Thursday, February 9, 2023




The word coffee entered the English language in 1582 via the Dutch koffie, borrowed from the Ottoman Turkish kahve, borrowed in turn from the Arabic qahwah.

Medieval Arab lexicographers traditionally held that the etymology of qahwah meant 'wine', given its distinctly dark color. The word qahwah most likely meant 'the dark one', referring to the brew or the bean.

The terms coffee pot and coffee break originated in 1705 and 1952 respectively.



'Cappuccino' takes its name from the Capuchin friars.

The Capuchin friars are members of the larger Franciscan orders of monks, and their order was founded in the 16th century in Italy. They were renowned for their missionary work among the poor, as well as their dedication to extreme austerity, poverty, and simplicity.

The Capuchins were also renowned for their dress. They wear a simple brown robe that includes a long, pointed hood that hangs down the back. The Italian word for this distinctive hood, cappuccio, gave rise to the Italian name for the order.

When the cappuccino drink was first introduced in Italy, it was named after the Capuchin friars because the color of the espresso mixed with frothed milk was similar to the color of the Capuchin robe. The name was borrowed into English in the late 1800s.

The friars are called Capuchins in English; they've lent their English name to a women's cloak with a hood, as well as to a monkey with a ruff of fur on its neck that looks like the friar's hood.



The word barista comes from Italian where it means a male or female "bartender" who typically works behind a counter, serving hot drinks (such as espresso), cold alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and snacks.

The word barista has been documented since 1916 in both Spanish and Italian. The native plural in English and Spanish is baristas, while in Italian the plural is baristi for masculine (literally meaning "barmen", "bartenders") or bariste for feminine (literally meaning "barmaids").

Generally, baristas working in coffeehouses, coffee shops, or coffee bars operate commercial espresso machines (rather than home espresso machines). Beyond making espresso, baristas also generally foam, froth, and steam milk to make a wide range of espresso-based drinks and prepare coffee drinks.



Espresso is a coffee-brewing method of Italian origin in which a small amount of nearly boiling water is forced under pressure through finely-ground coffee beans, producing a drink that is generally thicker than coffee brewed by other methods, with a viscosity similar to that of warm honey.

Espresso is the past participle of the verb esprimere, which means ‘press out’. This verb stems from the Latin exprimere, which means ‘press out’ or ‘squeeze out. The full name for this method of making a coffee drink was caffè espresso, ‘espresso’ for short. The caffè espresso first appeared in the Italian dictionary in 1920.

Espresso is very close to the English word express, which refers, amongst other things, to speed. The correct term though is expresso. Although the term caffè espresso arrived in Italian dictionaries in 1920, espresso didn’t make its way to England until 1938.



In Italian, the term “macchiato” translates as “marked” or “stained”, meaning a stained or marked coffee. The macchiato is an espresso coffee drink, topped with a small amount of foamed or steamed milk to allow the taste of the espresso to still shine through.

The origin of the name “macchiato” stems from baristas needing to show waiters the difference between an espresso shot and an espresso with a bit of milk in it. As the latter is “marked” or “stained” by the addition of milk, it was quickly given its name to highlight the addition.

Unlike the cappuccino, originally being created exclusively for that morning coffee, the macchiato is the perfect afternoon coffee.



A Latte, ordered in Italy will get you a glass of steamed milk, and no coffee! You need to ask for a 'Caffe Latte' if you want your regular Latte coffee.

A flat white starts with an espresso base in a 250ml porcelain cup, ads steamed frothed milk but holds back the froth.

A latte is the same as a flat white, but more milky (ie: less coffee), served in a tall glass (not ceramic) and topped with a small amount of foam.


Short black and long black:

A short black (also called a Cafe Americano) is exactly the same as an espresso shot.

A long black is 120 to 180mls of water with an espresso (or double espresso) shot poured on top of the water. It is incorrect to add the water to the espresso shot for risk of dissipating the crema.


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