LAST WEEK, I strolled into Timothy’s on Laurier Avenue and confidently ordered a macchiato. “What exactly do you mean by that?” asked the barista, much to my surprise. Bewildered, I stammered some explanation of what Starbucks led me to believe a macchiato was. “No,” said the barista. “What you want is a latte.”
If you’re as coffee illiterate as I found myself to be, then you’re in need of a little espresso education. Ordering a complex coffee will never be easier than after you peruse the Fulcrum’s guide to basic caffeine-crammed drinks.
Contrary to popular layman belief, espresso does not refer to a specific kind of coffee bean or roast, but rather a particular brewing process. Made by first packing coffee grounds tightly, then quickly forcing extremely hot water through the grounds, espresso is the base of most mixed coffee drinks. Often enjoyed as a single, double, or triple shot, espresso is packed with caffeine and quicker to make than a traditional cup of coffee.
A hot drink made with one or more shots of espresso, topped off with steamed milk and about a finger’s width of milk foam.
Similar to the latte, and thus confused with it by most coffee shops, a cappuccino is made from one part espresso, one part steamed milk, and one part milk foam.
Café au Lait
No espresso in this bad boy! A café au lait is exactly what it claims to be—a hot drink made from equal parts percolated coffee and milk.
Despite what Second Cup’s menu claims, a corretto is a cup of percolated coffee with one shot of liquor added to the mix.
For those who like their caffeine watered down, the Americano is the perfect drink. Made from espresso and hot water, this is one drink that takes the flavour right out of your morning cup of Joe.
Only for serious caffeine fiends, the Red Eye takes one full cup of coffee and an espresso shot for some extra punch.
Made from percolated coffee mixed with chocolate, usually a powdered hot chocolate mix. Anything that has mocha in its name will have some hot chocolate added for flavour.
An espresso drink with either hot milk or milk foam added on the top.