How to Order Coffee in Spain? The Spanish Coffee Guide

how to order coffee in spain?

I love Spain, the country, the people, the weather, the cities, the parties, the opening hours, everything is fantastic here. Read my Spanish Coffee Guide – how to order coffee in Spain?

Types of Coffee in Spain 

Coffee options in Spain are diverse and steeped in tradition. To order confidently, familiarize yourself with these common choices:

  • Café Solo: A strong and concentrated espresso
  • Café Cortado: Espresso “cut” with a small amount of milk.
  • Café Americano: An elongated espresso with hot water, similar to an Americano.
  • Café con Leche: Coffee with milk, similar to a latte.
  • Café Manchado: Espresso “stained” with a bit of milk.
  • Café Bombón: Espresso with condensed milk, a sweet delight.
  • Carajillo: Espresso with liquor, often brandy or rum, a refreshing drink.
  • Café Descafeinado: Decaffeinated coffee, a caffeine-free option.
  • Café con Hielo: Coffee with ice, perfect for cooling down.
  • Café de Olla: Spiced coffee with sugar, a tradition.

You are familiar with most of these coffees, except maybe Carajillo and Café de Olla. 

Carajillo: a spirited Spanish Coffee

Carajillo is a captivating fusion of strong espresso and fiery liquor. The term “carajillo” is believed to have roots in the Spanish word “carajo,” historically used to express surprise, emphasis, or strong emotion. The traditional method of crafting a Carajillo involves combining a shot of freshly brewed espresso with a splash of liquor, typically brandy, rum, or whiskey. And yes, this comes as a surprise!

Café de Olla: Coffee with spices

The key to Café de Olla’s uniqueness lies in the blend of spices. Cinnamon and piloncillo (unrefined cane sugar) take center stage, infusing the brew with aromatic sweetness and warmth. Other herbs, like cloves and anise, may also be added, further enhancing the flavor profile.

How to Order Coffee in a Spanish Café:

When you enter a Spanish café, begin your coffee adventure with a friendly greeting. Depending on the time of day, say “Buenos días” (good morning) or “Buenas tardes” (good afternoon/evening). The art of hospitality is deeply ingrained in Spanish culture, and a warm greeting sets a positive tone for your interaction.

Feel free to express your preferences. For example, 

  • if you’d like your coffee with sugar, say “Con azúcar, por favor.” 
  • If you prefer it without, say “Sin azúcar, por favor.” 
  • Similarly, if you want your coffee with milk, say “Con leche, por favor,” 
  • and if you’d like it black, say “Solo, por favor.”

Take Your Time Before Ordering in Spain 

When in Spain, don’t rush your coffee experience! Take the time to savor every moment and engage with those around you. Stand at the bar and soak in the lively atmosphere to fully embrace the Spanish coffee culture. It’s a wonderful way to connect with new acquaintances and old friends alike.

Spanish Coffee with additional cookies:

When enjoying coffee in Spain, savoring a tasty pastry alongside it is common. You can choose from various delectable treats, such as 

  • fluffy croissants, 
  • biscotti, 
  • tiramisu, 
  • and cannoli, all of which enhance your coffee experience.

In Spain, this tradition is called “la sobremesa,” which means “the sweet.” By enjoying coffee and pastries together, you’ll experience a delightful fusion of flavors that blend perfectly.

Embrace the Spanish Coffee Culture:

Whether you are in Madrid, a cozy village, or on the beaches in Barcelona, you’ll come across countless cafés with bustling bar counters. 

Spanish Coffee Dictionary for Coffee Lovers

  • Café – Coffee
  • Café Solo – Espresso
  • Café Cortado – Coffee with a touch of milk
  • Café Americano – Americano (espresso with hot water)
  • Café con Leche – Coffee with Milk (similar to a latte)
  • Café Manchado – “Stained” Coffee with Milk
  • Café Bombón – Coffee with Condensed Milk
  • Carajillo – Espresso with Liquor
  • Café Descafeinado – Decaffeinated Coffee
  • Café con Hielo – Coffee with Ice
  • Café de Olla – Spiced Coffee

Useful Phrases for Ordering Coffee in Spain

  • Please – Por favor
  • I’d like to order – Me gustaría hacer un pedido
  • Thank you – Gracias
  • A coffee, please – Un café, por favor
  • Thank you very much – Muchas gracias
  • A black coffee, please – Un café negro, por favor
  • A coffee with a touch of milk, please – Un café manchado, por favor
  • With sugar, please – Con azúcar, por favor
  • Without sugar, please – Sin azúcar, por favor
  • With milk, please – Con leche, por favor
  • Without milk, please – Sin leche, por favor
  • A café bombón, please – Un café bombón, por favor
  • Another coffee, please – Otro café, por favor
  • A café con leche, please – Un café con leche, por favor
  • A hot chocolate, please – Un chocolate caliente, por favor
  • It’s delicious, thank you – Está delicioso, gracias
  • It’s perfect, thank you – Está perfecto, gracias
  • The bill, please – La cuenta, por favor

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