So you’ve set up a date at your local version of Central Park…this you are apprehensive about. Not because you don’t want to meet up with the person, no not at all.
You’re looking forward to that part. You’re only nervous because of one thing: you don’t know how to go about ordering anything coffee related.
This very pain point has made you stay clear of coffee shops in the past. Perhaps you went inside and were overloaded with all the names of drinks on the board, the loud noises, and overhearing the customer in front of you order a "triple skinny latte with three pumps of sugar-free vanilla, hold the foam." Say what, right?
Never fear, ordering from a coffee shop doesn’t need to be as complicated. I’m here to help you out with a little cheat sheet, decrease your ordering anxiety and get you prepared in no time.
To simplify some of the confusion around coffee, it’s all about the layering of espresso that differentiates one drink from another.
Some important terms to keep in mind:
Espresso sounds super fancy, but in simple terms, it’s strong black coffee made by forcing steam through ground coffee beans.
Usually served in a tiny cup, espresso is to drink quickly. It can sometimes have bitterness to it, so if you’re not well acquainted with coffee drinks, this might not be the best starter option for you. Unless you’re brave, and in that case you go for it.
Ah ah ah ah ah Americano. Besides the catchy Lady Gaga song, Americano is another coffee drink. Simply put, Americanos are shots of espresso (as much as your heart desires, or should I say…can take) in a coffee cup with hot water added.
For those that love the taste of espresso, this is an excellent way to still drink it in a diluted manner.
Interestingly, the name is said to date back to WWII, when Americans ordered coffee in Italian cafes. American troops longed for the coffee drank at home, and this the Americano was born.
Next, the beloved latte. This is a great drink for new coffee drinkers because of its mixture of milk and espresso, making it very easy to drink.
Many people complain that espresso drinks and coffee are too bitter, or simply don’t like the taste of it.
With lattes, you can enjoy the taste of espresso, but the milk of choice cuts it just right. Additionally, you’re welcome to add your favorite flavor.
Vanilla and hazelnut are traditional flavors, and coffee shops often treat their customers with seasonal flavors. One pumpkin spice latte, please!
With the macchiato the layering is different. Instead of being mixed into the drink, the macchiato’s top layer is espresso.
You may have seen this drink displayed on Instagram or an advertisement for Starbucks, that’s because it’s just so beautiful.
The layering creates an almost ombre effect which makes this drink not only yummy but very Snap and Insta worthy.
I recommend ordering a caramel macchiato – the sweet silkiness of the caramel blends in deliciously.
These are very similar to a latte, but have more foam on top usually. If you order a "dry" cappuccino, you will get one with more foam. The same goes for a "wet" cappuccino, which will have more milk.
With Americanos, Macchiatos and Lattes, you also have the option of getting it iced. Which is truly a game changer!
One more thing…
Let’s talk about sizing real quick.
Tall = Small (this one is easy because of the rhyme)
Grande = Medium
Venti = Large
Now that you have the basics down, I suggest you go for that date. You may even want to treat yourself to a cookie (or two) while you’re at it.