“Can i have a cup of coffee please?” That might seem like a straightforward order right? Wrong! If you don’t want to be viewed at as a total weirdo you need to get your java-skills together. There is no such thing as “a coffee” in Spain. Please join us for a quick course in the art of burnt java beans.

In the north

Up in the cold dark north we drink a lot of coffee. A lot! Actually almost most in the world, only defeated by our rivalling neighbour Finland. We tend to enjoy a cup for breakfast, when arriving to work, first fika, after lunch, second fika, keep awake at desk and then maybe a cup after dinner. 5 cups a day is no stranger to a lot of folks and might be the reason how we stay awake during the darkness of wintertime.

Considering the amount of coffee the Swedes drink its quite interesting that we have not evolved the art of java more. There has been some evolvement with international coffee shops and more advanced coffee machines at the workplaces, but the general northerner still drink…

Filtered coffe

Coffee filter

And thats basically it. Just pour that hot water through the filter filled with coffee and you get “Coffee”. During the last 70 years we tend to use machines that heats the water for us but it’s still just hot water poured over grounded beans. Some people choose to have a little milk in the coffee when its done. Fancy panzy if you ask me.

Spanish Java

In spain they forces extremely hot, pressurised water through finely ground coffee beans. This will result in a stronger flavour of coffee than we northerners are used to. A cup of coffee brewed in this manner is often referred to as espresso. You heard of it, right? It’s by far the most popular way to prepare a cup of coffee here. I love espresso, especially the french brands. Don’t tell anyone i said that, i would be banished. You can easily prepare that deliciousness with one of these wonders.

I will let your frugal ass figure out yourself what you should buy, but we are extremely happy with one on the right.

In these modern times companies tend to evolve old concepts to make sure they become as inefficient, expensive and environment unfriendly as possible. Please welcome the Nespresso to the party as well. Does it make a good espresso? Yes, I guess so, or at least a decent one. But where is the love?

Just give me that cup of Java-love!

When arriving to Spain you need to get into the coffee game and evolve your skills fast. Here’s the local java-lingo that you need to get around and maybe even appreciate the art of a nice cup of “coffee”.

  • Café Solo – A small cup of black hole black java. Will make your eyes explode. Lovely!
  • Café Americano – Perfect for the gringos from the states and northerners. Just make a café solo and add a lot of extra water. Almost like filtered coffee, yay!
  • Café con leche – Half coffee, half milk. Perfect for halflings and after having 4 café solo.
  • Cappucino – Like the con leche but with steamed milk and twice as expensive.
  • Café Cortado – Java with a splash of milk. Elegant, like a real coffee connoisseur.
  • Carajillo – Coffé with booze (rum, whiskey, brandy), the natural choice of the alcoholic.
  • Café con hielo – Coffee with ice. This is a strange one and a personal favourite of Mrs Snow. You get the java and ice in two separate glasses. Then you’re supposed to add sugar and afterwards carefully pour the coffee into the glass of ice without overflowing it. Yes, it’s basically impossible.
  • Café Bombón – Coffee with sweetened condensed milk. For the small ones, and bees of course.

Final hint

Be aware that you might get question on how you want that cup done as well. Yes, how complicated can it be? They might ask you how you want the milk to your coffee. Caliente – hot, frio – cold, or templada – mixed. Why in the world would anyone want a mix of warm and cold milk? I have no idea, but order templada and make them work for that pay check.

How do you want that sweet cup of coffee?