How many of you drink coffee? How often do you step into a coffee shop to get your caffeine fix?
As college students, we all tend to fall on the short side of sleep (and wake up on the wrong side too). Fortunately, we have the almighty coffee bean to get us through those rough times! I’ve been a barista for over a year now, and unlimited access to espresso has definitely been the source of my
power energy over the semesters.
Now that I’ve been immersed in the coffee world, I always want to help the person who stands on the other side of the counter looking lost. Oh you poor, poor soul! Don’t be overwhelmed – once you learn the basics, coffee isn’t as intimidating as you think.
Today, I’m going to be breaking down foundational coffee lingo so you’ll be able to step into a coffee shop and order with confidence! Let’s get started, shall we?
1. What’s the difference between a mocha and a latte?
First thing’s first – milk. That’s the only difference between these drinks. A mocha is made with chocolate milk while a latte is made with white milk. These are definitely not the only options available though, as personalizing your coffee to exactly your taste is one of the wonderful things about a coffee shop. Other common milks used include: half-and-half (known as a breve), soy milk, almond milk, and coconut milk. Espresso shots are added to your steamed milk, creating a delicious tasting drink.
2. “Can I get a blended cappuccino?”
Don’t ever say that phrase to your barista if you don’t want them to do an internal eye roll. I get it, I do. We see the word “cappuccino” splashed over many coffee products that are sold in stores. However, contrary to popular belief, cappuccino is not a flavor that’s added. At least, not when you’re in a legitimate coffee shop. It describes the way the drink is made. A cappuccino is essentially a latte (steamed white milk and espresso) with lots of foam. When your barista asks if you’d like it wet or dry, we’re asking if you’d prefer less foam (wet) or more foam (dry).
3. “What about a blended caramel macchiato?”
*insert face palm here* Again, this is a term we’ve come to associate with a flavor when in fact it’s the way a drink is made. A macchiato means the drink is layered (syrup first, then milk, finished with espresso shots poured on top and caramel drizzle). If you ask for it blended, you might as well just order a blended caramel latte.
4. Be creative with your coffee
If you prefer drip coffee, that’s okay. However, part of the fun of joining the coffee world is the opportunity to experiment and try new things. I mean, isn’t variety the spice of life? Pick a new syrup to add to your coffee drink. Heck, mix TWO different syrups! Take a walk on the wild side (and don’t be afraid to ask your barista for directions along the way) and enjoy your travels in a caffeinated world.
Do you have a go-to coffee drink? Let us know!