Order your coffee in Spanish like a local with these nine common phrases. Save these and practice before your next trip!
As much as I love to travel, I’ll admit that a language barrier still intimidates me. I think if I could have any super power, it would be the ability to instantly learn new languages.
Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s happening anytime soon. But I’m not letting that stop me!
It always makes me feel better knowing that I can at least order coffee in the country I’m traveling to. When we visited the Dominican Republic a couple years ago, one of the first things I did was learn my Spanish coffee vocab.
My dad’s side of the family is fluent in Spanish and I’ve been learning (on and off) since high school, so I’m relatively comfortable with the language. Even if you’re not, though, a little practice goes a long way. Give these phrases a try and before you know it you’ll be ordering your coffee in Spanish like a local.
1. “A cup of coffee please”
Una taza de café por favor
Keep it nice and simple with this order. This will likely get you a café solo, only coffee. It is a single shot of espresso served hot and black.
Un café americano
An americano is the closest thing you’ll find to coffee from the U.S. while in Latin countries. It is espresso with water added, but don’t worry, it still has a rich flavor.
3. “Coffee with Milk”
Café con leche
Order this when you want a latte. This will get you a shot of espresso with steamed milk.
4. “Hot coffee” or “Coffee with ice”
Café caliente and café con hielo
If you’re looking for iced coffee that you might find in the United States, you’ll be hard pressed to find it. Instead, you’ll get hot coffee with a second cup of ice. Pour the hot coffee over the ice and enjoy the cool beverage.
Most other drinks will come hot. If you get a drink with milk, the barista will likely ask if you want your milk caliente (hot) or just templada (warm). Note: when they say hot, they mean it!
5. “Do you have almond milk?”
¿Tiene leche de almendra?
Most cafes will only have leche de vaca – cows milk. However non-dairy alternatives like almond milk are becoming more popular so it never hurts to ask!
Bonus: Soy milk is few and far between when it comes to coffee in Spanish speaking countries but to ask for soy milk say “tiene leche de soya?”
6. “With sugar”
Remember, most coffee drinks are served black or only with milk. If you like a sweeter taste, ask for sugar. Or to embrace a popular Spanish flavor, ask for café con miel – coffee with honey! Learn more about out other popular coffee drinks in Spain.
7. “Small” or “Large”
Pequeño or Grande
Unlike in the US, you don’t get many options when it comes to sizes. The size of your beverage will depend on what you order. A café solo (one shot) will come in a small glass while an americano will come in a bit larger glass. If you want more, order another!
8. “To Go”
Like most European countries, coffee in Spain is not a stop along the way. It’s a destination. Most people drink their coffee at the cafe and rarely take it to-go. Of course, you can ask, but when in Rome….
Save this to practice ordering your coffee in Spanish or show the barista what you mean! Want more coffee vocab? Check out 9 Korean Phrases to Help you Order Coffee.