Coffee drinking in Spain is very ritualised and Spaniards vary consumption according to the time of day; maybe a solo to kick start the morning or a carajillo at the end of a celebratory meal, but no matter what you need there is bound to be a caffeine solution to suit you.
There are many different types of coffee in Spain and many vary according to region so here we give an overview of the types you are most likely to encounter in Andalucia and are typical of what we serve at Restaurante Cantueso in Periana.
Small black coffee usually served in small cup or glass. Also called Espresso which is really the base for all types of coffee in Spain (made by forcing nearly boiling water under pressure through the ground coffee) and should not be confused with Espresso coffee known to Brits from the sixties when Espresso coffee bars served frothy white coffee, in Spain it is black.
Café con leche
Large cup, half coffee and half steamed milk. Also called a Mitad.
Baiscally a Café Solo in a large cup with added water.
Small black coffee with a dash of steamed milk.
Café Sombra (shade)
As con leche but with less coffee. Also called Café Manchada (stained) One wag descibed this as a drink for those who don’t like coffee!
Café Nube (cloud)
A vaiation on Sombra and Manchada and dependant on where you are may contain even less coffee.
A Solo but with a splash of brandy.
Like a con leche but more froth and cocoa powder sprinkled on top.
Café Hielo (iced)
Normally you are served a glass full with ice cubes onto which you pour a café solo. Good for a summers day when you need a shot of caffeine but nothing hot.
A café solo with condensed milk.
A con leche served in a large glass with extra steamed milk.
Decaff coffee normally requested as “de maquina” so as not to get instant from a jar!
All types of coffee vary not just by name or region but also by bar or restaurant. The following terms may also be encountered.
Largo (extra strong), Semi Largo (strong), Solo Corto (espresso).
Whatever you do don’t be confused, just try something different, and you may get a pleasant suprise! At Cantueso we are always willing to let you experiment so just ask.