Often followed by the guy that strolls in with a proud bravado, expecting some sort of extra attention or respect for his manly order. ‘’I need my coffee’’ is a term that accompanies this individual. The bigger the better, right?
Please understand that this is not the case, the bigger the glass/cup the more saturated the espresso shot will be. We have often thought that a bigger cup means more coffee, and it pains me when someone thinks so, because in truth, commercial shops are only pouncing on customers that order larger drinks, thinking that they have more coffee. A bigger cup means more milk, most coffee shops don’t advertise that a large majority of drinks come with a standard double shot of espresso. In case some of you are not quite sure, espresso is the actual coffee, and a double shot is the ratio of ground coffee to water – often 18g to about 30ml of water (these are ristretto shots). That’s what we’re most interested in when it comes to coffee, the actual coffee.
Let’s make sense of this, when you order a ‘’grande’’ or ‘’mucho’’ cappuccino, it comes in a 350ml cup or even bigger. When you order a regular or normal cappuccino, it comes in a 190ml cup, the amount of actual coffee used in both drinks is precisely the same. Now, where does the extra 160ml come from you may ask? ‘’Is it a bird, is it a plane…’’ NO! It’s a whole lot of extra milk topped with some more… wait for it… EXTRA MILK! Now, some places are aware of this, and realise that they are against robbing customers, so they add an extra shot to the drink, making the ratios about the same as a normal cappuccino should be.
You’re probably thinking just another coffee snob. That is not the intention, I hope to make consumers aware of the false advertising going on – I know right, who would have thought someone could be so passionate about a bit of caffeine. Be sure to order a latte if you’re in the mood for some milky, milky cocopops – it’s not a crime! Lattes were designed to be a little weaker than other espresso drinks, although in theory they aren’t, they are just more saturated with milk, making the first sip a little less ‘’tangy’’ compared to an espresso.
Why am I so passionate about this topic? I too was the guy that thought he knew much about coffee, and I will more than happily take correction on this matter too. I used to be the guy that walked in, ordering the biggest drink because ”I need my coffee” until I had a remarkable experience at Father Coffee in Braamfontein, South Africa. I wasn’t forced to order something I wasn’t familiar with, but a smaller drink without sugar was suggested – I was at first incredibly taken back, but upon listening to the barista and my friend, I experienced coffee at a whole new level. It was like the first time I had tasted Nandos, come on… It doesn’t get any better than those flame grillers.
My point is; listen… take advice, we only want to educate you, so that you can have the same mind blowing experience. Coffee is a science, and when we introduce practices that appreciate the flavours of the science, it’s a whole new world!
So, next time you are feeling macho, try Virgin Active, that’s the easiest way to blow off some steam. But appreciate the coffee, and try it the way it’s made best.