There is no other way to put it: drinking coffee is a way of life in Spain. No matter what time of the day it is, you will always see people drinking coffee at an outside cafe. It is important to note that coffee in Spanish is pronounced as (kah-feh). During your trip, you will quickly realize three things:
- Coffee drinks are much smaller in Spain than in North America.
- Iced coffee, known as “café del tiempo” in Spanish, is just not a thing in Spain. If you ask for an iced coffee in Spain, they will give you two separate cups. One cup with two ice cubes and hot coffee in another cup. You will pour the coffee into the cup that has the two ice cubes.
- “Cafe con leche” is the most popular type of coffee in Spain. Foreigners absolutely love cafe con leche because it tastes delicious even though it is just a large cup of coffee with warm milk. In my opinion, this is the closest equivalent to a latte you will find in Spain.
Here Are the Most Popular Coffees in Spain
- Café con leche – 50% coffee + 50% milk
- Cortado or café largo- 75% coffee + 25% milk
- Café manchado – 25% coffee + 75% milk
- Café solo – 100% coffee (shot of espresso)
- Café doble – 100% coffee x2
- Café Americano – 50% coffee + 50% water
- Café Bombon – Coffee with condensed milk in a 1:1 ratio
- Carajillo – Coffee + liquor (usually rum, whisky, or brandy)
Most Spanish people drink coffee with whole milk. Whole milk in Spanish is “leche entera”. If you are not a fan of whole milk, you can ask for leche semidesnatada (reduced fat) or desnatada (skim). Cow’s milk is the most widely available, but you have other options like leche de almendra (almond milk), leche de cabra (goat’s milk) or leche de soja (soy milk).
Keep in mind that Spanish coffee is strong, so if you are looking for something sweet to mix into your coffee, you can ask for azúcar (sugar) or miel (honey).
How to Order Coffee in Spanish
Informal: ¿Me das un café, por favor? ¿Me puedes poner un café? / ¿Me puedes traer un café?
Formal: ¿Me da un café, por favor? / ¿Me puede poner un café?/ ¿Me puede traer un café?
Other Phrases That Can Be Helpful When Ordering Coffee in Spain:
¿Me lo puedes hacer con leche de soja? → Can you make it with soy milk?
Me gustaria la leche templada, no muy caliente, por favor → I would like warm milk, not too hot.
¿Que tipo de licor tienes para el carajillo? → What type of liquor do you have for the carajillo?
¿Me traes…, por favor? → Can you please bring me…?)
¿Cuanto cuesta el café? → How much is the coffee?
¿Me puedes traer la cuenta, por favor? → Could you bring the check, please?
The Essential Spain Travel Guide
I have created the Ultimate Spain Travel Guide with all the important things to know before traveling to Spain. I want you to feel confident during your trip and understand what is going on around you. It includes information such as: