Coffee in Barcelona and Catalunya - What you need to know
Un café con leche, por favor! A drink that is loved by many, especially in Spain. Whether it’s in the morning, at lunch time, after dinner, people love nipping to their local cafe for a coffee. At home you’ll have your coffee order on point and it will be served exactly as you want it. But in Catalunya, ordering coffee can be a different experience from what you are used to.
Ordering coffee in Catalunya can be different than ordering coffee in your hometown. This is because some coffee based drinks have different names to what you would recognise them as. For example, most people are used to ordering the internationally famous Cappuccino (Italian coffee) and a Macchiato and it can totally slip their mind that they may not be served exactly how they are expecting. Normally when you order a Cappuccino in Catalunya you will get a coffee with a lot of milk and chocolate within and on top. If this isn’t what you’re after, you’re better off ordering a ‘Café con leche’ (coffee with milk) which is the equivalent to a cappuccino but without chocolate on top.
The most basic coffee you can order in Catalunya is the ‘Café Solo’, this is just the simple espresso shot (un Café) and not a black coffee. ‘Un Café Doble’ is the Double Espresso. When you want just a simple coffee, order a ‘Café Americano’, this is just a large black coffee with hot water. If you want milk in your drink, it’s best to ask for a ‘Café con leche’ or ‘Cortado’.
To avoid any disappointment when ordering your beverage, a good rule of thumb would be to stick to the more typical Spanish coffees, or maybe try to say it in English and explain what you mean. Of course there are also many many specialty coffee places in Barcelona where they use the exact same names you are used to, but if you just go to a normal local coffee place in Barcelona, remember this advice ;).