Shop for a Perfect Cup…

Hip Lingo to Help Navigate a Coffee House Menu

Barista – The espresso machine operator, one who is fully informed and practiced (hopefully) in the art of coffee preparation; means “bartender” in Italian

Caffè Americano – Espresso diluted with hot water; one shot espresso with up to seven ounces water

Café au Lait – Half drip brewed coffee and half steamed milk

Caffè Brevè – A caffè latte made with half-and-half instead of milk

Caffè Coretto – An espresso “corrected” with the addition of liquor, typically brandy or a liqueur

Caffè Latte – Espresso with steamed milk and a thin layer of foam on the top

Caffè Mocha – Espresso mixed with chocolate and steamed milk, topped with steamed milk or whipped cream

Cappuccino – Espresso topped (or “hooded” like the Capuchin monks) with steamed milk and/or foam

Dry Cappuccino – A cappuccino with foam only, no steamed milk
Wet Cappuccino – A cappuccino with foam and steamed milk

Con Panna – With whipped cream

Crema – The reddish-brown, creamy layer of foam that sits on top of a well-drawn espresso

Depth Charge – A cup of coffee with a shot of espresso (See also Red Eye)

Doppio – Double shot

Draw – To prepare an espresso (See also Pull)

Drip – Short for drip brewed coffee

Espresso – An extraction method for preparing an individual portion of coffee, utilizing 9 atmospheres of pressure, yielding 1.5 oz. of extract (at most) per 7 grams of finely ground coffee.

Espresso Macchiato – An espresso “marked” or “stained” by milk foam

Flavored Espresso Drink – An espresso drink with a flavored syrup additive

Flat – No foam (as in “Tall Grande Latte Flat”)

Grande – A 16-ounce serving of a coffee or an espresso drink
Granita – A dessert of shaved, sweetened coffee ice

Group head – The circular unit that forms the upper half of the brewing chamber and into which the barista places the portafilter

Group Switch – The button on the espresso machine that turns the group on and off

Knockbox – Container with a padded bar across the top for barista to “knock” the brewed coffee grounds out of the portafilter

Lungo – A long shot of espresso, about 1 to 2 ounces, per 7 grams of coffee, in volume

Misto – See Café au Lait

Mochaccino – An American invention that features espresso mixed with chocolate and topped with more foam and less steamed milk than a Caffè Mocha

Packing the Portafilter – The process of filling the portafilter with coffee

Portafilter – Handled device with brew basket at its end, that fits into an espresso machine’s group head

Pull – Used as a verb to describe the act of making an espresso as in “ to pull a shot”

Purist – An aficionado who demands quality and shuns the use of flavored syrups and the practice of diluting espresso with copious quantities of milk; will only drink an espresso, a macchiato, or a cappuccino
Red Eye – A cup of coffee with a shot of espresso (See also Depth Charge)

Ristretto – A short shot of espresso, yielding less than an ounce per 7 grams of coffee, an aficionados’ ambrosia; a shot that is cut-off at 15 to 20 seconds, when crema turns light brown
Short – An 8-ounce serving of coffee or espresso drink
Short Shot (or Short Pull) – See Ristretto

Skinny – An espresso drink made with non-fat milk

Steam Wand – The thin metal tube on an espresso machine connected to the boiler that heats milk and produces foam

Straight Shot – An espresso served without milk, steamed milk, or foam; the drink of true aficionados

Tamp – The action of packing the coffee into the portafilter with enough force to ensure the proper extraction

With Legs – A drink to go

1% - An espresso drink made with milk that has 1% milk fat

(Note: These are classic, well accepted definitions that may vary among your coffee houses and cafes.)