If you want to order coffee like a local, you’ve come to the right place. For many Spanish people, the day can’t start without a little café con leche! Did you know that how people tend to drink coffee varies from place to place? Coffee all around the world is different! Next time you go to Spain, you’ll notice that their coffee might look and taste very different from coffee you’re used to in the United States.
A main difference is sugar in coffee drinks. A lot of drinks at Starbucks and other coffee shops come with sugar in it already, and if you want it served a different way, you need to specify it. In Spain, and many parts of Europe, when you buy a coffee, it doesn’t come with sugar. You often need to sweeten it yourself! In addition, the cups aren’t as big as coffees in the US. Your smaller cup will pack a big punch.
Order coffee in Spanish- Know the types of drinks
The first thing you need to know is what type of drink you want. Coffee drinks in Spain are often varieties in the amount of coffee and milk, or water or ice, that you want. Here’s the breakdown on popular types of coffee you’ll often see in Spanish coffee shops, from the most milk to the least:
- Café bombón- For those with a big sweet tooth, this is espresso with sweetened condensed milk.
- Manchado or leche manchada– Manchar means to stain, so this literally translates to milk that has been “stained” with some coffee.
- Café con leche – This literally translates to coffee with milk and has equal parts coffee and milk.
- Café con hielo – You’ll often see this drink with the espresso and ice served in separate glasses. Then, you add sugar to the espresso and pour it over the ice.
- Café cortado – This gets its name from being espresso that’s “cut” with a little bit of milk, so it has a bit more coffee than milk.
- Café americano – If you don’t want any milk but you still want a strong flavor, this is just espresso and water.
- Café solo – For those that like it bold, this is just a shot of espresso.