Did the “Friends” reunion make you miss your old weekly habit? It was fun seeing Monica and Rachel’s flat again and Chandler and Joey’s just right across the hall, the familiar fountain from the opening credits and of course, the iconic orange couch in Central Perk.
Ahh, Central Perk. In a way, the show might have set the coffee house global trend, in the same way that it made “the Rachel” a must-have hairstyle in the ‘90s. Or maybe cafes are just a plain old good idea, because we all love our coffee, which then begs the question…
What’s Your Favourite Coffee?
The Latte is one of the most popular coffee drinks. Not too sugary nor too dull, a latte is a shot of espresso and steamed milk with a touch of foam, and can be ordered plain or with a flavour shot of vanilla.
The Aussie-born drink Flat White is very similar to the Latte. The biggest difference is that a Flat White is not served with foam (hence the name). It’s simply an espresso with steamed milk.
Black coffee is as simple as it gets: ground coffee beans steeped in hot water, served warm. No milk, no sugar; no muss, no fuss. It’s perfect for minimalists who like their coffee bold and strong. If you add in a splash of warm milk, it becomes a Café au Lait. But add in an espresso shot and you have a Red Eye. The name of the drink speaks for itself!
To make an espresso shot, pass pressurized hot water through a filter of finely ground, dark roasted coffee beans, producing a very concentrated shot. Perfect for the busy coffee lovers, get a solo shot and off you go!
An espresso shot is also the foundational element for an entire family of coffee drinks. Dilute it with a cup of hot water to produce an Americano. When prepped with less hot water, an espresso is called a Ristretto, which is more concentrated but sweeter and less bitter.
Need a stronger boost? Try a Doppio – that’s a double shot of espresso. Or take it with a little foam on top and enjoy a smooth Macchiato.
If you like it hot and sweet, get yourself a Mocha – an espresso-based drink with chocolate, steamed milk, and foam. Or how about an Affogato, which is a shot of espresso or two on a scoop of ice cream. Yum.
The Cappuccino is another popular coffee drink. It sits perfectly between sweet and strong.
A Cappuccino is a lot like a Latte but with a sprinkle of cocoa powder or cinnamon on top. The difference? A Cappuccino consists of more foam than steamed milk. Also, some baristas use cream instead of milk and throw in a flavour shot as well. Put in twice as much foamed milk, and you’ve got yourself Cappucino’s distant cousin, the Galão.
Missing your favourite coffee haunt even more now? You know, that cosy coffee shop you used to frequent before work, where the friendly neighbourhood barista would nail your “usual” right every single time. Now that you’ve got your coffee vocabulary down pat, why not treat yourself to some other menu staple on your next visit, if you’re feeling a bit adventurous!