Sunday, September 11, 2016

How to order coffee

There are endless ways to order coffee but in most American coffee shops, these are the basic coffee beverages and what constitutes them.  This is really a 'what to order' not a 'how to order.'  As a barista, I thought it'd helpful to write a post on the basics of what you see on a coffee shop menu.  This is for those of you that know what coffee is, are fond of it, and perhaps looking to expand your caffeination repertoire, but may not be sure what some things on the menu are.

Drip coffee (what you think of when you think coffee):
Light roasts- lighter taste, strong caffeine
Medium roasts- balanced taste, moderate caffeine. Most house blends.
Dark roasts- bold flavor, slightly less caffeine than medium roasts

Roast levels are due to roasting times.  Longer roast, less caffeine.  You may add cream and sugar.

Espresso (pressed coffee):

This is the liquor of coffee. Made a shot or too at a time, often mixed with milk.  All espresso drink caffeine levels depend on quantity of espresso.  One espresso shot averages the caffeine of an 8-12 oz cup of coffee.

Espresso- straight up. Usually a solo (single) or doppio (double shot).
Latte- Espresso, steamed milk, thin layer of foam
Cappuccino- Espresso, steamed milk, 50/50 ratio foam to milk
Americano- Espresso, hot water.  Consistency of drip coffee, espresso flavor
Machiato- Steamed milk, thin layer of foam, espresso poured over top foam.  Layered latte.
Breve- Steamed half and half, espresso

Flavors and toppings can be added.  Whipped cream also exists, that's all I'll say about that.

Drip coffee variants:
Red eye- drip coffee +1 espresso shot
Black eye- drip coffee +2 espresso shots
Purple eye- drip coffee +3 espresso shots
Cafe au lait- Drip coffee, steamed milk

Decaf: A coffee flavored something we don't talk about...

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