Coffee Society

I have been un-adventurous when it comes to coffee. I’m not quite sure why.

I would always ask for what I consider a ‘normal’ coffee (hot water, either poured onto coffee granules, or filtered through ground up coffee beans, into a mug, with a small amount of either milk or ‘whitener’ added)

In the beginning I’d say “y’know, a normal coffee?” and they’d say



I have since learned that the name for this is ‘Americano’. I’m not quite sure why.

I feel like a twat for this, but I now conform and say “Can I have a large ‘Americano’ please?”

“Black or white?”

“Erm… Can I put the milk in please?”
I feel like saying “Well, dark brown actually”. Not out of beligerance, but because their idea of ‘white’ involves far too much milk. I don’t understand what it is about coffee shops that causes the brains of those who spend most of their week there (i.e. the workers) to forget what a normal amount of milk for coffee is.


So, Why have I not tried other types of coffee - espresso, cappucino, etc?

Should I?
(And if you mention ‘latte’ I’ll kill you. I think I would rather lick the armpits of a construction worker)

Cafe Americano is made by taking espresso and diluting it with hot water. It’s different than “normal” coffee, which is made by percolating hot water through coffee grounds.

Seeing as how you don’t appear to have an aversion to milk, why? A latte is similar to a cappuccino, only milkier. Personally, I think lattes taste to milky and not enough coffee-y.

If you do enjoy the smooth foam of a cappuccino, but don’t like that much milk, try an espresso macchiato. (Do not mistake this for Starbucks-style Caramel Macchiato, which is truly revolting in its cloying sweetness!) An espresso macchiato is simply espresso marked with a small dollop of foam.

Related question for other espresso connoisseurs: I feel that cappuccinos made with scooped foam (as opposed to poured) is improper and, frankly, abysmal. Are caps poured in Rome or scooped? Am I a snob to expect a poured cap?

I went to a local coffee house that also roasts their own expecting to get a delicious cap and instead got a cap that was prepared by a barista that spent at least a minute and a half scooping foam onto the shots, then steaming more foam and using a teaspoon to scoop the fresh foam to top the cup. Lame, I thought, and gross when I got nothing but flavorless foam as a first sip. My experience has been that those who really seem to care about the quality of their cappuccino spend a good deal of time learning how to pour a cap to the proper weight.

ETA: I should add that I did order a dry cap, just a single cap. It was served in a huge mug (milk to espresso ratio was off to me) with foam clearly separate from the espresso on the bottom. :frowning:

Aw, crap! That should read:

I did NOT order a dry cap.

Well, I live in the north of Italy, not Rome, but I have never seen foam being scooped. I don’t take sugar, but I think a nice touch is that in some bars they’ll serve you your espresso and then wait for you to stir your sugar in before pouring the foam onto it.

And I second the vote for macchiato and, since you’re a self-confessed newbie to coffee I hope I’m not insulting your intelligence by pointing out that the “ch” is a hard “K” sound, like “Chianti” as opposed to like “church”.

I love good espresso, but it’s hard to find. Do I remember you’re in the UK or Isle of Mann (sorry if that’s way off - haven’t been around the Dope for ages) so it might be tricky though not impossible. Don’t be put off the idea of espresso by one bitter shot. When it’s good, it’s divine.

You hit the nail on the head - too milky. To me it tastes disgusting. I only have milk at all to take away the bitterness of the coffee. So I like to have just enough milk that the bitterness is gone but the coffee doesn’t taste milky.

I’ll give it a try.

I live in the Isle of Man (we have electricity here, and coffee houses - Costa and a few non-chain ones)

I visit the UK every few months.

Just to clarify, I didn’t mean to imply that sophisticated things couldn’t be found in the Isle of Man - good espresso is hard to find anywhere, and is by no means guaranteed in Italy.

Nah I knew you weren’t implying anything :slight_smile: I just like to make that joke about the IOM whenever it comes up in conversation.

It used to surprise me how forward the isle of man is. Particularly with Comms technology.

Okay. I thought you were saying that because you thought lattes were too frou-frou or something like that. I have developed an aversion to milk in the last few years, so I understand.

I tend to stick to Americanos myself, as I love espresso flavor but prefer a coffee drink that I can sip on over time. It’s very rare to find a) a good cappuccino and b) a cup of coffee that isn’t over-extracted (bitter) or just plain too old or both.

I’d also highly recommend finding a cafe in which you can order your own personal french press to assure you get the freshest cup of coffee that you can adulterate, if you so choose, without their assistance.