Coffee Shop Terms & Vernacular

Listed below is a set of commonly used coffee terms and their simple meaning, as brought to you by your local expert commercial coffee shop supplier (for coffee machines and coffee beans), KoffeeOne.

Visiting your local coffee shop for a simple cup of coffee to start your day can get somewhat challenging after hearing another customer order a skinny, tall double shot macchiato.

In some way, baristas understand coffee terminology as if it were a second language, hence hearing someone order a simple black coffee can sound a little bit foreign in coffee shops today.

Keep these terms in mind to assist your next coffee shop order and ensure you receive your perfect kind of coffee.

Coffee Terms – Sizes

  • Tall: Despite the name, tall is the smallest cup size, and generally has a single espresso shot.
  • Grande: Regular cup size, and typically has two espresso shots.
  • Vente: Large cup size, with again, two espresso shots.
  • Coffee Terms – Shots
  • Shot: A single shot is a 30mL portion of espresso.
  • Double shot: Adds another shot of espresso to your coffee.
  • Triple shot: Adds two more shots of espresso to your coffee.
  • Quad shot: Adds three more shots of espresso to your coffee.

Drinks & Other Popular Terms

  • Cappuccino: Espresso beverage featuring steamed milk and foam on top, which is also stronger than a latte. The number of espresso shots included depends on the size of the coffee ordered.
  • American: A very strong espresso drink made up of nothing more than espresso and hot water.
  • Espresso: The basis for most coffee beverages, however, a few people do choose to drink espressos straight up. An espresso is a highly concentrated shot of coffee that has a rich, lingering aroma and flavour, topped with a natural crema.
  • Flavour shot: A syrup flavouring that is used in coffee and other hot beverages.
  • Latte: An espresso drink with more steamed milk than foam, is not as strong as a cappuccino.
  • Skinny: Ordering a skinny drink means the barista will create any beverage sugar free and/or non-fat.
  • Espresso Con Panna: An espresso shot with a bit of whipped cream on top.
  • Espresso Macchiato: An espresso shot with a little bit of foamed milk.
  • Double dry short: A double shot of nothing but espresso.