Coffee glossary: 7 coffee shop drinks explained

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Hooked on your morning cup of coffee? Join the club. Since you may not want to ask your local surly hipster barista what those other drinks on the menu are, we'll fill you in on the best lesser-known options. Here's exactly what comes in a macchiato, cortado, and more coffee drinks everyone should know.

Click through the gallery below to learn the difference between 7 types of coffee:

7 coffee shop drinks explained
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Coffee glossary: 7 coffee shop drinks explained

What's an espresso?

Like a concentrated coffee shot (and the drink of choice throughout Europe), an espresso is "seven grams of specifically roasted coffee, extracted by an espresso machine for approximately 24 seconds," says Tal Inbar, owner of NYC's Macchiato Espresso Bar. Want to drink it the insider way? Don't order it to go. Italians drink their espresso while standing at the café.

What's a macchiato?

A macchiato is "the same as espresso but 'stained' with a little bit of foam—the word macchiato comes from the Italian word that means to stain," says Inbar.

What's a cortado?

"Cortado means cut (it comes from the Spanish word cortar). It's an espresso 'cut' with approximately the same amount of steamed milk." If you find an espresso or macchiato a little too strong, you'll love this option.

What's a cappuccino?

Three equal parts: a third espresso, a third milk, a third froth. "If frothed correctly (and if the texture is correct), this is not supposed to be so distinct and broken apart but rather a smooth, silky texture blending each of the elements," Inbar says.

What's a dry cappuccino?

Don't like too much milk in your coffee? Try ordering your cappuccino 'dry.' "This is usually very little warm milk and more foam or froth," says Inbar.

What's a red eye?

If a regular coffee is no longer perking you up the same way, try a red eye for an extra jolt: "It's drip coffee with a shot of espresso."

What's a caffe latte?

For those who like more watered-down, less-intense coffee drinks, a latte is "the opposite of a cappuccino," says Inbar. "It consists of espresso with a lot of warm milk and a little bit of froth."


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