We all have that one really annoying friend who has to have their coffee from a certain hipster cafe, blended in a certain way and with the milk added ‘just so’. Personally, as long as it’s caffeinated and strong, I’m not too fussed!
A beachside cafe in Sandbanks, Poole isn’t going in for such snobbery. The cafe owners evidently fed up with coffee snobs calling in for their double shot macchiato with a side of green leaf matcha, so they decided to advertise a ‘simplified’ coffee menu.
Reactions to the coffee menu range from outrage to amusement. Coffee snobs took to Twitter to reveal that they don’t actually recognise humor when it comes to their beloved beverages:
“I don’t want my coffee made by people who don’t understand coffee.”
“Like going to a restaurant with a menu that reads “Bird meat. Land animal meat. Sea meat. Vegetables”.
Others were more pragmatic and admitted that they don’t actually know what different coffees are like. Which got me thinking, maybe we should produce our own coffee lovers guide for the caffeine challenged.
After *extensive* research, I can confirm that what distinguishes a good coffee from a bad coffee is it’s layers. Espresso based drinks have a shot or shots of espresso layered with hot water and milk or milk foam. So the secret is in the layering, as well as the bean blending. So here’s a quick cheat sheet for those of us who don’t breathe and live coffee…
The single espresso is the simple component in any espresso-based drink. If you don’t want your coffee black, order a macchiato: a single shot of espresso, a layer of steamed milk, topped off with milk foam. The secret to the perfect macchiato? The rule of thirds. Get your layers in perfect thirds for the ideal coffee strength: one third espresso, one third steamed milk and one third foam. That’s where those clear glass espresso cups come in…
For the true caffeine head – think morning hangover or study crisis at 2am, yep we’ve been there – a ristretto uses less water in the espresso shot to give a fuller flavor. To get your coffee truly buzzing, extract a shot of espresso using half the amount of water or turn off the espresso machine before the espresso starts to blonde.
The Americano, the nation’s favorite coffee, essentially tastes a bit like mud. Fill your cup with two thirds of water and add your shot of espresso to the mix. Let’s be honest, the Americano was just invented for non-Italians who can’t handle the intense espresso flavor… Is it even coffee? Yes, but it’s so weak it barely counts.
Latte, the gateway coffee. The perfect drink for someone who essentially hates coffee but is in dire need of a caffeine hit. Start off with a shot of espresso in a tall glass, top it up with lots of steamed milk and finish it off with 1cm of micro-foam. And yes, it’s pronounced ‘latte’ not ‘laaaaaaaatte.’ Come on people! This one is so milky, it can hardly be called a coffee.
Ahhhh cappuccino. The gently soothing froth and chocolate combination leaves you snoozing away like a baby until the caffeine hits! The cappuccino is pretty similar to a latte – an espresso shot and a ton of steamed milk. But a cappuccino has much more milk foam on the top (2-3cm) and usually a sprinkling of chocolate (or cinnamon, mmmm). Cue the milk mustaches!
Native to Australia and New Zealand, a flat white is not the same as an americano with milk. Let’s repeat that one all together: a flat white is not an americano with milk. Phew, glad I got that one off my chest. It’s been bugging me for years! To craft the perfect flat white, add a shot of espresso to a cup and fill it up with steamed milk, no foam. Because the Aussies are way tougher than the Americans when it comes to their coffee!
A mocha is best described as a mix between a cappuccino and a hot chocolate. It’s another gateway beverage to a caffeine addiction! Extract one espresso shot into a cup and mix with 1-2 teaspoons of cocoa powder. Add a layer of steamed milk and top it off with 2-3cm of milk foam.
No, just no.
I wonder if I can find a cafe that will fit all of that onto their menu…