milk is added to an espresso. It is also possible to add ice to a latte and serve it cold as a refreshing drink in hot weather.
latte in blue mug


An espresso is a strong black coffee which is served in a small cup called a demitasse. It is often drunk at the end of a meal as the strength of the caffeine in the espresso can help to overcome any sleepy feelings caused by heavy eating. Traditionally an espresso would be the preferred choice of coffee to drink in the afternoon or evening as it does not contain milk.
espresso with sugar lumps


As with a cappuccino, this is generally regarded as a morning drink due to the milk content. A macchiato will always contain milk but it can be frothed or flat depending whether you choose a latte or a coffee macchiato.
macchiato with sugar


A mocha is made from a shot of espresso, hot milk and cocoa powder to provide chocolate flavouring. It is often topped with whipped cream. This is another type of coffee that is commonly regarded as a morning drink due to its filling nature. It can be a good choice for a mid-morning drink with a small snack.
mocha with coffee art


An Americano is basically a watered down espresso. Either a single or a double shot of espresso, depending on your personal preference, has hot water added to it to make a larger drink. An Americano can be drunk at any time of the day.
americano in a take out cup

General Rule

If you want to abide by the traditions of Italian coffee culture then the best thing to do is to check the milk content of your coffee. If it does contain milk then don’t drink it after lunchtime. The explanation for this is that it was believed that the human digestive system was better equipped to digest milk only in the mornings.
If your tastes don’t run to espresso though and you are craving an afternoon cappuccino then just go with your personal preference and pick the coffee to suit your mood! Fortunately our range of commercial coffee machines and bean to cup coffee machines (for purchase or hire) offer a full range of drinks, so you can always make the right choice!