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Learning the Barista Lingo

Chances are good that if you purchase fine coffee, you brew your favorite drinks at home just like the barista, or coffee bartender, at your favorite café or coffee house. You might simply mix things the way you like them, but now you can talk the talk, too, by learning the lingo your barista speaks.

Caffe Americano: Dilute one shot of espresso with seven ounces of hot water. This should taste a bit like a strong cup of regular brewed coffee when you make it, but a little more bitter from the espresso beans.

Cafe au Lait: There’s no espresso in a café au lait. It consists of equal parts of steamed milk and drip-brewed coffee.

Caffe Breve: When you want a café au lait, but with half-and-half rather than milk, you order it breve.

Caffe Corretto: This would be incorrect for any person in AA to order since a coretto (corrected) merges a shot of espresso with brandy or another liquor.

Caffe Latte: The completely safe shot of espresso merged with a bit of steamed milk, then topped with a thin layer of foamed milk.

Caffe Mocha: A shot of espresso blended with chocolate syrup and steamed milk. You can top this drink with steamed milk or whipped cream.

Cappuccino: A shot of espresso topped with milk foam.

Con Panna: A shot of espresso topped with a single dollop of whipped cream.

Crema: Producing a good crema when brewing espresso is one of the signs of a good barista. Crema refers to the creamy, reddish-brown foam layer that tops a cup of espresso.

Doppio: The double in this order refers to a double shot of espresso.

Draw or Pull: Refers to the act of making a shot of espresso.

Espresso Macchiato: What you think you know from Starbucks is wrong. In Italian, the word macchiato refers to "marked" or "stained," in this case, espresso with milk foam.

Flat: If your friends see your new espresso machine and ask you to make them a flat espresso, they just mean they want one with no foam.

That’s the basics. You’re ready to have friends over and make coffee with your fine coffee and espresso machine as if you were the barista at your favorite espresso bar. Pick up a few of your favorite beans or grounds today at Venetian Coffee and get to brewing.

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