Cafe? Hey! A guide to Coffee

Delicious Caffe breve in a pretty little demitasse

Delicious Caffe breve in a pretty little demitasse

The ladies of Apartment 11 had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family, friends, and of course lots of food. There’s nothing like a good cup of coffee after a nice meal, all the better if it’s a demitasse since that’s likely all you have room for if it was that good. So

now here comes the hard part: which coffee drink to choose? Regular brew? Espresso? Cappuccino? What’s the difference anyway? Here’s a little guide:

Coffee: Standard strength brewed coffee, usually served in 6-8 ounce servings.

Espresso: A very strong coffee made by a special brewing process about 2-3 times the strength of regular coffee; usually served as a “shot” of about 1-1.5 ounces.

Americano: A shot of espresso with hot water added to make it about the strength of regular coffee.

Café au lait: Coffee with steamed milk.

Café con leche: Strong coffee (or espresso) with scalded milk (sometimes evaporated milk is used).

Cappuccino: A shot of espresso, topped with equal amounts of steamed milk and milk froth.

Latte: A shot of espresso topped with steamed milk, little to no froth.

Café mocha or mocaccino: A latte with cocoa powder or chocolate syrup added.

Caffè breve: A shot of espresso topped with steamed half-and-half.

Café Pamplona: A shot of espresso with sweetened, condensed milk (Try one at Café Pamplona in Harvard Square).

There are others but we’ll stop there! Of course you can add all kinds of flavored syrups and other bells and whistles to tickle your fancy. My personal favorite is the caffè breve with the Pamplona coming in a close second. Pictured above is a pseudo breve I made at my parents’ house over the holiday weekend in a pretty little demitasse. It’s “pseudo” because teeeechnically it’s made with double strong Cuban coffee and not espresso but, hey… you make it work with what you got!

What’s your favorite coffee drink? Or are you one of those rare creatures who doesn’t touch the stuff?


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