Coffee Lingo Explained

These are the most common terms used when ordering espresso-based coffee drinks, and terms used in most coffee houses. We have some variations at Frosty Frog.

Americano – A term used to describe a drink made with espresso shots and diluted with water to approximately one half strength.

Barista Italian for bartender; in the U.S., a person who operates an espresso machine and prepares espresso beverages.

Breve – A term used to describe a drink made with steamed half and half (for example: breve latte, breve cappuccino).

Caffe au Lait – A term used to describe a drink made with ½ brewed coffee and ½ steamed milk.

Caffe Latte – One or more servings of espresso, with steamed milk to the top of the cup and a ¼” finish of steamed milk foam.

Caffe MochaOne or more servings of espresso mixed with the appropriate amount of chocolate syrup, then filled with steamed milk and topped with a flourish of whipped cream.

Caramel Macchiato One or more servings of espresso mixed with the appropriate amount of caramel syrup, then filled with steamed milk and topped with a flourish of whipped cream.

CappuccinoOne or more servings of espresso in a cup, topped with equal parts steamed milk and frothed milk. (A stronger coffee tasting drink than a caffe latte.)

Demitasse A small porcelain, glass, or china cup traditionally used to serve straight espresso; usually 1.5 to 3 ounces in size.

Demitasse Spoon A small spoon used to add sweeteners to a serving of espresso.

‘Double’ or double shot Refers to a beverage that contains two shots of espresso (for example, a “double latte”).

Dry – Describes an espresso beverage made with a greater-than-usual portion of foam, most often used in conjunction with a cappuccino.

The Frosty Frog orders coffee!

The Frosty Frog orders coffee!

Espresso –Very strong coffee brewed one ounce at a time, rapidly extracted from finely ground coffee at very high temperature and pressure on an espresso machine. The word “espresso” can also refer to a special blend of coffees formulated for use on the espresso machine, or the distinctly dark roast typically applied to an espresso blend (“espresso roast”).

Flavoring Syrup A very sweet syrup used to flavor coffee beverages after the brewing process.

Foam or Froth Steamed milk that has been aerated to create a foam or froth.

Grande Typically, the largest drink size available, usually 16 oz. (At Frosty Frog, we call this a “Treefrog”.)

Granita A flavored, slush-type drink often served by espresso operators, and requiring special equipment to prepare. (At Frosty Frog, we serve ‘Quenchers’, which are Granitas.)

Latte – The Italian word for milk; slang for caffe latte (for example, “I’d like a latte please!”).

Mocha Slang for caffe mocha (for example, “I’d like a mocha, please!”).

‘Single’ or single shot Describes an espresso beverage containing one shot of espresso (for example, a “single tall latte,” or a “single espresso”).

Shot A single serving of brewed espresso, usually 1 to 1.5 ounces.

Skinny Slang for a beverage made with skim or nonfat milk

Tall – Refers to typically a 12 ounce beverage. (At Frosty Frog, we call this a “Tadpole”.)

Venti Refers to typically a 20 or 24 ounce beverage (At Frosty Frog, we call this a “Bullfrog”.)

Wet Describes an espresso beverage made with a less-than-usual proportion of foam, most often used to describe a customized cappuccino.

White Mocha – One or more servings of espresso mixed with the appropriate amount of white chocolate syrup, then filled with steamed milk and topped with a flourish of whipped cream.