You might find that you’re not sure what to order off the menu when you’re in need of coffee. That’s perfectly understandable because in Spain the coffee has different names, and is served differently than in many other places.
Here’s a list with the most common coffee types in Spain so you’ll know exactly what to order next time!
Café Solo: it is the equivalent to the Italian Espresso, although it’s cheaper and you might find it way stronger!
Café Cortado: this is a “Café Solo” with just a bit of milk. It’s served in a small cup, just like the previous one.
Café con Leche: Somewhat lighter because of the milk, it is one of the most popular in Spain. It combines a shot of espresso with the rest of the cup filled with coffee, and is served in a normal coffee cup (possibly smaller compared to what you might be used to at home!)
Café del Tiempo: it is basically a café solo, two or three ice cubes, and a lemon slice. They will normally serve you the coffee and the glass with the ice and lemon separately, so that you can pour it by yourself and let it cool. This type of coffee is very common in the Valencian Community and is usually served during the warmer seasons, although you can find it all year round.
Carajillo: This is one of the most traditional ways of having a coffee in Spain. If you are in the Valencian Community, you might have to call it “Cremaet” (which means “burnt” in Valencian). It combines coffee with flamed liquor and lemon peel. It can be prepared with brandy, whisky, anisette or rum. According to folklore, its origin dates to the times when Cuba was a Spanish colony. The troops combined coffee with rum to give them “coraje” (courage). From there, “corajillo” and more recently “carajillo”. Spaniards usually have it after lunch or dinner as a dessert, but it’s also typical to drink it as a substitute for the traditional coffee.
Café Bombón: For those who like sweets, this combines a decent amount of coffee with a decent amount of sweetened condensed milk. It’s usually served in a glass and you will get a delicious caramel flavor after stirring it together.