Coffee shop’s menus are filled with cappuccinos, lattes, mochas, espressos, and many more names that can be confusing to the humble coffee drinker. To avoid coffee lingo confusion here is a quick guide to all the coffee beverages.
Affogato – It is Italian for “drowned” and is a coffee-based beverage or dessert. “Affogato style” refers to the act of topping a drink or dessert with espresso, may also incorporate caramel sauce or chocolate sauce.
Baltimore – This coffee beverage has equal parts of decaffeinated and caffeinated coffee. It is also known as Half-Caf.
Black Eye – This is a dripped coffee with a double shot of espresso for an extra strong taste.
Black Tie – A traditional Thai Iced Tea that has a spicy and sweet mixture of chilled black tea, orange blossom water, star anise, crushed tamarind, sugar and condensed milk or cream, with a double shot of espresso. That sounds pretty complex to me!
Café Breve – A coffee beverage made with steamed half and half cream with some foam on top.
Café Americano – A style of coffee prepared by adding hot water to espresso. This gives the beverage similar strength, but a different flavor from regular drip coffee. The strength of an Americano changes depending on the number of espresso shots added.
Café Au Lait – This is a French coffee drink that consists of strong or bold coffee (sometimes espresso) mixed with scalded milk in approximately a 1:1 ratio.
Café Bombón – This uses espresso served with condensed milk in a 1:1 ratio. For a visual effect, a glass is used and the condensed milk is slowly added to sink underneath the coffee and create two separate bands of contrasting color. Obviously these layers are stirred together before consumption.
Café Latte – This one I am sure all you have heard of. A latte is a portion of espresso and steamed milk, generally in a 2:1 ratio of milk to espresso, with a little foam on top.
Café Medici – A doppio, aka double shot of espresso, poured over chocolate syrup and an orange or lemon peel. It is usually topped with whipped cream.
Café Mélange – A black coffee mixed or covered with whipped cream. It is very popular in Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
Café Miel – This has a shot of espresso, steamed milk, cinnamon, and honey. The name comes from the Spanish word for honey, miel.
Coffee Milk – This is a drink similar to chocolate milk, but instead of chocolate syrup, coffee syrup is used. It is the official state drink of Rhode Island in the United States.
Café Mocha – This is a variant of a café latte. Like a latte, it is typically one third espresso and two thirds steamed milk, but a portion of chocolate is added, usually in the form of chocolate syrup, but some coffee shops use instant chocolate powder.
*A café mocha should not be confused with Yemen Mocha coffee. Yemen Mocha is one of the oldest known and most famous coffees in the world. It is not named after chocolate, but rather after the port Mocha that all coffee once passed through before coming to the “new world.”
Café Zorro – This is double espresso added to hot water with a 1:1 ratio.
Ca phe sua da – aka café sua da or V-caf is a unique Vietnamese coffee recipe. In Vietnamese it literally means “iced milk coffee.” It is black coffee mixed with a quarter to a half as much sweetened condensed milk and then poured over ice.
Cappuccino – A cappuccino is very similar to the café latte, but where it differs is that the cappuccino has more foam on top. It contains one-third espresso, one-third steamed milk, and one-third foam. The foam on top acts as an insulator and helps retain the heat of the beverage, allowing it to stay hotter longer.
Chai Latte – This indicates that the steamed milk of a normal café latte is being flavored with a spiced tea concentrate instead of espresso. If you add a shot of espresso then it is called a Dirty Chai Latte.
Chocolate Dalmatian – A white chocolate mocha topped with java chips and chocolate chips. YUM!!!!
Cinnamon Spice Mocha – A mocha mixed with cinnamon syrup, topped with foam and cinnamon powder.
Cortado – An espresso “cut” (from the Spanish cortar) with a small amount of warm milk to reduce acidity. The ratio of milk to coffee is between 1:1 – 1:2. The milk is added after the espresso.
Decaf – Beverage made with decaffeinated beans. We use the Swiss Water Process to decaffeinate our beans, which means no chemicals are used. Check out our blog post on decaffeinated coffee here.
Doppio – Used above in the Café Medici; it is a double shot of espresso, extracted using a double filter basket in the portafilter.
Eggnog Latte – An autumn and winter seasonal blend of steamed 2% milk and eggnog, plus espresso and a pinch of nutmeg. Sounds like the perfect drink to have around the winter holidays!
Eiskaffee – This literally means “ice cream coffee” in German. It is a popular German drink consisting of chilled coffee, milk, sweetener, vanilla ice cream, and sometimes whipped cream. I think this should become a popular drink here!
Espresso Romano – A shot of espresso with a small rind of lemon and sugar added to it.
Flat White – An espresso shot with a similar proportion of coffee to milk as a latte and a cappuccino, but the main difference is the texture of the milk and (in some regions) the number of espresso shots. Unlike most steamed milk coffee drinks, a flat white is “wet,” so it has little or no foam and a smooth, velvety texture.
Galão – A hot drink from Portugal made of espresso and foamed milk. The ratio is one-quarter coffee to three-quarters foamed milk.
Guillermo – One or two shots of hot espresso poured over slices of lime. It can also be served over ice with sometimes a little bit of milk.
Greek Frappé – A foam-covered iced coffee drink made from spray-dried instant coffee. This beverage is very popular in Greece especially during the summer.
Green Eye – Dripped coffee with a triple shot of espresso. By the way this coffee drink is also known as the Triple Death!
Indian Filter Coffee – Also known as Madras Filter Coffee or Kappi (Tamil phonetic translation of “coffee”). This is a sweet milky coffee drink made from dark roasted coffee beans and chicory.
Instant Coffee – Beverage derived from brewed coffee beans. Through various manufacturing processes the coffee is dehydrated into the form of powder or granules. It is then rehydrated with hot water. Not very fresh!
Irish Coffee – Coffee combined with whiskey and cream. Sugar is often added to it to sweeten it even more. It’s 5 o’clock somewhere…
Kopi Susu – Similar to the Ca phe sua da and literally means “milk coffee.” This is simply made by mixing black coffee with about a quarter to half a glass of sweetened condensed milk then it is left to stand to cool and allow the grounds to sink to the bottom. You should not drink this to the end unless you want to “eat” the grounds.
Libbylou – This is a hot espresso beverage consisting of equal parts of mocha and white mocha topped with espresso and steamed half and half. This is served without any foam and with or without whipped cream.
Liqueur Coffee – Coffee brewed with a 25ml shot of liqueur. The liqueur of choice is added first with a teaspoon of raw cane sugar mixed in. The glass is then filled to within an inch of the top with good, strong, fresh filter coffee. Fresh, chilled, slightly whipped cream is then poured carefully over the back of a cold teaspoon so that it floats on top of the coffee and liqueur mixture.
Macchiato – This literally means “strained” and is an espresso with a dash of foamed milk. It looks like a cappuccino, but it has a much stronger and aromatic taste.
Mary Turner – A soft amount of milk, three sweeteners, and the rest coffee.
Mazagran – A long cold coffee beverage usual in Portugal and served in a tall glass. It is made with at least strong coffee (usually espresso), lemon and ice. Sometimes sugar, rum or water is added.
Pocillo – A shot or small portion of unsweetened coffee usually made using an espresso machine or a caffettiera, but traditionally made using a cloth drip.
Red Eye – Dripped coffee with a single shot of espresso.
Red Tie – This is exactly like a Black Tie, but instead of a double shot of espresso, the Red Tie has only a single shot of espresso.
Red Tux – A Zebra Mocha combined with raspberry flavoring.
Regular Coffee – In New York City and Philadelphia, a regular coffee is one with cream and sugar. Wait, a regular coffee is not the same thing as a black coffee?!
Ristretto – A very “short” shot of espresso. Originally this meant pulling a hand press faster than usual using the same amount of water as a regular shot of espresso. Since the water came in contact with the grinds for a much shorter time the caffeine is extracted in reduced ratio to the flavorful coffee oils. The resulting shot could be described as bolder, fuller, with more body and less bitterness. All these flavors are usually accredited to espresso in general, but are more pronounced in ristretto.
Skinny Latte – A reduced calorie latte made with steamed non-fat milk.
Soy Latte – A latte made with steamed soy milk.
Turkish Coffee – Beans for Turkish coffee are ground or pounded to the finest possible powder, finer than any other way of preparation. The coffee grounds are then immersed in water that is most of the time hot but not boiling for long enough to dissolve the flavorsome compounds.
Vienna Coffee – The name of a popular traditional cream based coffee beverage. Preparing two espresso shots in a standard sized coffee cup and then infusing the coffee with whipped cream until the cup is full make this beverage. The whipped cream replaces the milk and sugar.
White Chocolate Mocha – A sweet mixture of espresso, steamed milk and white chocolate syrup.
White Coffee - The coffee beans are roasted with palm-oil margarine, and the resulting coffee is served with condensed milk. The taste is smooth and sweet, and is often served with ice.
Yuanyang – Also called Ying Yong and is a popular beverage in Hong Kong. It is a mixture of coffee and Hong Kong-style milk tea. If you are wondering what Hong Kong-style milk tea is, it consists of black tea with evaporated or condensed milk.
Zebra Mocha – Sometimes called a Black Tux, is a mixture of regular mocha and white chocolate mocha.
WOW, now that is a lot of different coffee beverages! I hope this quick, yet long, coffee lingo guide comes in handy the next time you step into a coffee shop.