I love coffee. The smell, the taste, the ceremony of drinking it. Since college a cup coffee has been part of my daily routine and is usually combined with the day’s paper. Nothing is more enjoyable than slowly nursing a cup of joe while reading the goings on around the world.
After years of drinking the same brand of coffee, I started experimenting with different kinds of coffee drinks. My go to has always been black coffee with a little cream and sweetener added. But after noticing so many people ordering lattes, cappuccinos and Americanos I decided it was time for me to experiment with other coffee drinks.
Because my personal goal is to be environmentally responsible, I drink my coffee from a reusable cup. This one looks like a regular paper cup but is actually reusable ceramic. I strongly recommend you do your part for the environment and get one.
This is the old standby. Brewed hot coffee is available everywhere nowadays, from the grocery store to gas stations to fancy coffee bars. My experience has been the quality of coffee can vary greatly from place to place, but in general a straight cup of the black stuff is easy to get through and has the desired effect of waking me up. Of course, I drink it in my reusable cup.
The latte is mostly made of milk, not coffee. This drink is a combination of espresso, typically one or two shots depending on the size of the drink, and steamed milk. The temperature of the milk is usually around 150 degrees, unless you ask for extra hot in which case it will be raised another 10 to 15 degrees. Topping the latte is a little bit of foam from the steamed milk.
Cappuccinos are basically the same as lattes. The difference is in the amount of milk. While a latte will be one-fifth coffee and four-fifths milk and a dollop of foam, the cappuccino is one-fifth coffee, two-fifths milk and the rest is foam.
Many people are confused by Americanos. This drinks looks like a regular cup of coffee but it is made using the espresso machine and no steamed milk or foam is added. What goes into an Americano is a shot of espresso and water to dilute the coffee to the same volume as a regular cup of coffee. This drink appeals to people who really enjoy the taste of espresso coffee but do not like lots of milk.
Best described as hybrid between regular coffee and an espresso drink, the Café Ole combines brewed coffee with steamed milk. These two components are usually mixed in a 50-50 ratio and make for a warm, rich drink. My favorite drink on a cold winter afternoon is a café ole.
Ever wonder why iced coffee costs more than regular coffee even though they appear to be the same drink? The reason for this is that most places brew double strength coffee to be used for iced coffee versus regular strength for the hot stuff. Double strength coffee holds up better over time as the ice in the drink melts and dilutes the strength of the coffee down. As a result, there are more ingredients used to make iced coffee and the price is higher. Still, on a hot summer morning, ice cold coffee with a little milk is the perfect zinger to get my day started.