Quick Recipes and Easy

How To Speak “Coffee”

If you aren’t familiar with coffeehouses and the many different varieties of coffees and flavors to choose from, you may be overwhelmed when you go into a café and try to make your choice. Coffeehouses may feature dozens of different coffee flavors and mixings at their shops. In addition to the many coffee flavors, there are cappuccinos and espressos and other selections of coffee breeds. So if you’d like to order coffee from these establishments, it has become quite vital to have a decent knowledge of coffeehouse lingo.

Coffee flavors vary from one bean to another, and how coffee is prepared may sway quite a bit from your ordinary cup you make at home. In order to delight in some of the various coffee preparations, it’s necessary to be able to translate a small of these weird and exotic-sounding names coffees are given.

What follows then, are a few of the basic coffeehouse words and phrases, to help better make you a better coffee connoisseur.

Black Coffee. Your ordinary cup of brewed coffee with nothing extra added.

Espresso. In Italy, if you ordered coffee, you’d get espresso. It’s a very strong coffee brewed by forcing pressured steam through thinly grounded coffee beans. It’s served in small cups because a small goes a very long way. (OK I know what you’re thinking: how do you order a cup of “black coffee” in Italy? You’d order “American coffee”, they’ll know what you mean. But if you are in Italy, you should drink like Italians)

Cappuccino. Espresso served with at an equal part of steamed and foamed milk.

Café latte, or simply latte. Similar to cappuccino, except the espresso has nearly an equal part of just steamed milk and just a touch at the top of foamed milk. In some fancy places, the foamed milk at the top can be quite artistic, making it nearly a shame to drink.

Mocha. A latte made with chocolate, cocoa, or chocolate syrup. Mocha is often covered with whipped cream.

Café au lait. French for “coffee with milk.” Similar to a latte but made with regular black coffee rather than espresso.

Iced coffee, shots, mix-ins, etc. There are several other coffee-related drinks, additions, and accompaniments too numerous to mention. Also some of the terms are copyrighted, so they won’t be mentioned here. But rest assured, if you want iced coffee or a shot of espresso in your drink, with a scone on the side, you can get those desires at most coffeehouses.

I remember the days when if you wanted coffee, you had to have it black, or with cream and/or sugar, and that was really about it, at least in the US. Now, with coffeehouses having espresso and lattes and mochas and more, you need to be capable of having some knowledge in the world of coffee. The best way to learn is to try the various kinds yourself and find your favorite, so it’s best to have a clue of what to order to start with.

Jim Konerko is the publisher of coffee-craze.net coffee-craze.net where he provides fascinating articles such as coffee-craze.net/how_to_buy_coffee.php How To Buy Coffee, and other advice, tips, and information about coffee.

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