Coffee, coffee, coffee! It seems to be all the rage (and the addiction) for many of us at JMU. giphy

However there are still some of us, including myself, who aren’t into the caffeine craze (yet..). For newcomers to the coffee scene, where do we even begin? What’s the difference between a cappuccino and macchiato? Mocha and espresso? Have no fear my friends, read on…

Let’s start with the basics:

Coffee-made with ground coffee beans places into a filter and brewed in a machine. tumblr_n7n7pf9scf1swm1iso1_400Typically has about 80-185 mg of caffeine per 8 oz. cup.

Espresso-made by forcing a small amount of very hot water through finely ground coffee to produce a concentrated beverage. Typically has 40-75 mg of caffeine per 1 oz. serving.

Coffee is typically served in a cup where espresso is served in shots that are added to your drink or enjoyed solo. Also, just to be clear, espresso is not a type of bean or roast-it is a method of brewing.

Americano-espresso shots topped with hot water to make a light layer of cream.

Latte-an espresso based drink with steamed milk and a small amount of foam added to the top.

Cappuccino-similar to a latte. Has ⅓ espresso, ⅓ steamed milk, ⅓ foam milk.tumblr_m7bpe2044i1rr1gmoo1_500

Mocha-is a mix between a latte/cappuccino and hot chocolate or chocolate syrup. (If you’re ordering at Dunkin’ Donuts, this is the Dunkaccino.)

Macchiato-steamed milk, espresso, some type of syrup (Starbucks’ is vanilla flavored in its caramel macchiato) and topped with a layer of foam.

Espresso Macchiato– espresso topped with a dollop of steamed milk and foam.

Flat White-ristretto shots of espresso (shots of espresso that are extracted with the same amount of coffee, but half the amount of water) with steamed milk.

Iced Coffeecoffee that is brewed hot, poured over ice, and served cold.

Cold-Brewed-is made by letting coarse grounds steep in cold or room-temperature water overnight, then pressing out the grinds and keeping the cold brew concentrate that’s left behind chilled. It’s smoother and less acidic compared to hot and iced coffee.

Coffee is coffee. Different roasts of coffee will change the way it tastes (as well as added in syrups, flavors, and sweeteners). 

If you order coffee at Starbucks, after you receive your drink you can put as much cream and sugar in as you’d like.

giphy-1If you order coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts, you’re supposed to tell them how much cream you want when you order and they put it in for you.

As a new coffee goer, the latter option seems a bit more intimidating-what if I need two creams instead of one and don’t know until I try it!?

Dunkin’ has a wide variety of flavors you can add to your coffee, such as Caramel, French Vanilla, or Hazelnut, just to name a few.

Whereas Starbucks usually has different flavors offerings with their Latte and Mocha drinks.


So when you see the menus in Starbucks or Dunkin-don’t be overwhelmed! Calmly review your dictionary and chose according to your preferences of steamed milk, foam, and flavor. And if you’re really feeling adventurous, check out the coffee spots off-campus too!

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