Cue the Zoolander clip where they all go out for ‘orange mocha Frappuccinos!” If you aren’t a coffee shop person, ordering at Starbucks, or any coffee shop, can be intimidating. I was a barista at Starbucks when I was 16. I stayed with the company, on-and-off, until I began teaching. If you ask me, seven years of Starbucks experience makes me pretty qualified to write this post. That being said, I’m sure someone more well-versed in coffee (ahem, a major coffee snob) might have some revisions to make. I’ll try my best…
Coffee or Espresso?
Basic drip coffee is what you most likely brew at home. (Think, good old-fashioned Folgers). Espresso is pulled in 2 ounce shots. I swear I’m not trying to confuse things further. If you like the taste of espresso, you can order a cafe Americano. It is simply espresso shots with hot water.
Off on a slight tangent…Back in the day, Starbucks used to have manual machines so the baristas could control the strength of the espresso shot. I remember a customer who could only have ’19-second espresso shots’. No joke. Some people like it real bitter! To my knowledge, the machines are now automatic at almost all Starbucks locations.
Latte or Cappuccino?
If you like foam, get a cappuccino. If you like milk, get a latte. A cappuccino is typically about 2/3 milk and 1/3 foam; whereas a latte only has a slight dollop of foam on top.
Whole, 2%, 1%, skim- so many choices. Even better, get it brevé, which is half&half. I’ve been using soy milk in my lattes for as long as I can remember. I also enjoy oat or almond milk, too, depending on what coffee shop I’m in.
Macchiato? Dry? Espresso Con Panna?
Macchiato is typically a shot of espresso with a scoop of foam on top. Starbucks made famous their “Caramel Macchiato” which is vanilla syrup, steamed milk, a scoop of foam, espresso shots poured on top with a drizzle of caramel sauce. Espresso con panna is a shot of espresso with whipped cream on top. When you order a cappuccino, you can ask for it ‘dry’ if you like foam. It’s just a fancy way to ask for extra-foam.