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What Is The Coffee Lingo?

What is the coffee lingo?

Coffee is more than just a morning pick-me-up; it's a whole culture, with its own lingo and rituals. Whether you're a coffee novice or a seasoned pro, speaking the language of coffee can help you navigate the world of specialty coffee and impress your barista friends. In this guide, we'll explore some of the most common coffee lingo and tips for speaking like a coffee expert.

  1. Espresso: This is the foundation of many coffee drinks, including cappuccinos, lattes, and Americanos. Espresso is a concentrated shot of coffee made by forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee beans. Espresso should have a crema (a layer of foam on top) that is reddish-brown in color and a syrupy consistency.

  2. Crema: The crema is the golden-brown foam that sits on top of an espresso shot. It's an important indicator of the quality of the espresso, as a good crema signifies that the espresso was extracted properly.

  3. Cappuccino: This is a classic Italian coffee drink that consists of equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk. A traditional cappuccino has a 1:1:1 ratio of espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk. A dry cappuccino has more frothed milk, while a wet cappuccino has more steamed milk.

  4. Latte: A latte is similar to a cappuccino, but it has more steamed milk and less frothed milk. A typical latte has a 1:3 ratio of espresso to steamed milk.

  5. Americano: An Americano is a simple coffee drink that consists of espresso and hot water. It's a popular drink for those who want a less intense coffee flavor than espresso.

  6. Macchiato: This is a small espresso drink with a dollop of milk foam on top. The word "macchiato" means "stained" in Italian, referring to the dollop of foam on top of the espresso.

  7. Drip coffee: This is the most common type of coffee in the United States. It's made by pouring hot water over ground coffee beans and letting it drip through a filter. Drip coffee is typically less concentrated than espresso.


Now that you know some of the most common coffee lingo, here are some tips for speaking like a coffee expert:

  1. Practice your pronunciation: Italian is the language of coffee, so it's important to learn how to pronounce Italian words like "espresso," "cappuccino," and "macchiato." Practice saying these words out loud until you feel comfortable with the pronunciation.

  2. Know your ratios: If you want to sound like a coffee expert, it's important to know the ratios for different coffee drinks. For example, a cappuccino has a 1:1:1 ratio of espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk.

  3. Use coffee jargon: Coffee experts use jargon like "crema," "body," and "acidity" to describe coffee flavors. Start using these terms when you talk about coffee to sound more knowledgeable.

  4. Learn about different coffee roasts: Coffee roasts can affect the flavor of coffee, so it's important to know the difference between light, medium, and dark roasts. Light roasts have a lighter, more acidic flavor, while dark roasts have a bolder, more intense flavor.


In conclusion, speaking like a coffee expert takes practice and knowledge of coffee lingo. By learning the proper pronunciation, ratios, jargon, and roasts, you'll be able to impress your coffee-loving friends and baristas.

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