Coffee in Spanish – 10 Different Ways to Order

By Mark •  Updated: 06/27/22 •  7 min read

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Everyone loves coffee, especially in the country from which we borrowed the word “cafe,” Spain. Some people like to start their day with a cup of coffee, while others just want to sip it while taking a walk.

While many Spanish people are bilingual, some locals don’t understand it. You need to talk to them in their native or national language so they can understand. If you are facing this complication, we’ll be sharing multiple ways you can use to order coffee in Spanish.

Coffee in Spanish
Today you will learn how to order Coffee in Spanish

You can always say a simple English phrase, “A cup of coffee, please,” and most baristas, especially those in commonly visited tourist areas, will understand.

However, to specify what coffee you want, you’ll have to order it in Spanish. One easy way is to say “un café, por favor,” but if they start asking for minor details, you’ll need more than just simple Spanish.

So, here are ten different ways how to order coffee in Spanish that I learned from my time traveling in Spain and throughout South America.

How to Order Coffee in Spanish

To simplify ordering different coffee drinks in Spanish, I’ll share the coffee variant name below and how you can order it in Spanish.

Coffee With Milk

If you want to enjoy a traditional breakfast in Spain, this is the best option you have. You can order it by saying “café con leche” at any cafe. This is the closest alternative you’ll find if you want to fill your craving for a latte.

Coffee With Milk
Coffee With Milk is “Cafe Con Leche” in Spanish

It might be a bit stronger than your usual latte, but this is a must-try coffee in Spain. Most cafes serve it with equal parts espresso and milk. If you prefer non-dairy milk in your coffee then you can request any of the following:

  • Leche de almendra (almond milk)
  • Leche de coco (coconut milk)
  • Leche de vaca (cows milk)
  • Leche de soya (soy milk)

For example, if you would like an almond milk latte then you can tell the barista “¿Me das un café con leche de almendra, por favor?”

A Shot of Espresso

Visit a cafe and tell them to give you a “café solo,” which means an espresso shot. It might not be that fancy, but enough to keep you awake. It is strong, and if you order this coffee after lunch, you look more like a local.

A Shot of Espresso
If you want a shot of Espresso you can ask for a “café solo.”

Espresso Machiatto

This is an espresso shot topped with milk. You can ask for a cortado and the barista will provide you with a café solo with frothy hot milk.

Espresso Machiatto
Espresso Machiatto is “cortado” in Spanish

In other words, most people would love to call it espresso macchiato, but it has different names based on your region. In some areas, a cortado means coffee stained with milk, so you’ll get a splash of coffee on a glass of milk.

Iced Coffee

This is the most fun coffee you can get during the summer. Visit a cafe and order a “café con hielo.”

You can also try saying “café del tiempo,” and the barista will give you a cup of hot coffee and a glass of ice cubes. Now the fun part starts; make sure to pour the coffee into the glass filled with ice without spilling any.

Iced Coffee
Iced coffee is known as café del tiempo

Some people might spectate you while doing so, and if you succeed without spilling coffee, they’ll consider you a Spanish coffee expert.

Café Americano

If you like café solo but prefer to dilute its intensity a bit, you can always order a café Americano. It has the same amount of caffeine but with more water to reduce the strength of the flavor.

Café Americano
Café Americano is not considered a good quality coffee in Spain

Spanish people won’t consider it a good coffee; they usually refer to it as “dirty water,” but you can still enjoy it.

Espresso with Sweet Condensed Milk

This coffee is best for those with a sweet tooth. Café bombón is a Spanish specialty in which you’ll get a 1:1 of sweet condensed milk and an espresso shot. Valencia was the first city to introduce this flavor, and after a while, it became available all over Spain.

Espresso with Sweet Condensed Milk
Espresso with Sweet Condensed Milk

The barista will provide a clear glass filled with half espresso and half-sweet condensed milk showing the two separate bands of colors. Just mix them before drinking and enjoy the sweet taste.

Coffee-Flavored Drink

If you want to enjoy coffee flavor instead of proper coffee, you can order leche manchada.

Coffee-Flavored Drink
If you love coffee-flavored drinks try a leche manchada

You’ll get a hot cup of milk with some drops of coffee to enjoy a bit of coffee aftertaste in every sip. This is an excellent option for those who love to enjoy the subtle flavor of the coffee.

Coffee With Alcohol

This might sound funny, but people do this in Spain. Order a carajillo, and you’ll get an espresso with whisky, brandy, rum, or whatever drink is available based on the atmosphere.

Coffee With Alcohol
Coffee with alcohol or carajillo

However, only try this if you like drinking alcohol because it is more of an acquired taste. Some people might find the flavor quite strong, especially when mixed with espresso.

Sweet Coffee With Alcohol

This is a mix of cafe bombón with a shot of brandy. If you want a light kick of alcohol in your sweet coffee, order a café Belmonte.

Decaffeinated Coffee for Night

This coffee tradition is not limited to the daytime in Spain. There are cafes ready to serve fresh coffee even at night, but without a majority of its caffeine, so you won’t have trouble sleeping.

Decaffeinated Coffee for Night
Decaffeinated coffee is called descafeinado

Visit a cafe and ask for “descafeinado,” and they might offer decaffeinated coffee. You can also ask for “de sobr,” or if you are lucky, you can enjoy a freshly ground coffee called “de máquina.” You get to decide how you want your decaffeinated coffee and enjoy a nice warm cup of coffee at night.

Other Useful Spanish Coffee Vocabulary

Spain has a solid coffee culture, so the names might differ depending on the region. You can always look at the menu and tell the number of the coffee you want to the barista.

However, if you visit a local cafe, they might not have a menu; these standard terms might help you in such cases.

  • Azúcar: sugar
  • Caliente: hot milk
  • Templada: a mixture of cold and hot milk
  • Fría: cold milk
  • Sacarina: sweetener

Conclusion

Ordering coffee in Spanish is not that difficult; you can rely on Google translate for this if you are in a hurry. You can also order in English, but that won’t be fun, and you might have difficulty conveying a proper order. Above are the ten ways you can request a coffee in Spain.

Learn those words perfectly so you look like a native while ordering.

Mark

G'day from Australia! I'm Mark, the Chief Editor of Portafilter. I'm super passionate about everything coffee-related and love to spend endless hours mastering pulling the perfect shot on my Breville Barista Express. Follow on: Linkedin and Facebook.

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