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What's the difference?

Let's clear the air about coffee-speak...

Don't you hate it when you go into a coffee shop and the person in front of you orders a half-caf dry venti breve with an extra shot? You don't have a clue as to what was just ordered and now you don't have a clue what to order for yourself and the barista (the guy or gal behind the counter who makes coffee beverages) looks at you with contempt because you don't speak "coffee-speak"?

We do... and that is why we are happy to tell you the difference between a latte and a cappucino, why an Americano is called what it is called and what crema is - and why it is a good thing. We will take the mystery out of this most wonderful bean called coffee for you without considering you uneducated.

Just ask us! We love to talk coffee - and we also serve small, medium or large just to make it simple...

Coffee Glossary

The five basic espresso drinks

Coffee Glossary

Here is a list of espresso/coffee terminology which are often misused and abused by the large coffee chains to make ordering more difficult at shops other than theirs (my opinion) -

Americano – short for Café Americano – 1 shot of espresso diluted with hot water so that it has the strength of a normal cup of American drip coffee. During WWII this was a term to mock the Americans who wanted their espresso diluted to the strength they were used to. This brew produces an exceptionally smooth cup of coffee.

Barista – an Italian term for individuals to operate espresso machines and who serve espresso as a profession. A kind of morning bar tender...

Breve – Italian for “short” - espresso with steamed half-and-half

Black Eye – a cup of drip coffee with 2 shots of espresso (see also Red Eye or Shot in the Dark)

Café Americano - 1 shot of espresso diluted with hot water so that it has the strength of a normal cup of American drip coffee; however it is better than drip coffee because it is made to order

Café Au Lait – French style drink with 1/2 coffee and 1/2 steamed milk or sometimes 2/3 coffee and 1/3 steamed milk or made to your specifications at RTB.

Café Latte – usually shortened to just “Latte” – espresso made with steamed milk and topped with frothed milk to which flavorings such as hazelnut or vanilla can be added; the milk is steamed in order to aerate it to give it the consistency to whipped cream, but without burning it. The steamed and frothed milk is poured into the espresso

Café Macchiato – or just “Macchiato”- An espresso served with a teaspoon or two of foamed milk added to the top. This is one of the most abused terms by corporate coffee shops -

Café Mocha
– or just “Mocha” - A latte with chocolate, which can be prepared with either steamed chocolate milk or with chocolate syrup and usually topped with whipped cream and cocoa powder

Cappuccino
– a drink with espresso, and mostly frothed milk with steamed milk to your order; more foamy than a latte; can be topped with cinnamon or other spices - ordered "dry" means more frothed milk, while ordered "wet" mean more steamed milk

Chai Latte – black tea with spices such as cinnamon and cardamom with steamed milk - India's national drink

Con Panne – Straight espresso with whipped cream

Crema – the golden-brown or caramel colored foam that forms on the top of an espresso - a correctly drawn shot of espresso will be a beautiful rich color with a thick crema

Decaf – short for “decaffinated”, in which most, but not all, of the Caféine has been removed

Doppio – Italian for “double” - a double shot of espresso

Double – espresso made with two shots

Dry – espresso made without any or very little steamed milk, mostly frothed milk

Espresso – a brewing process (and drink) in which water is heated to 190 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and forced under high pressure, usually 135 PSI, through 7 grams of compacted finely ground Arabica coffee beans, for 12 to 25 seconds. The word “espresso” comes from the Latin word “expresere” which means “to press out”. Some say it was termed from the sound espresso makes in manual espresso machines as it is pressed. Espresso is made to order, which is why we have baristas. Espresso was invented in Italy but it was not until the invention of the spring lever piston espresso machine that it became widely available as the drink we know today. Espresso is the base for other drink, such as lattes, cappuccino, macchiato and mochas, etc.

Half Caf – espresso made with half regular and half decaf

Harmless – decaf espresso

Flat White – a latte without the frothed milk, just the steamed milk

Grande – 16 ounce cup - A "Medium" cup at RTB - not original, but understandable

Latte – espresso made with steamed milk and frothed milk to which flavorings such as hazelnut to vanilla can be added; the milk is steamed in order to aerate it to give it the consistency to whipped cream, but without burning it. The steamed and frothed milk is poured into the espresso (also Café latte)

Macchiato – espresso served with a teaspoon or two of foamed milk added to the top (also Café macchiato)

Mocha – a latte with chocolate, which can be prepared with either steamed chocolate milk or with chocolate syrup and usually topped with whipped cream and cocoa powder (also Café mocha)

Mochaccino – a cappuccino with chocolate

Quad – espresso made with four shots

Red Eye – a cup of drip coffee with a single shot of espresso added (see also Black Eye or Shot in the Dark)

Short – an 8 ounce cup

Shot – brewed straight espresso

Shot in the Dark - espresso shot(s) in brewed coffee

Single – a single shot of espresso, usually 1 to 1.5 oz.

Skinny – made with non-fat milk

Skinny Harmless - made with non-fat milk and decaf

Solo (Italian for "single”) – one shot of espresso

Tall – a 12 oz. cup - We call that a "Small" at RTB - what a concept!

Triple – espresso made with three shots

Unleaded – espresso made with decaf

Venti – a 20 oz. cup - That's our "Large" at RTB

Yerba Mate - A South American rainforest beverage with caffeine for energy, vitamins, minerals, and more antioxidants than green tea - can be made as a straight tea or as a latte with steamed milk