I've been there. You've been there. We've all been there. You walk into a nice, high-end coffee shop in your town or on vacation, you look at the menu and you freeze. What the f*$k is an Americano? A soft what? Does doppio mean several coffees? While this feeling is not awesome, don't let it deter you, you need your coffee fix and getting it from a barista that really knows there stuff is totally worth it.
An Americano is just an intimidating sounding Italian word for espresso with water. Basically, if you're someone who loves the taste of a freshly pulled espresso, but you're looking for a bit more bang for your buck, this is the perfect drink for you.
This is the most common "fancy" drink in America, you can get it at most restaurants and coffee shops. It's a shot of espresso mixed with steamed milk. Often, you can ask for a pump of vanilla, hazelnut or any other flavor they might have on the bar.
Admittedly, this is one of the most confusing fancy coffee drinks out there. Similar to a latte (see above), the 'flat white' consists of espresso, and foamed milk. The difference, however, is in the amount of milk, the texture of it and the temperature - stay with me. The drink is made with two shots of espresso and micro-foamed milk that is heated to the same temperature so that it the foam and scalded milk won't separate.
While this drink might sound complicated, it's actually pretty simple and delicious. Cortado is just equal parts espresso and warm milk.
If you want to sound like you know what you're talking about at a coffee shop but actually just get a drink that's fairly simple, go for the doppio. It translates to a double shot of espresso.
Café au lait:
Pronounced "CAH-FAY-OH-LAY", this drink is perfect for the winter months. It's simply hot drip or full emersion coffee with steamed milk added. The difference between this and a latté is that you will use regular coffee not espresso.
Make your coffee at home any way you want but when you get a chance to try a coffee drink created by an expert, don't be intimidated. Remember: you make coffee with the tears of your haters, a menu won't bring you down.