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Beginner's Guide to Coffee Drinks

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Do you walk into your local coffee shop, glance at the menu, and have no idea what to order? Coffee menus can be confusing! Trust us, you're not alone! Our coffee drinks for beginners guide introduces you to the most popular coffee drinks to help ease your confusion and hopefully help you find a drink you'll love.

Coffee Drinks Terminology

Learning the names for coffee drinks will help you place an order for a drink you will come back for again and again. We'll look at seven of the most popular beverages for this beginner's guide. Don't worry about learning all the coffee shop lingo right away! These terms will get you through any order.

1. Espresso

Espresso is a highly concentrated form of coffee. You can make espresso from any type of beans. It is a thicker drink than regular coffee, and it's also more robust. When you need a pick-me-up, you can take a shot of espresso to help you concentrate for hours. Espresso also forms the base for several mixed coffee drinks.

2. Latte

A latte is a drink made from steamed milk and espresso. The name means coffee and milk in Italian. You can find a lot of variants on the traditional latte — some are even made with tea, such as chai latte.

The milk mellows the taste of the coffee. Lattes tend to be popular with people who want to cut the bitterness of coffee. You can get them sweetened for an even more delicious treat.

3. Cappuccino

Cappuccinos are also drinks made from steamed milk and espresso. How do we differentiate them from lattes? Cappuccinos have less steamed milk but more foam than lattes. Also, the espresso and milk are mixed in a latte, while they remain separate layers in a cappuccino. Lattes have less caffeine, too.

4. Mocha

When you take a latte and add some chocolate, you get a mocha. Sometimes the addition is a chocolate powder, and at other times it's a chocolate syrup.

5. Americano

The Americano is very popular and very simple. It consists of water added to a shot of espresso. The legend is that it was created during World War II, when American soldiers found the espresso in Italy, where they were serving, too strong. So they just added water to it. Thus, the legend of the Americano was born.

6. Half-Caff

Have you ever heard someone ask for a half-caff drink? It means half caffeinated, half not-caffeinated. A half-caff can cut down on the caffeine content in a beverage, making it an ideal end-of-day treat so you won't be up all night.

7. Doppio

Of course, if you really want an eye-opener, you can try a doppio. They have two shots of espresso each.

There are so many different types of coffee drinks — everyone is bound to find the one they love with a little experimenting. And the next time you visit your local coffee shop, you can order with confidence, knowing what you want.

You can recreate your favorite drinks at home with our coffee, too, using our 100% recyclable single-serve coffee cups, as well as by enjoying beverages from our organic line. They all carry a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and every order ships for free.

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