What Types of Coffee Are Enjoyed After Dinner?

Drinking Coffee All Day

Coffee drinkers around the world look forward to that cup of morning wake-up magic. The caffeine is a welcome jolt to get the day started. For some, one cup in the morning is all that is necessary to get going. For others, those that enjoy the flavor of coffee, will drink the brew throughout the day and look forward to a cup of coffee after dinner. Coffee is incredibly versatile and can be brewed in so many ways, whether it is a cold brew, espresso, cappuccino, or a simple cup of coffee.


Drinking coffee after dinner is not a new practice. It may be new to some people, but post-dinner coffee drinking has been a tradition in other countries such as France and Italy. There are many reasons people drink coffee after dinner. Some drink it as a dessert, some drink it to help with digestion, some simply because it is tradition (cartacoffee.com). Many times, this is the best time to get caught up with family and friends. Lingering over a cup of coffee discussing the days events, sharing stories and enjoying each other’s company are sometimes the only time they get to communicate with each other. Whatever the reason, drinking coffee after dinner has come to be commonplace. But everyone has their own preference for this after dinner treat.

The Options Are Indefinite

The holidays may play a big role in what type of coffee is enjoyed after dinner. In December, people may find themselves reaching for coffees flavored with peppermint or cinnamon. Whereas in November everything pumpkin spice can be found anywhere a person turns. The big coffee chain stores have their favorites and specialties that are sold during the holidays. From a peppermint mocha to a pumpkin spice latte, one can find the drink of their choice simply by stopping in a coffee shop. When it comes to the post-dinner coffee, people often have a drink they prefer.

The Dutch have a drink they refer to as “koffie verkeerd”, which translated means “reverse coffee” (cartacoffee.com). For those that prefer a little coffee with their cream, this may be the drink they’ve been looking for. A glass of milk is served with a small amount of coffee. Typically served in a small glass, the Dutch believe this will help with the digestion of food.

Coffee plays a large part in the French culture. Typically, coffee is served black with a splash of cognac to add a little nip to their beverage. The drinker may not want cognac in their drink or may prefer something a little sweeter. Café Granit may be a better option. This is a sweet coffee flavored with mocha liqueur.

The average American may have a tradition passed down from family or heritage. There is no shortage of options in the American home for drinking coffee after dinner. America is considered the mixing pot of the world for a reason.  There are innumerable cultural groups within this country, so there are also innumerable opportunities for trying something different.

Some traditional coffee drinks that most folks have heard of are mocha, espresso, cappuccino, latte, and traditional brew. A mocha is similar to an espresso and served with hot milk with chocolate added as the sweetener. There are those that suggest using a powdered chocolate such as cocoa rather than a chocolate syrup. An espresso is made introducing boiling water under high pressure through finely ground coffee, then poured into a smaller mug. This drink is not for everyone, as it has a stronger taste. Cappuccino’s are one of the most popular coffees in the world (canstarblue.co.nz). It consists of three layers starting with espresso, then a shot of steamed milk is added, with a top layer of frothed foamy milk. As a garnish, chocolate shavings may be added. A café latte (or Café au lait) is another popular coffee drink. This one is scalded milk with a shot of coffee. It has a bit of a creamier consistency versus a traditional brew.

Some other after dinner coffees that are not as commonly known to non-coffee drinkers are Caffe Americano, Macchiato, Mochaccino, Flat White and Long Black. The Caffe Americano actually has a history to back it up. This was a drink soldiers in World War II inadvertently created by adding hot water to their espressos. They did this to make their drink last longer. A macchiato served in a small cup is similar to an espresso. Foamed milk is added to an espresso that has been already poured in the cup. It’s less sweet than a cappuccino in that it does not have steamed milk added. The mochaccino is a latte that has had cocoa or chocolate syrup added, with a dollop of cream on top. For those that are traditional hot chocolate drinkers and not coffee drinkers, they may find this drink to be a little more appealing than the traditional brew.

New Zealand and Australia introduced the Flat White and Long Black. The Flat White consists of the steamed milk from the bottom of the container (not typically as frothy as that at the top) poured over a shot of espresso. The Long Black is hot water added to a cup, two shots of espresso added to the water, topped off by crema. This is a very strong coffee and probably not the first on many folks list to have after dinner.

More Opinions on the Evening Coffee

Some may decide that they want that coffee flavor but don’t necessarily want to drink a cup of coffee after dinner. Another option would be to add a shot of expresso over a dessert, such as ice cream or gelato. This is a tradition hailing from Italy. Affogato in Italian means “drowned”. This makes perfect sense, as the ice cream or gelato is drowned by the espresso (vinepair.com). Rather than pouring the expresso over the top of the ice cream or gelato, the idea is to have the espresso pour down the sides, not completely melting the dessert.

On the other hand, caffeine may not be ideal after dinner. Caffeine being a stimulant, may not be such a good idea so close to retiring for the day. Decaf may be the way to go to avoid laying awake all night long counting the lines in the ceiling or spinning through social media. Espresso is served as a smaller serving, therefor it is not sipped on like a traditional cup of coffee would. It may be that an espresso is the answer for less caffeine and little to no calorie intake. A drink served with more cream or milks will sit heavier on the stomach is often considered more of a morning drink (thecoffeeuniverse.org).

In Conclusion: Coffee as a Night Cap

As is with anything in life, what type of coffee to drink after dinner weighs heavily on the preference of the drinker. If one is looking to stay up later into the night, a stronger drink may be in order. If one is looking to have a quick jolt to get them through to bedtime, an espresso may be the option. Or, if one is looking to have a little bitter to go along with their dessert, an Affogato is the way to go. The idea here is to enjoy the drink and end the day on a sweet note. In conclusion: many people enjoy, and will always enjoy, drinking coffee before, during, and after dinner.



Image Credits:

Drinking Coffee Before Dinner [ID 107835191 © Evgenyatamanenko | Dreamstime.com]
Girls Enjoying Coffee in the Evening [ID 50338642 © Piotr Wawrzyniuk | Dreamstime.com]