A Beginner’s Guide to Coffee Ordering Terms

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Coffee is an amazing drink. It wakes you up, keeps your brain clear, and tastes great! But coffee can also be confusing for new coffee drinkers. How do I say the sizes? What are all these words on the menu? There are so many coffee terms that it can feel like a foreign language to someone who has never ordered before! To help combat this confusion, we’ve put together this coffee ordering guide for noobs (newbies).

Coffee Ordering Terms

  • Decaf: The term “decaf” refers to decaffeinated coffee. It’s a decaffeinated drink made from coffee beans that have had at least 97% of their caffeine removed. Beans are decaffeinated before they’re roasted and ground. Apart from the caffeine content, the nutritional value of decaf coffee is very similar to that of regular coffee. Caffeine can be removed through water treatment (also known as the “Swiss water process”), or it may be treated chemically.Decaf is a great option for late-night coffee cravings that won’t keep you awake.
  • Regular: Not decaf.
  • Double: Twice the amount. A double shot, a double quantity of flavor syrup, two packs of sugar, or twice the regular amount of milk are all examples of doubles. When ordering coffee, simply say “double” before the thing you want in order to get twice as much.
  • Double Double: In Canada, the double double is a popular beverage order at Tim Horton’s. It refers to a huge coffee with two creamer packs and two sugar packets blended together.
  • Dry: A drink containing only frothed milk (little or no creamy hot milk).
  • Extra: Also known as “double.” This is frequently used when extra flavor, milk, or sugar are desired.
  • Half-Caf: A 1:1 ratio of “decaf” and “ordinary” coffee, also known as a “split shot” or “half and half.”
  • House: This is the coffee blend used in the store. It varies by location, so don’t be hesitant to ask what it’s like!
  • Mocha: A drink prepared with chocolate syrup or powder.
  • Rice: Rice milk is less common than soy milk, but if your local coffeehouse offers it in addition to a drink, you can order it instead of milk.
  • Quad: Four espresso shots. In the United States, it’s also known as a “double-double.” (Warning – in Canada, “double-double” implies “with two sugars and two creamers”).
  • Skinny: A non-fat milk drink.
  • Shot: Traditionally, a single shot (solo) of espresso uses 7g of espresso-fine grounds and creates about 30ml of espresso (about 1 liquid ounce). Weighing shots is a relatively recent technique, so most baristas in the previous 80 years or more have judged when the shot was finished using eyesight.
  • Single: One shot of espresso is typically ordered straight or as part of a more complex drink.  It can also refer to other ingredients (such as a single sugar or a single shot of flavor).
  • Solo: A single shot of espresso, regardless of size, is used to prepare a solo.
  • Soy: Soymilk. It’s available instead of milk or as a supplement to your favorite drink.
  • Sugar-Free: A drink that is usually sweetened with a sugar substitute, but not with sugar. Or a sugarless version of a drink that usually contains sugar.
  • Triple: A drink prepared with three shots of espresso.
  • Wet: When it comes to describing the amount of foam in a drink, espresso has two distinct options: dry and wet. Dry is the opposite of wet, which means there is less to no foam and more milk. Unless you want them extra wet, order drinks “wet.”
  • Whip: whipped cream. If you want whipped cream on a drink that usually does not have it, order “whip” and if you don’t want whipped cream on a drink that usually has it, request “no whip.”

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