How to order coffee in Spanish: A complete guide
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Coffee is an essential part of daily life for many people around the world, and in Hispanic countries, this hot beverage holds a special place in the culture. Whether you’re a coffee connoisseur or simply enjoy a cup to kickstart your day, understanding how to order coffee in Spanish will be of use to you on a daily basis when you’re in Latin America.
That’s why in today’s post we’re bringing you specific phrases to order your coffee confidently, as well as introducing you to the different Spanish coffee names. This way, whenever you order a coffee in Spanish you know you’ll get your order right!
Types of coffee in Spanish
Did you know that the majority of the world’s coffee is grown in Latin America? That’s right, from the highlands of Costa Rica, to the mountains of Colombia, the main arabica and robusta varieties have been cultivated for generations. Coffea arabica is even one of the national flowers of El Salavador! While the details of the beans and the plants could constitute enough for their own post, today we’re focusing on the end product that so many Latin Americans enjoy: how to order a cup of coffee in Spanish.
To that end, most coffee lovers know this beverage comes in various flavors and textures. Most of these have standard names that are similar in English and Spanish, while others have different translations.
There also are regional variations, meaning that in some countries there’s what we could consider a kind of “local coffee slang.” We’ll cover each of these to make sure you learn how to order a coffee in Spanish smoothly!
Standard Spanish coffee names
First of all, the word for coffee in Spanish is café. As a masculine noun, it’s typically preceded by a masculine article: el café or un café. Now that that’s covered, let’s take a look at all the different kinds of coffee you can order in Spanish. Note that for most of these we can just give the specific coffee name, with “café” remaining optional.
|English coffee terms||Spanish coffee terms|
|Black coffee||Un café negro|
|Espresso||Un (café) espresso, Un café solo|
|Double espresso||Un espresso doble|
|Americano||Un (café) americano|
|Coffee with milk||Un (café) con leche|
|Latte||Un (café) latte|
|Macchiato||Un (café) cortado, Un (café) macchiato|
|Cappuccino||Un (café) capuchino|
|Bombon||Un (café) bombón|
|Iced coffee||Un café helado, Un café frío|
|Decaf coffee||Un (café) descafeinado|
Regional Spanish coffee names
Here we include some regional variations of the classic coffee drinks we saw above, as well as some beverages that are typical to specific places, such as café de olla in Mexico.
|Spanish coffee name||Description||Country|
|Un (café) tinto||Black coffee||Colombia|
|Un (café) perico, Un (café) pintado||Coffee with just a bit of milk, like a Macchiato||Colombia|
|Un (café) carajillo||Coffee with rum or brandy||Colombia, Spain|
|Un (café) guayoyo||Very light coffee infusion||Venezuela|
|Un (café) marrón||Coffee with just a bit of milk, like a Macchiato||Venezuela|
|Un (café) tetero||Milk with a bit of coffee||Venezuela|
|Un (café) lágrima||Milk with a bit of coffee||Argentina|
|Un café de olla||Coffee brewed with cinnamon and piloncillo in a clay pot||Mexico|
More vocab to order coffee in Spanish
Before going into the ways to order coffee in Spanish, let’s take a look at some extra Spanish café vocab you might need when ordering coffee, from paper cups to cream and sugar.
|Paper cup||Un vaso de cartón|
|Coffee stirrer||El agitador|
|Straw||El sorbete, El popote, El pitillo, La pajita|
|Artificial sweetener||El edulcorante artificial|
|Whole milk||La leche entera|
|Skimmed milk||La leche descremada|
|Lactose-free milk||La leche deslactosada|
|Soy milk||La leche de soya|
|Almond milk||La leche de almendras|
|Oat milk||La leche de avena|
|Syrup||El jarabe, El sirope|
How to order a coffee in Spanish
Just like in English, we have a handful of common phrases in Spanish for ordering coffee. In this section we provide a handy list of options you can use to order your coffee in Spanish! If you want to move beyond this delicious hot beverage, we can also recommend our other post on how to order food in a restaurant,
- I would like a cup of coffee… – Quisiera una taza de café… – Me gustaría una taza de café…
- I want a… – Quiero un…
- Please, give me a… – Por favor, me da un…
- Do you have…? – Do you serve…? – ¿Tiene…?
- Decaf, please. – Un café descafeinado, por favor.
- A coffee to go. – Un café para llevar.
- To drink here. – Para beber aquí. – Para tomar aquí.
- It’s too hot. – Está demasiado caliente.
- Without sugar. – Sin azúcar.
- With cream. – Con crema
Great! Now, you can go out and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee in any Spanish-speaking country. Let’s do a quick recap of what we covered today before we part ways.
First, we introduced a list of the most common types of coffee drinks in Spanish, with standard names that are recognized in most cafés. We also went over some regional variations that you might encounter throughout Latin America and Spain. Finally, we provided some useful vocabulary, along with the essential phrases to order coffee in Spanish.
We hope that you enjoyed our post and learned how to order a coffee in Spanish! Now enjoy your cup, and see you in the next post!