What is "Regular" coffee?

If you order a “regular” coffee, do you get back: coffee (with caffeine), milk and two sugars?

I don’t think this is correct. Regular, to me, means NOT decaffeinated. It has nothing to do with what I want IN the coffee.

It seems to me that when ordering coffee, three things need to be address; size, type, and customization.

Size = Medium
Type = Regular (Not decaffeinated)
Custom = Milk - No sugar

“I’ll take a medium, regular with milk and no sugar please.”


“I’ll take a small, decaf with milk AND sugar”.

“Give me a REGULAR?” What does that mean?

Regional differences may apply.

In the Seattle area (as of ten years ago) asking for a regular coffee would procure a cup of coffee without sugar or milk.

In the Boston area asking for a regular coffee will procure a cup of coffee with cream and sugar.

Moving this little tea party to IMHO.

Here in Michigan, when I get a cup of Regular coffee, I get coffee, with caffeine and without milk or sugar. I then go over to the little table on the side and add milk (or, if they have it, half-and-half.) Powdered “lightening” agents will be used only as a last resort :stuck_out_tongue:

That’s what regular means to me too. I have to have two cups of Columbian every moring. Sugar = 3 Cream = no thanks.

I’m not a coffee drinker, but that’s what I understood the definition to be: cream, two sugars. I’m in the north east, and that’s the explaination I’ve been given, anyway.

In New York B.S. (Before Starbucks), “regular” meant with caffeine, milk and at least one sugar.

Now that coffee’s gotten so complicated, “regular” doesn’t mean much of anything, from what I can tell.

When I came to live in the NY area, my pet peeve was how difficult it was to get a cup of plain old unadulterated black coffee.

Georgia: “Coffee”

New Mexico: “Coffee”

New York: “Plain black coffee, no milk, no sugar, no lemon, no strawberries, just the %$#@!! coffee please”
I never used the word “regular”, which around here definitely means “with milk and sugar”. Unfortunately, since that is “regular”, I guess folks assume that’s what you want when you order “coffee”.

I’d order “Black coffee” – OK in a restaurant where there is sugar on the table, but for take-out, watch out – “black coffee” will end up with sugar in it ::eww::

I’d order “Plain coffee” – But sometimes they’d think I meant “instead of french vanilla bean choco almond butterscotch flavor of the day coffee” and I’d get coffee with sugar and cream

I’d order “Coffee black no sugar” – Usually that would work but sometimes I’d still get coffee with mild and no sugar or black coffee with sugar, as if they can’t accept the possibility that I really don’t want either of them in my coffee.

Here in Vancouver, you get a strong, slightly purgative brew.

[denis leary]
“Gimme a regular.”

“Regular what?”


“What flavor?”

[/denis leary]

In the Metro NY area, there is a distinction in coffee, depending on how it’s ordered.

“Regular coffee” is coffee with caffeine. This is said when sitting at a table or counter. Never to go.

“Coffee, regular” is coffee with cream and sugar. Said to the deli man when you are ordering to go.

Coffee, regular is the standard in NYC. Everything diverges from there. Coffee, light and sweet, for instance, has more cream and sugar in it than coffee, regular. Coffee, dark, has less cream, and you may have to specify how much sugar, if any.

Coffee, black, no sugar, is just that.

If you remember that coffee, regular, is coffee with cream and sugar, and that everything spins out from there, you’ll be okay.

I’m with the OP - “regular” means caffeinated. I’m from the West Coast. There, you add your own cream & sugar, so it’s none of the “barista’s” (what a stupid word) business what you want in it. It’s a much better system.


On the East Coast - Boston area, at least - the Starbuck’s type of place does the fancy-shmancy lattes, etc, but does not add sugar, milk, etc to a regular coffee. Those items are on a side table.

It’s the Dunkin’ Doughnut type of place that serves regular coffee with the cream and sugar already added.