Cafe Culture

Coffee is almost as a defining part of the Spainsh leisure culture as the ubiquitous Caña y Tapa. It is so important to Spain that every little cafe or bar has to have a Professional Coffee Machine as the centerpiece of the bar. Never will you see a coffee made from granules in any self respecting place.

It is assumed you know exactly what you are ordering because it is so ingrained in their culture, so before trying to translate white with 2 sugars read on:

  • If you ask for a Café you will get a Black Coffee with no milk.
  • A Café con leche is a crossover between a classic English coffee and an Latte.
  • A Cortado is a strong small coffee topped with frothy milk, generally drank after a meal or in the afternoon. Cortado means cut but in this case is used for small
  • un café solo is a very strong small espresso also usually drank in the afternoon or after a meal
  • Café con hielo is where it starts to get weird. Ask for one of these and you get 2 glasses. 1 with hot coffee and the other with ice. The fresh hot coffee is pored over the ice and then drank.
  • Café Bonbón is made with sweet condensed milk which sits at the bottom of a dark café solo . Definately for those with a sweet tooth.

Sugar is never added for you but always comes in packets on the side.
These are the main coffees you will encounter in a Spanish café or bar

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