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For me, coffee names are a very important component of my travel vocabulary!

So, I live very close to France and like to pop over. On my last visit I had a revelation. My French isn't great but I pick up a little bit more every visit, mostly essential stuff like food, drink, I think it might be broken (snowboarding related)...

For years I've struggled with getting a strong coffee with a dash of milk - a Cortado or a Macchiato would be perfect but if I say yes to milk I get a Latte - whole different animal! So I learned the phrase 'lait à côté' - 'milk on the side' so I could at least control that part. Nope. Maybe half the time this works for me the rest of the time (probably due to my horrible French) I get a shrug and a Latte. Anyhoo, I'm in a restaurant and someone asks at the bar for a Noisette - I'm thinking some kind of nut-syrups nastiness (not judging), but no, it's pretty much a Macchiato! It's difficult without sounding too sad, to explain what this means to me but it did remind me of another language barrier a couple of years back.


Globe Thmb
The language of coffee

I had just got back from a long weekend in Denmark where the Cortado was making a name for itself, it became a firm favourite. On my next break, I found myself in Madeira and my knowledge of Portuguese slightly worse than my French but I managed to get a Cortado but was told it was actually a Garoto - thank you very much (as Cortado is Spanish!).

So, with travel slowly opening up again, here is a rough user's guide to coffee names so you can get your desired brew when you are away.

Do be careful though as, just like in England, some variations may occur - regional, cultural or personal!

UK - Macciatto
Espresso with dash of milk and a little foam hat:

Noisette France (yay!)
Macchiato Italy
Pingo Portugal

UK - Americano
Espresso topped up with hot water:

France - Café allongé
Italy - Caffè Americano
Portugal - Abatanado

UK - Cappuccino
Milky Frothy coffee:

France - Cafe Creme
Italy - Cappuccino
Wales - Coffi Ffrothi ;)

UK - Cortado
Double espresso with equal measure of textured milk (dense not too foamy):

Spain and the Nordics - Cortado
Potugal - Garoto

UK - Flat White
Strong coffee with a thin layer or milk:

Australa - Flat White
Portugal - Meia de Leite
Otherwiese, even in the UK, this can be a varied experience!

UK - Latte
Half milk, half coffee:

Italy - Caffè latte
Spain - Café con leche
Portugal - Galao Directo

UK - Espresso
A short, strong coffee made by passing hot water through grounds under pressure:

Portugal - Cafe / Bica
Spain Café solo
Italy Espresso

Bon voyage.

Tiny Coffee
La Petite Noisette