6 Coffee Questions You’re Too Embarrassed to Ask Your Coffee Shop
You have probably been to your local coffee shop dozens of times, and you probably order the same items every time. Most likely, you do this because you’re a creature of habit. But, perhaps it’s because you are a little uncomfortable to ask questions about more ‘foreign’ items out of fear of looking stupid. You might hear some ‘fancy talk' being thrown around the counter, but you have no idea what it means. Never fear! That’s where CoffeeAM comes to your rescue. We’re here to set the record straight on those coffee terms, and to help you look like a pro (instead of a newbie) when you order your coffee. Here, you’ll find the answers to some common questions that may have had you scratching your head for a while. What does the ‘strength’ of coffee actually mean? The strength of a coffee refers to the coffee to water ratio. Strong coffee has a high ratio of coffee grounds to water. So, weak coffee is that which is brewed with a lower coffee to water ratio. Contrary to popular belief, strong coffee doesn’t mean it’s automatically a dark roast. In fact, ‘strong’ is not even a type of roast. What’s the difference between a light roast and a dark roast? In a nutshell, dark roasts are coffees that have been roasted at higher temperatures for a longer period of time. They tend to be smoky in flavor, and their flavors come more from the roasting process itself. Light roasts are not weaker in flavor, but retain most of their flavor from their growing conditions, and are more light brown in color. What is a coffee’s ‘acidity’? This doesn’t mean stomach juices, but rather, in coffee terms, there are acids that give coffees some fruit-like flavors. Different types of acids produce different sorts of flavors. For example, citric acid produces citrus flavors like lemon and orange. Acetic acid, which is common in vinegar, produces lime-like flavors. You may hear ‘bright’ used to describe some coffees, which means that they have a little more acidity. What is ‘bold’ coffee? Bold coffee has different meanings to different coffee shops. It usually just means that those particular coffees have more flavor. The African and Guatemalan varieties tend to be on the ‘bold’ side. What’s the difference between espresso and drip coffee? Primarily, the difference lies in the fineness of the grind, and the brewing time. For espresso, the brewing time is much shorter thanks to machines. It is a blend of different types of coffee beans which are ground very finely, more so than drip coffee, and are roasted until they are dark and look oily. Drip coffee, on the other hand, is ground more coarsely than espresso. The process is much slower than that of espresso, and hot water is in contact with the ground for much longer. There is also a higher concentration of caffeine in an ounce of espresso, than in a cup of drip coffee. What is the difference between a cappuccino and a café latte? There are a few primary differentiators between cappuccinos and café lattes. A cappuccino consists of less steamed milk, lots of foam on top, and the flavor is more dry. On the other hand, a café latte is made up of more steamed milk, a smaller amount of foam on top, and a much creamier flavor. Now that your confusion is cleared up, you can feel more confident, and maybe a little smarter about your next visit to the coffee shop, or when you are shopping for what might be your new favorite flavors!