In the past, buying a coffee was a simple task, with very few options. But, nowadays, even fast food restaurants are using weird and confusing terminology for their coffee. This certainly makes the morning a little more challenging! To help you out here’re some of the common terms that coffee shops use, and what they mean.
- Arabica vs. Robusta Beans
You will often hear these two coffee terms thrown around, but what do they mean? Well, Arabica beans are the most popular in the world. They’re often regarded as higher quality beans, but they’re harder to produce than Robusta. Robusta beans are more bitter than Arabica, as a result of having a higher caffeine concentration. In reality, most coffees are a blend of the two types of bean.
- Espresso Shots
Espresso is a highly concentrated coffee, usually supplied in the form of a shot. People will drink these shots on there own, for a big hit of caffeine and a strong taste. But, Espresso is also used in dozens of the other drinks you’ll find in a coffee shop.
This is one of the most popular drinks found in cafes, the world over. This beverage is made by mixing expertly steamed milk foam with one or more shots of Espresso. This is one of the most important drinks for a barista to perfect, being so popular.
Lattes are similar to Cappuccinos. But, instead of consisting of mainly milk foam, a Latte is made with steamed milk and a small amount of foam on top. Latte art is very common in coffee shops and takes a long time to master.
This beverage is created by using two shots of Espresso and mixing it with the same amount of steamed milk foam.
- Flat White
Flat whites are often confused with Cappuccinos and Lattes. But, instead of milk being the dominant feature, a flat white instead has more coffee than milk. The milk will be smoother than other drinks, and the coffee flavor will be the most prominent.
- Different Roasts
You will often here coffee beans described as dark, medium or lightly roasted. Dark roasted coffee will be dark like charcoal and will possess nearly none of the coffee’s original flavor. Dark coffee will have low acidity, but a heavier body. Lightly roasted beans will taste very similar to their origin beans, and will be very light in color. They will be quite acidic and will have no oil on the outside. Medium roasted coffee sites in the middle, offering the best of both.
A Barista is the person who stands behind the counter and makes your coffee! This work is considered to be an art by many and can take years to master. Even in big chain coffee shops, this position is considered skilled. Simply operating some coffee machines is hard enough to warrant appreciation.
Hopefully, this will make your morning coffee trip a little more simple, instead of being a headache. The key to most good coffees is the person who makes it, not the beans or even machine they use.