The Elixir of Life.
This month we are honing our beverage-ordering skills with a focus on coffee. Don’t forget to look back at last month’s issue for a few useful ordering phrases.
Lesson No. 2: The wonderful world of Spanish coffee.
Can you bring me (-) (a/an) (more)…, please?
¿Me traes (-) (un/una) (más)…, por favor?
Un café solo = an espresso.
If want a long black coffee then you can ask for “un café solo con agua caliente” or “un americano”.
Un café con leche = a white coffee. If you are in the vicinity while it’s being made you may be asked if you want the last part of the milk hot “leche caliente”, warm, “templada” or cold “fría”.
Un cortado = espresso with a dash of milk.
Una manchada = milk ‘stained’ with a splash of coffee.
The sweet-toothed might like to try “un café bombón”: condensed milk with a shot of coffee.
Especially popular in the hot summer months is asking for your coffee “con hielo” (with ice). You are then presented with your cup of coffee and a glass of ice over which to pour it. This requires skill and cunning. Just in case, a good one to remember is “un trapo” (cloth)!
If you don’t want to be up half the night then you can ask for a decaf coffee: “descafeinado”. You can also specify whether you want it “de máquina” (made with ground coffee) or “de sobre” (instant). Normally only a white coffee can be made with instant coffee.
For example: “Para mí un café con leche con descafeinado de sobre, por favor”.
If one shot of coffee just isn’t enough then you can ask for more by adding “largo de café”.
For example: “Quiero un cortado largo de café, por favor”.
Something a little stronger
If you fancy a coffee with a kick then why not ask for “un carajillo”: an espresso mixed with your spirit of choice.
The white stuff
If you are particular about the kind of milk you like with your coffee then there is no harm in asking for it:
con leche entera = with whole milk
con leche semidesnatada = with semi-skimmed milk
con leche desnatada = with skimmed milk
con leche de soja = with soya milk (rarely available)
For example: ¿Me pones un capuchino con leche desnatada, por favor?
A spoonful of sugar
Coffee is normally served with a teaspoon and a couple of sachets of sugar. If you’re trying to cut down on your sugar intake but still like things sweet you can ask for saccharine, “sacarina”, when you order your coffee:
Para mí un café solo con sacarina, por favor.