We’ve all been there — it’s 7 a.m., and all you want is a tall drip when the person in front of you boldly states, “I’d like a decaf, triple, grande, soy, three-pump mocha, no-whip mocha.”
You’re supposed to be impressed, but really you just feel inferior.
As a former barista, I can say that one of the most difficult aspects of serving these high-maintenance drinks is that most customers don’t remember what they ordered by the time they go to pick up their drink.
A latte = milk + espresso + syrup flavor (optional)
A mocha = milk + espresso + chocolate + whipped cream
An americano = espresso + water
An espresso macchiato = espresso + a dollop of foamed milk
How to decode a drink
Often times, the type of drink (latte, mocha, etc.) is the last thing a barista calls out. Instead, the barista starts with all of the modifications to the original beverage. The order goes:
2. Syrup (number of pumps if different than standard and flavor)
3. Milk (if different than standard, which is usually 2 percent)
4. Custom (such as extra hot, no foam, extra foam, etc.)
5. Drink type
So, a tall, two-pump vanilla, non-fat, no-foam latte is simply that — it’s a regular latte with an added flavor (vanilla — but not too much vanilla) with non-fat milk instead of 2 percent. Oh, and they don’t want any foam.
It’s not so hard after all.
In my slideshow, I demonstrate how to make a vanilla mocha — a drink that sounds somewhat customized yet familiar.