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Learning Spanish: How to order a coffee in Spain

Written by Laurent Escobar | 24th August 2017 |

Category: Spain

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Coffee is an important part of the Spanish way of life. While some might argue low-quality coffee (torrefacto technique) is frequently used here, they make it taste great. In any case, a new wave of coffee roasting is taking hold in urban areas of Spain.

For today’s Spanish lesson, we’ve listed 53 ways of ordering a coffee in Spain, including some of the most representative regional specialities. Please note that while some names might change depending on the region you are, this guide will certainly do the trick!
The Classics

Café Solo: espresso.

Café Doble: double espresso.

Café con Leche: coffee with milk, usually half and half proportionally.

Café Cortado/Manchado: espresso with a dash of milk.

Café con Hielo: espresso with ice.

Café Americano: espresso with water added to it.

Cappuchino: espresso with little milk, a lot of foam, chocolate and cinnamon.

Café Latte: espresso with a lot of milk and little foam.

Macchiato: espresso with foam.

Café Lágrima: a dash of coffee with a lot of milk.
The Complex

Espresso panna: espresso with whipped cream.

Café Vienés: espresso with chocolate, milk and foam.

Café Suizo: espresso topped with whipped cream.

Café Caramel: espresso with condensed milk.

Café Arabe: espresso with cardamom and cinnamon.

Café Irlandés: espresso with whiskey and whipped cream.

Café Hawaiano: espresso with milk and coconut.

Café Amaretto: espresso with Amaretto liqueur and cream.

Café Caribeño: espresso with rum, sugar and vanilla.
The Regionals

Barraquito: Café cortado with milk, condensed milk, cinnamon, lemon rind and Licor 43 or Tía María. Tenerife.

Belmonte: espresso with condensed milk and brandy. Murcia and Almería.

Blanco y Negro: frozen coffee with leche merengada - a sort of meringue ice cream. Comunidad Valenciana.

Café Asiático: espresso with condensed milk, brandy or rum flambé, and sprinkled with cinnamon. Cartagena.

Café Bombon: espresso with a generous dose of condensed milk. Alicante.

Café Caleta: Carajillo de rum and brandy with lemon and orange rind. Ibiza.

Café con Gotas or Tocado Gallego: espresso with a drop of Orujo. Galicia.

Café del Tiempo: frozen espresso with lemon and cinnamon. Comunidad Valenciana.

Carajillo: espresso with a drop of brandy, whiskey, rum or liquor. Catalonia.

Carajillo bombón: espresso with brandy and condensed milk. Madrid.

Catalán: espresso with crema catalana (a type of flan/creme caramel). Catalonia.

Celta: espresso with brown sugar, orujo, 3 coffee beans and a slice of lemon. Galicia.

Completo: one of the greats this one: a shot of espresso, a glass of brandy and a cigar. Castilla and León.

Cortado condensada: Café cortado with condensed milk. Islas Canarias.

Ebaki: espresso, milk with a lot of sugar. San Sebastián.

Honorable: espresso with rum. Catalonia.

Leche y leche: Café largo cortado with condensed milk. Islas Canarias.

Mitad y mitad: espresso with hot and cold milk. Madrid.

Mixto: espresso with cream or strawberry ice cream or frozen horchata. Comunidad Valenciana.

Nacional/Ruso: frozen espresso with vanilla ice cream. Comunidad Valenciana.

Nube: a mix of 10% coffee, 90% milk. Málaga.

Perfumat: espresso and anise. Catalonia.

Quemadillo aragonés: 3 coffee beans burnt in rum, with milk. Zaragoza.

Quemadillo de Ron: sugar, rum, milk, espresso and coffee beans. Flambé. La Rioja and Navarra.

Rebentó: carajillo with local rum. Mallorca.

Rebullit or rehervido: espresso made with reused coffee grounds. Comunidad Valenciana.

Resolí: Aguardiente de la sierra, brandy, sugar, espresso, orange rind and cinnamon. Cuenca.

Soldao: espresso, Cointreau and sparkling water. Zaragoza.

Sombra: 20% coffee, 80% of milk. Málaga.

Suspiro de limón: lemon frozen with a dash of coffee. Comunidad Valenciana.

Suspiro horchata: tiger nut milk with a dash of coffee. Comunidad Valenciana.

Tallat: café cortado with milk. Catalonia.

Tocaet/Tocado valenciano: espresso with a drop of brandy. Comunidad Valenciana.

Trifásico or tricolor: espresso, brandy and milk. Catalonia.
Bonus: ‘no coffee’ 

Submarino: milk with a chocolate bar.

Quitafrío: milk with whisky or rum, honey and spices.

By the way, fresh decaffeinated coffee isn’t very popular in Spain, and many cafes may only have it in instant form. However, some offer machine-brewed decaffeinated coffee. So if you see ‘descafeinado de maquina' on the menu, make sure to clarify that you want your coffee prepared with decaffeinated coffee. All you have to do is add the words ‘descafeinado de maquina' to any of the above. If you only say ‘descafeinado’ you might end up being served with instant coffee.

While you might never be able to remember all these names, one important thing though is to learn how to order and enjoy it the Spanish way. After you ordered your coffee, please sit down and take time to relax. Spaniards rarely take their coffees on the go so please enjoy the moment!

How do you order your coffee in Spain? Please tell us what is your favourite coffee, comment below.

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