Tell me if this sounds familiar: You spot a cute new coffee shop and decide to check it out. You walk in, scan the menu and a couple of delicious-seeming options catch your eye. You walk up to the counter, ready to wing it.
Then your mind blanks and you order a regular drip coffee.
Before I owned my own shop, this happened to me all the time. I’d either panic and order a black coffee; or I’d order a random drink from the menu, only to have it taste too sweet, or contain entirely too much milk, or – worse – not taste like coffee at all.
So, how are you supposed to know what to order?
Most specialty espresso drinks are some combination of espresso, steamed milk, hot water or flavoured syrups. Once you know the basic anatomy of a drink, it’s easy to choose based on how you usually take your coffee.
Lattes consist of espresso and steamed milk. So, if you normally like your drip coffee with lots of cream and sugar, a flavoured Latte would be a good bet. A Mocha is just a Latte with chocolate syrup melted into the espresso shot. Hot chocolate lovers, this one’s for you.
If you want a lighter drink, try a Cappuccino. They have the same amount of espresso as a Latte, but contain more foam than milk. If you normally take your drip coffee black, try an Americano.
The best part is that everything is endlessly customizable! You can play around with different combinations until you find your drink. My favourite is an Americano Misto made with almond milk and one pump of vanilla.
Don’t forget – your barista is the best place to start. Tell us what you’re in the mood for and we’ll have a ton of recommendations. We genuinely want you to enjoy your daily coffee!