Ordering coffee in Spanish while traveling can be a challenge! Most coffee in Spanish speaking countries is made espresso-style. No watered down Folgers or to-go mugs here!
Summer, hopefully, means lazier mornings and perhaps having more time to enjoy a morning coffee. So if you need to order in Spanish, here are the phrases you’ll want to use. And yes, I’m including a tip for tea, too!
café solo: A small cup of espresso.
café americano: A small cup of espresso but with a bit more water to make it less strong.
café cortado: A small cup of espresso with a splash of milk.
café con leche: Half espresso and half milk.
café con hielo: Iced coffee.
descafeinado: Use this adjective at the end of your request. Not all establishments will offer decaf, but it’s worth a try. For example, “Un cafe cortado descafeinado, por favor.”
Okay, those are the basics. This is, obviously, just the tip of the iceburg and there are great articles that delve way deeper into coffee culture.
Don’t forget us tea drinkers! Here is my tip for ordering tea: Don’t ask for “té con leche” because you will get hot milk with a tea bag in it. If you drink black tea with milk, ask for “té negro con un poco de leche al lado.”
Let me know if you have any questions or tips to share about coffee! If you are living in a Spanish-speaking country, what other coffee drinks do you like to order?