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How to Order Coffee Like a PRO

How to order coffee at starbucks

How to Order Coffee Like a PRO

A lot of us often order the same thing from the menu because we tend to get overwhelmed by the wide array of selections. When we flip a restaurant menu, we tend to order what’s familiar over and over again.

But what makes this habit even worse is when we’re ordering coffee from a coffee shop counter. The pressure to finish an order in a hastened manner because we don’t want to be the reason why the queue’s not moving intensifies our decision to end up with the same thing.

If you’re tired of sipping Mocha Frappuccino and you don’t want to limit your taste buds anymore, keep reading.

1.        Ordering Coffee Over-the-counter

order coffee at peets coffee bean and tea leaf seattle's best coffee gourmet coffee store

Before we get to the nitty-gritty of what to order, you first must know the common system of ordering coffee over the counter. Please know that this guide applies to most coffee shops in the world. Other coffee shops use a different and more traditional system where people are seated, given a menu, and served.

  • Step 1 - Go online and look for the menu of the coffee shop you want to order from.
  • Step 2 - List down your top order and two substitute orders should your first order be unavailable.
  • Step 3 - Go to the coffee shop of your choice and look for the queue at the cashier counter.
  • Step 4 - Find where the line ends and wait for your turn.
  • Step 5 - While waiting, read what’s on the board and find something interesting that you’ve failed to take notes on.
  • Step 6 - When the barista asks you for your order, tell them the priority item on your list first. Don’t interrupt them as they’re registering your order. They will ask you for additional orders subsequently should you have more.
  • Step 7 - After agreeing upon the price and the order, give them the payment and take the receipt.
  • Step 8 - They will ask for your first name upon successful payment.
  • Step 9 - Proceed to the waiting counter or a table of your choice with your receipt and wait for them to announce your name.
  • Step 10 - Enjoy your coffee.


2.        Coffee Cup Sizes

coffee cup sizes small tall medium large venti

Different coffee shops have different cup sizes. Gone are the days when you can go to a coffee shop and you can just say small, medium, or large. Branding is crucial for coffee businesses because after all, it’s not just beverage that they’re selling, they’re also selling a certain lifestyle.


Let’s begin with the most popular coffee shop in the world, Starbucks. Their cup size names are a bit different. But they’re not hard to remember so pick a pen and take notes.

  • Demi – 3oz
  • Short – 8oz
  • Tall – 12oz (Standard Size)
  • Grande – 16oz (Large)
  • Venti – 20oz
  • Trenta – 30oz

Please know that some sizes may be missing depending on the availability of your local Starbucks.

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

This coffee shop has simpler cup size names and these names are quite easy to recall.

  • Single (For Espresso)
  • Double (For Espresso)
  • Small
  • Regular
  • Large

Other coffee shops have different sizing names but we’ve only listed the two most popular ones. These will be the shops you’ll most likely stumble upon in your area. If you need more information about the names of cup sizes, please write your question in the comments section below this post.

3.        Hot Coffee Types and Descriptions

latte macchiato black coffee americano expresso iced cold coffee frappichano

For you to order coffee like a pro, you first must know what you want to drink. We’ve simplified this by listing down the common drink names depending on the temperature of the coffee. Today, you can not just say iced coffee or black coffee then you’re good to go.

·       Black Coffee

Technically, black coffee’s still listed in almost all coffee shop menus. However, you don’t want to keep ordering this same thing just because you’re daunted by the huge selection.


Black coffee is the most basic kind but is the most telling if you’re getting good quality coffee beans or not. It’s mostly served hot without additives such as milk, sugar, syrup, etc.

·       Espresso

This is a cult favorite and is often associated with people who need a strong pick-me-up drink. Its strength comes from being concentrated using finely ground coffee beans. It’s usually served hot in very small cups that are as tiny as shot glasses.

·       Latte

This is probably the second most basic type of coffee. It’s made up of a shot of espresso; laced with steamed milk with a touch of foam. Can be served hot or cold.

·       Cappuccino

If you want an enjoyable hot drink, a cappuccino is for you. It’s made up of coffee with steamed milk drowned in foam with cocoa powder or cinnamon sprinkled on top. It’s perfect for cool winter nights and rainy days.

·       Americano

This is as basic as black coffee but it’s made espresso diluted in hot water. No extras, just strong coffee.

·       Café au Lait

Don’t be intimidated by the French words. It literally means coffee with milk. This drink is made up of black coffee with warm milk.

·       Doppio

Are you in the mood to double the strength of your drink? If so, this double shot of espresso will make you feel unstoppable.

·       Cortado

If you want a balanced drink, a cortado is the perfect blend for you. It’s made up of espresso mixed with warm steamed milk.

·       Macchiato

Do you want a strong drink that’s not boring to look at? The Macchiato is made up of espresso and milk with foam on top. It can be served both hot and cold. One popular variant of this is Starbucks’ Caramel Macchiato.

·       Matcha

We know that this is a coffee guide but matcha has been gaining traction in the west recently. It’s a stronger type of green tea as it's made up of ground powder from processed green tea. It is usually served with milk or foam and can be ordered hot or cold.

·       Mocha

If you love chocolate and coffee, you’re going to enjoy Mocha coffee. It’s a blend of chocolate drink and espresso with steamed milk and foam. The Mocha Frappuccino is one of Starbucks’ bestsellers because of its sweet and cool flavor.

·       Bica

This drink is the Portuguese’s answer to the Italian’s espresso. It has a smoother taste made possible by a roasting method done with Portuguese coffee beans. It’s also known as “um café” in many coffee shops.

·       Flat White

Satiate your cravings with Australia’s flat white. It’s similar to a cappuccino but without foam and chocolate sprinkles. Instead, it’s blended with steamed milk.

·       Irish

Love whiskey? Why not drink it through the Irish coffee. It’s made of black coffee, sugar, whiskey, topped with whipped cream.

·       Lungo

This term means long-pull espresso. The longer the beans are pulled means more caffeine.

·       Ristretto

It’s a sweeter flavor of espresso and doppio because it uses less hot water. It’s also served as a shot.

·       Affogato

Even many lactose-intolerant individuals enjoy ice cream from time to time and this is why Affogato is in high demand. It’s a blend of an ice cream scoop with espresso. It’s a pick-me-up and dessert in one.

·       Galao

Another Portuguese treat that’s more similar to latte and cappuccino. Made lighter because it’s topped with more generously foamed milk.

·       Red Eye

Named after pesky midnight flights, it’s a sure-fire way to perk you up. This is made of a full cup of hot coffee with… AN ESPRESSO SHOT!

4.        Cold Coffee Types and Descriptions

coffee types expresso based drinks

Not everyone is into hot coffee. Many people, especially from tropical countries, enjoy a tall glass of cold coffee.

·       Iced Coffee

This is probably the most basic and refreshing cold coffee type. It’s made of coffee with ice, milk, cream, and sweetener.

·       Cold Brew

This one is more complicated as the coffee beans are steeped from 6 to 36 hours. Once the process of steeping is done, cold milk or cream is added.

·       Iced Espresso

Served in a small glass on the rocks, it’s like drinking liquor but without the intoxication effect. Some people add cream, sweetener, or milk to it.

·       Frappuccino

A crowd’s favorite because it’s really sweet and refreshing. Made up of blended iced coffee with syrup and whipped cream. There are also decaffeinated versions which are usually sold to kids.

·       Mazagran

Who would’ve thought that coffee and tea would go well together? Well, if you haven’t… try the Mazagran. It’s a blend of iced coffee and tea served with sugar, lemon, and sometimes, rum!

·       Nitro

If you thought that iced coffee’s fun, try the nitro! It elevates the cold brew with nitrogen bubbles.

5.        The Lifestyle

meet friends for coffee meeting over coffee date at coffee shop

Having a cup of coffee is a great way to start your day. It’s also a good form of bonding moment shared with your friends and loved ones. But you must know that having too much can be bad for the health.

Everything’s only good... in moderation!

Already love the lifestyle? Why not express it with a cool Hulchul Funny Coffee Shirt?

Have interesting questions or want to add a coffee type to the list? Feel free to join the conversation by writing a comment below.


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