How Do You Take Your Coffee?

“Grabbing coffee“ is a familiar expression used when two individuals at MC want to spend quality time together. Whether it is to catch up from a long weekend, to study a history lesson, or to have that long-coming DTR talk, “grabbing coffee” is sure to be a part of every student’s MC experience at some point.


A coffee house can be an intimidating place for the inexperienced coffee drinker. Glaring at the menu, one may think: Mocha, Americano, Latte, Cappuccino:  what do all of these crazy, foreign words mean?!

Don’t be overwhelmed, my friend. Your friendly, telecounseling, former barista Kristie is here to help you out.

Let’s start with the basics. There are two main types of hot drinks: coffee drinks and espresso drinks.
Coffee drinks are exactly what you imagine them to be. They’re the ones that are typically made in a coffee pot, percolator, or French Press. They may be a regular roast, a dark roast (which is slightly more bitter) or a flavored roast, according to your taste preference. People often add sugar or cream to sweeten these. Coffee drinks may also be served iced.

                                                                Drip Coffee

Espresso drinks are when things get a bit more interesting. Espresso is a strong, concentrated form of coffee that is made when a small amount of boiling hot water is quickly shot through finely ground coffee grains. This is the base for a lot of those fun, Italian-sounding drinks that you wonder about.  Most of them are available hot, iced, or in a blended form known as a frappucino.

So here’s a break-down of coffee lingo that is sure to help you out on your next visit to your favorite coffee shop.

  • Americano: espresso and water
  • Latte: espresso and milk (oftentimes flavors are added; example: caramel latte)
  • Mocha: espresso, milk, and chocolate flavoring
  • White Mocha: espresso, milk, white chocolate flavoring 
  • Cappuccino: espresso, the foam from steamed milk
  • Skinny: with skim milk
  • Breve: with half-and-half instead of milk 


                        A shot of espresso with whipped cream on the top

Now that we’ve defined the basic terms, it’s important to remember that all coffee drinks have caffeine. This is a huge perk to the sleepy college student, but it is important to remember not to over-do it. A fun way to check caffeine consumption is to visit the caffeine calculator. You enter your weight and your drink, and it calculates how much of a caffeinated beverage you can have before you die. Cool, right?!

If you are trying to cut the caffeine, try something else like a salted caramel hot chocolate from Starbucks (just a few miles from campus!), or take a walk to Cups and try a cup of their delicious hot Apple Chaider. No matter the occasion, there’s always a coffee shop drink for you! So the next time someone asks you out on a coffee date, don’t be afraid of that menu. Step right up to that counter and tell them how you take your coffee!

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