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Your Coffeehouse Dictionary

Updated on May 29, 2011

Ever walked into a coffeehouse and realized there is much more to a cup of joe than you thought? Sure, you’ve seen the Starbucks cups all over the place, but never understood the difference between a Latte and Cappuccino. For coffee house newbies, the selection is usually overwhelming, and results in the newbie buying anything that has chocolate or caramel in it. Once the basic coffee concoctions are understood, the more lavish (and expensive) coffee concoctions are decipherable.

The Espresso: 1 ounce of strongly brewed black coffee made by forcing steam through ground coffee beans (the foundation of all other coffee concoctions)

The Americano: 1 ounce espresso and 5 ounces hot water

The Breve: 1 ounce espresso topped with a desired amount of light cream

The Con Panna: 1 ounce espresso topped with a dollop of whipped cream

The Doppio: 2 ounces espresso and 1 ounce of hot water

The Macchiato: 1 ounce espresso, ½ ounce steamed milk, and ½ ounce milk foam

The Café Mocha: 1 ounce espresso, ½ ounce chocolate syrup, 5 ounces steamed milk, and 1 ounce milk foam

The Cappuccino: 1 ounce espresso, 3 ounces steamed milk, 2 ounces milk foam, and topped with desired shavings or sprinkles

The Caffe Latte: 1 ounce espresso, 6 ounces steamed milk, and 1 ounce milk foam

The Romano: 1 ounce espresso with a twist of lemon peel

Of course, depending on what country, city, and coffeehouse you enter – the proportions may vary a little – but these are the favorable practiced standards based on a single serving cup. So walk in with your head held high, order as if you have been drinking espresso for years, and make sure to keep the pinky up!


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    • Carmen H profile image

      Carmen Beth 6 years ago

      Great brief details!