How To Order in a Coffee House

It's a cold day and you are out of the office, having lunch or shopping, You see a coffee house or coffee kiosk, and think to yourself, "Why Not? Coffee would really hit the spot!" You patiently wait in line only to discover you do not have the faintest idea what to order or how to order it. You feel rather silly when you ask for a Tall-sized coffee, expecting a very large serving, only to realize after the order is filled, a Tall serving is only medium in a normal world.
Even Grande is not a huge order.

Here is a list of common coffee house terms to help you survive in a world of bizarre-sounding jargon.

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Con panna


Decaf, or Unleaded


Dry cap, or No cap

Froth, or Foam

Half caf


Single shot, double, triple, quad



Wet cap


Why bother

Without, or Foamless

With wings, on wheels, with legs, on a leash

Small, 8 ounces

Medium, 12 ounces

Large, 16 ounces

Extra-Large, 20 ounces

Expert espresso bartender

Milk-based espresso using cream

With whipped cream

Tan colored foam that forms on top of an espresso shot, a result of brewing

Very little caffeine, not entirely caffeine free

Small cup, 2-3 oz., for serving straight espresso

No steamed milk (Just foamed milk)

Milk aerated with hot steam to make the milk thick and foamy

Half regular and half decaf espresso

Served over ice

One shot of espresso, two shots, three shots, four shots

Made with non-fat or skim milk

Flavored syrups added to the coffee

Extra steamed milk

No whipped cream

Decaf and non-fat millk

No foam

Take out, “to go”

©2006, Terry Kaufman, for
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