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Take a look at the different types of coffees that you can order in a Coffee House. Have you ever wondered what they actually were? Below is a list of the different types of coffees you can order at most Coffee Houses.


CaffÈ Latte
[caf-AY LAH-tay] 
Espresso with steamed milk and in some shops, a small cap of foam. It has less foam than a cappuccino.
Definitions blur easily here.

In Australia: " 'Latte' gets you a _glass_ with a shot of espresso and lots of milk and some foam - half way between a flat white and a cap. Seems to have originated as the breakfast drink of Sydney commuters.  Has become infinitely fashionable due to the need for brass glass holders, which only the fashionable coffee houses have (the rest of us wrap the glass in a napkin)"

Kenneth Davids, noted coffee author, says that CafÉ au lait is simply the French name for CaffÈ Latte. He states that in Spain, this same drink is called CafÉ con leche

CaffÈ Mocha ........ [caf-AY MO-kah]
A term of no small controversy. Depending upon where you are, ordering a 'mocha' might get you a 'latte' or a cappuccino with chocolate syrup or hot cocoa.  On the other hand, it might just send the barista thermonuclear -- especially if the word 'mocha' is not on the menu.

Mocha was a port in Yemen -- a major coffee-growing country located in southwest Asia at the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula -- and "it has NOTHING to do with chocolate!!!!!"

One contributor states "However, my dictionary lists Mocha as 'a flavoring obtained from a combined infusion of coffee and chocolate' usage as dating from the early 19th century (circa 1815 it says)"

For the record, the American Heritage Dictionary gives the following 5 definitions:

Mo·cha  n.
1. A rich, pungent Arabian coffee.
2. Coffee of high quality.
3. A flavoring made of coffee often mixed with chocolate.
4. A soft, thin, suede-finished glove
leather usually made from sheepskin.
5. Color. A dark olive brown.

Starbucks defines caffÈ mocha as "enough good quality chocolate syrup to cover the bottom of the cup, 1 shot of espresso [...] fill with steamed milk [...] top with a dollop of whipped cream [...] and lightly sprinkle with cocoa powder".
Finally, one reader sends us "When I was in New Zealand a popular coffee was a 'mochachino' which was made by adding hot chocolate to espresso, it was quite foamy (as foamy as the hot chocolate). " The term 'mochacino' (aka 'moccaccino') is also used some places in the US.

The best advice here is to check the menu before ordering or ask for a "cappuccino/latte with chocolate syrup".

Cappuccino ......... [cap-uh-CHEE-no]
A shot of espresso with the remainder
being 50% steamed milk and 50% milk foam/froth. An alternative description is 1/3 espresso,  1/3 steamed milk, 1/3 foamed milk.  But again, this depends very much on the maker.  Many places use more steamed milk and less froth.   "Cappuccino is essentially a latte topped with milk FOAM." Another contributor states "The foam should follow the milk to the cup naturally. [if] It is added with a spoon then [it] is _no_good."

But just the opposite is true in other places. "I just started working as a barista, here in Berkeley,about a month ago. When I was shown how to make Cappuccino's, I was told that a Cappuccino has no steamed milk - only foam. The place I work is in a  Hotel near UCBerk, and a lot of my customers are European. One Italian gentleman ordered a cappuccino from me, and I hadn't let the foam sit long enough and a *tiny* bit of milk seeped into the shot of espresso. He asked for another cappuccino, saying I hadn't made it right, so I asked him how it was done. He made another one, and it was a jet black shot of espresso with more than just a dollop of foam on top."

Referring to the above description, Geoffrey Maugham writes: "We have always referred to this kind of cappuccino as a "dry" or "light" cappuccino. You can tell the difference between a good 1/3-1/3-1/3 cappuccino and a latte by their weight.

Finally, some interesting history on the word cappuccino, according to the American Heritage Dictionary:

"The history of the word cappuccino exemplifies  how words can develop new senses because of resemblance that the original coiners of the terms might not have dreamed possible. The Capuchin order of friars, established after 1525, played an important role in bringing Catholicism back to Reformation Europe. Its Italian name came from the long, pointed cowl, or cappuccino, derived from cappuccino, "hood" that was worn as part of the order's habit. The French version of cappuccino was capuchin (now capucin), from which came English Capuchin. The name of this pious order was later used as the name (first recorded in English in 1785) for a type of monkey with a tuft of black, cow like hair. In Italian cappuccino went on to develop another sense, "espresso coffee mixed or topped with steamed milk or cream" so called because the color of the coffee resembled the color of the habit of a Capuchin friar. The first use of cappuccino in English is recorded in 1948 in a work about San Francisco."

Espresso Macchiato .. [mock-e-AH-toe]
Some say this is espresso with about 
a half inch of milk foam (no steamed milk). But some strongly disagree. One enthusiast writes of the above definition:  "Surely not. Macchiato (lit. "marked") is a dash of milk or cream in espresso."  Another writes "the chap who serves me espresso, and who has been roasting coffee and selling and leasing machines for several years ....tells me that Macchiato is made with half-and-half." 

From Australia: " 'Macchiato' has two variations here - long and short. 'Short' is an espresso (in the mandatory micro cup) with just a dash of milk.  This is the default at most trad. Italian mum & dad restaurants.  'Long' is a _glass_ with two shots of espresso, and small amount of milk.  The peak of macchiato making is to pour the milk in so slowly that it never makes it to the bottom of the glass.  The resulting layered drink has been known to inspire fear in the novice drinker. This the default at coffee houses. Both of these _seemed_ to have started out in small glasses (about 175ml) but the fashionable have demanded ever larger glasses - of about 375ml.

Starbucks defines Espresso Macchiato as "1 shot of espresso in a demitasse [topped with] a small dollop of foamed milk.



Espresso ........... [ess-PRESS-o]
A 1-2 ounce drink made in by forcing hot water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans.  Typically, espresso beans are darkly roasted but this is not a requirement.

CafÉ au lait
Coffee and heated milk in latte proportions, but using 'regular' coffee (a.k.a. "American
filter coffee")  instead of espresso. The 'regular' coffee should be brewed 'double strength' to better reflect the heavier brew ratio used by Europeans (in some places double or triple the dose used by Americans). Still another contributor writes "espresso with scalded milk is a unique prep.  Someone here recently called this drink cafÉ au lait".

Kenneth Davids, noted coffee author, says that CafÉ au lait is simply the French name for CaffÈ Latte. He states that in Spain, this same drink is called CafÉ con leche.

Espresso with steamed "half & half" (or cream)


CafÉ con leche
See CafÉ au lait AND CaffÈ Latte

CafÉ CrÈme
The French name for Cappuccino

A Cuban coffee drink made from espresso and caramelized sugar.

CaffÈ Americano
Espresso diluted (after brewing) with an equal  portion of hot water.    Not everyone agrees: "Not necessarily. In many places an 'Americano' may be a 'regular' coffee from a coffee maker."Some definitions of Americano claim it is espresso being diluted with 'regular' coffee.

CaffÈ Corretto
Espresso with a dash of an alcoholic beverage, e.g. sambuca

CaffÈ Freddo
Iced coffee

CaffÈ Lungo
A 'long pull' espresso.  It is an espresso
diluted by allowing a longer extraction
thereby resulting in a weaker drink.

A double shot (4 oz.) shot of espresso

Espresso Con Panna
[ess-PRESS-o cone PA-na] 
Espresso with a dollop of whipped cream.

Espresso Granita
Frozen espresso, crushed and served in a parfait glass topped with whipped cream.   American versions combine espresso, milk & sugar and then freeze the mixture in special dispensing machines. This is also know as a Granita Latte.

Espresso Ristretto
A 'short pull' (stronger) espresso. "A ristretto is an espresso made with less (half?) the water used for a regular espresso.

"It is a 'ristretto' or restricted shot, where the flow of water is turned off early giving a .75 to 1 oz shot instead of a 1.5 to 2 oz shot. VERY stout."

Espresso Romano
Espresso with a slice of lemon on the side.

Granita Latte
See Espresso Granita

Iced Cappuccino
A single or double shot of espresso over crushed ice with an once or two of cold milk and milk froth.

Iced Espresso
Usually a double shot of espresso over crushed ice, possibly with whipped cream.

Latte Macchiato
Author Kenneth Davids defines this as "a glass filled with hot frothed milk, into which a serving of espresso is slowly dribbled. The coffee colors, or stains the milk in faint, graduated layers, darker at the top shading to light at the bottom, all contrasting with the layer of pure white foam at the top."

Espresso with steamed milk and about a half inch of milk foam on top.  (NOTE: This is commonly served as "latte" in some parts of the country.)   Some enthusiasts feel this name is a pretentious invention by overly imaginative coffee shops.  

See Mocha Latte (and also CaffÈ Mocha)

Mocha Latte
Acording to Kenneth Davids, "a milkier version of the classic [CaffÈ] Mocha. If I were to suggest proportions for this invention, they would be one-quarter properly strong espresso, one-quarter properly strong chocolate, and one-half milk and froth."

The kind of coffee you get when you use a stove top espresso maker. "It's not quite espresso, so it doesn't really fall under that category."  Don't confuse this with 'CaffÈ Mocha' listed above.

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