Know Your Coffee: Espresso vs. Latte vs. Mocha
With the plethora of options offered by most coffee shops in Cebu, it’s normal to be confused. So we prepared a quick guide for you.
While there are certified coffee connoisseurs here in Cebu, there are also some who prefer not to take risks and just stick to their favorites. Here’s a quick run-through of the different types of coffee as defined by Western standards.
Espresso has its roots in Italy in the early 1900s. Espresso does not specifically use any bean, roast level, or bean blend. In fact, espresso is a brewing method. Considered too bitter for the Filipino taste, you would hardly find someone ordering a single espresso or double espresso drinks at coffee shops – which is precisely why small café owners don’t usually sell this.
Did you know that Starbucks is practically non-existent in Italy, with very few stores compared to other countries? That is because coffee is a personal, intimate experience and not “fast food” as the Starbucks model offers. Italians prefer to enjoy their coffee, not take it outside in a to-go cup.
Caffé Americano or Americano is basically diluted espresso. It is espresso with water, giving it a similar strength to an espresso (much stronger than brewed coffee).
Remember, Americano and brewed coffee are NOT the same.
Cappuccino is another espresso-based drink, except that milk is added to the concoction. So basically, cappuccino is espresso (single or double shot) plus steamed milk and topped with rich milk foam.
The milk foam is what makes the drink a cappuccino. If you want the drink without the milk foam – just espresso and steamed milk – the concoction is now called a Flat White.
Café latte literally translates to “coffee and milk”. It is derived from the Italian words caffè e latte which means coffee and milk. So if you are in Italy, order “café latte”, as ordering “latte” will only get you a glass of milk.
However, in the Philippines, most people know café latte as espresso plus steamed milk topped with milk foam. So, what is the difference between cappuccino and café latte then if both consist of espresso, steamed milk and milk foam. The difference is in the amount of milk foam added to the drink. Cappuccino has more milk foam than steamed milk. However, café latte has more steamed milk and minimal milk foam.
- More milk foam, less steamed milk = cappuccino
- Less milk foam, more steamed milk = latte
CAFÉ AU LAIT
This is where it gets confusing because Café Au Lait literally translates to “coffee with milk” in French. So, it is literally the same as “caffe latte” in Italian or “café con leche” in Spanish.
However, in many parts of the world, the Philippines included, Café Au Lait is not the same as a Café Latte.
Café Au Lait is prepared with drip brewed or French-pressed coffee plus steamed milk.
Café Latte is prepared with espresso plus steamed milk and topped with minimal milk foam.
Did you know that there’s also a drink called Oriental Latte? Not your traditional western Café Latte, the Oriental Latte is more Café Au Lait than Latte. It is a combination of coffee (Arabica beans is preferred) and condensed milk.
A variation of café latte, the composition of Café Mocha is espresso, steamed milk, and with added chocolate. Chocolate can either be in powdered form or syrup. In the Philippines, milk chocolate is preferred over dark chocolate.
Café mocha drinks are often served with a toping of chocolate powder, syrup, whipped cream or sometimes, even foam.
ORDERING MADE EASY
And there you have it.
At JuanPlace, we serve traditional Oriental Latte, iced or hot. We tried to simplify the ordering process and sought out the perfect blend that would suit the taste of many Cebuanos. Most Cebuanos generally go for straightforward and no-frills coffee, with milk and just about the right sweetness. Of course, we serve our drinks at a very reasonable price. Great coffee should be enjoyed by everyone, after all.
We took our time sourcing our beans to make sure we capture that heavenly coffee aroma. Our coffee beans are sourced from Vietnam, so if you’re familiar with Vietnamese coffee, you’ll find the strength quite familiar.
Our Café Mocha, meanwhile, is a combination of cocoa powder and cocoa syrup.
If you haven’t tried our coffee, drop by JuanPlace at Cogon, Pardo, or order online at https://www.juanplace.com/order/?q=coffee