September 29, 2012

National Coffee Day

"The voodoo priest and all his powders were as nothing compared to espresso, cappuccino, and mocha, which are stronger than all the religions of the world combined, and perhaps stronger than the human soul itself." - Mark Helprin

It's National Coffee Day!

Ever walk into some quaint art house-meets-coffee shop where indie music you’ve probably never heard of is playing overhead while everyone around you is wearing impossibly skinny jeans? Already feeling uncomfortable, you take a glance at the menu to find that the only word you really understand is “coffee”?

Well, today is your day to try something new (maybe not, I understand - coffee, just coffee, is serious nectar from the gods most of the time)! But if you'd like to are a little intimidated by all those foreign-sounding coffee drinks and hipsters staring at you, here’s a quick breakdown of just the basics:

Espresso – It’s basically a stronger, thicker coffee. The beans are ground into a consistency similar to powdered sugar, tightly packed into a very small basket in an espresso machine that generates up to 15 atmospheres of pressure forcing water through the grinds.

Misto – Hot coffee and frothy, steamed milk. Also goes by “café con leche” in Spain or “café au lait” in France.

Cappuccino – Espresso and frothy, steamed milk.

Latte – One part espresso, one part steamed milk, one part foam.

Café Mocha – Coffee or espresso mixed with chocolate.

Americano – Espresso and hot water. This is the one you’re getting the most ripped off from, since you’re paying for water to be added to your drink. Save yourself some change, order a triple espresso or whatever, and just add the water yourself.

Now go forth, and order yourself a coffee drink in confidence!

Happy National Coffee Day!