How to Order Coffee in Spain

October 8, 2018
Mama Framboise Madrid coffee Spain patisserie bakery
¿Me pones un cafe? (Can I have a coffee?) is the most common question asked in the mornings all around Spain. The famous meme "but first, coffee" is a favorite in Spain too. However, I don't think I've seen a country with more types of coffee than Spain. I'm still amazed at how a waiter can remember seven different types in a 10-people table without writing the order down.

I must confess that I had to do some research to write this post since I do not drink coffee, it makes me jittery and anxious, but I LOVE the smell. So I either drink decaff or hot milk with a few drops of coffee. Anyways, as I'm still a fan of this hot beverage -and fall requires a lot of that- I've put together the ultimate guide to ordering coffee in Spain. So forget about Starbucks' menu and learn to order coffee like a local.
Mama Framboise Madrid coffee Spain patisserie bakery
Mama Framboise Madrid coffee Spain patisserie bakery
Fancy a coffee? Let's start with some interesting facts.
Espresso is the most popular way to prepare coffee in Spain. So basically, the type of coffee depends on how much milk you want to add. As for the sugar, your cup will be accompanied by a little packet so you can add it if you want.

Coffee to go is not as common in Spain as in other countries. Spaniards drink their coffee at the cafe/restaurant so you may have a hard time finding a cup to go unless you go to a Starbucks or similar.

Apart from morning coffee, Spaniards love their coffee after lunch. Lunch here is the biggest meal of the day and if you are eating out it usually consists of a starter, main dish, dessert and finally coffee or infusion.
Mama Framboise Madrid coffee Spain patisserie bakery
Mama Framboise Madrid coffee Spain patisserie bakery
So how do you order coffee in Spain? These are the most popular types.

Café con leche: this is the closest equivalent to a latte you'll find in Spain. Literally it means "coffee with milk".
Café americano: plain coffee, no sugar or milk in it.
Leche manchada: literally it means "stained milk" and it's hot milk with just a few drops of coffee.
Café descafeinado: decaffeinated coffee. This is much more common in Spain than abroad. If you order it you will be asked if you want it de sobre (coming in a little packet of instant decaff) or de maquina (machine made).
Café solo: shot of espresso. It's Spain's favorite after a copious lunch.
Cortado: strong espresso shot, topped with frothy hot milk.
Café bombón: espresso with condensed milk. Perfect for those with a sweet tooth (like yours truly).
Café con hielo: this summer favorite consists of espresso and ice served in separate glasses. Pour the hot coffee into the glass with the ice and stir. If you want it with milk, ask for a café con leche, con hielo.
Carajillo: this coffee with a twist is more common in winter as it comes with a shot of liquor, usually brandy, rum or whisky.
Mama Framboise Madrid coffee Spain patisserie bakery
Mama Framboise Madrid coffee Spain patisserie bakery
My favorite cafes in Madrid
I took these pics at Mama Framboise, one of Madrid's best bakeries. I love the vintage decor and the scrumptious treats your can find here. This is their main coffee shop but you can also find a few more around the city like a little one in San Anton food market.

I also recommend Cafe Mur if you are looking for healthy dishes and homemade cakes to pair with your coffee or La Duquesita (which is in the same street as Mama Framboise) if you want to see a charming coffee shop from 1914.

So tell me. How do you like your coffee?


RECREATE SPAIN'S FAVORITE COFFEES WITH THESE ESSENTIALS

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31 comments

  1. I don't like coffee either, but could know with being told how to order those cakes! ☺

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  2. Definitely very similar to how things are in Italy as well - they take their coffee very seriously! xo, Biana-BlovedBoston

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  3. Oh how cute!! I would love to go to Spain...hopefully we are heading there next year! Thanks for the tips and recommendations!

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  4. This is such a great little post and definitely something I'd be researching before going to Spain. Lol, I love the way espresso is favorited in Europe. I was just in Switzerland and we had a small cup of espresso with a little bit of milk each morning and it was just so good! Your pictures are so cute, too! Saving this for my Spain trip one day. :)

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  5. Good to know, thanks for sharing!
    Many thanks for your kind comment on my blog. Do you want to follow each other?
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
    www.dressedwithsoul.com

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  6. I had no idea!

    Thanks for sharing at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2018/10/master-potter.html

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  7. thanks for the useful info on coffee! all fund facts.

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  8. I have no idea they're big on coffee. Thanks for sharing this! I'm not a coffee drinker either; however if I do visit Spain, I will remember Café bombón because that's my fave too :)

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  9. I will have to remember this. Spain is next on the list for my hubby and I. I am learning Spanish from an app on my phone. We just got back from Italy, and the coffee was amazing!

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  10. Oh my the Carajillo for me!! I might have to introduce that as an afternoon pickup haha (ok maybe just on Sundays) xx Maria from Passion fruit, Paws and Peonies

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  11. It's so funny how all over the world with so many different cultures that coffee is still a universal must for the mornings (almost!). I really do like how in Spain and other European countries that coffee isn't really for to-go, but for staying and sipping enjoying. I wish I had more time for that in life!
    -Kristin
    countdowntofridayblog.com

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  12. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comOctober 10, 2018 at 4:04 PM

    Mmm - delicious!

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  13. Never had coffee in Spain. Great tips!

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  14. Thanks for these tips! Hope to visit Spain one day and will definitely need my caffeine fix to keep me at top travel level!

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  15. Harmony at Momma To GoOctober 15, 2018 at 11:04 PM

    Europeans are very particular about their coffee! I love coffee and I like trying new types.

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  16. I loved the coffee in Spain, but not as much as the sweets ;-)
    Thanks for taking part in the Travel Tuesday meme.

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  17. They look so delicious, don't they? :)

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  18. that's great! Let me know if you need any recommendations when the time comes

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  19. Thanks, Katherine! I'm so glad you liked it :)

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  20. YES, I recognise this post so much. I have lived in Spain years and years ago and when I first ordered coffee I was so, so surprised at the miniature cup with motor oil I was served, hahaha. I have learned since then ;-)
    #WanderfulWednesday

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  21. I am exactly the same as you, I can't drink coffee, but I LOVE the smell. And I will choose Tiramisu over any other dessert every day of the week. I didn't get coffee when we were in Spain, but we did get sneaky take away breakfasts and tea that was delicious!

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  22. I'm totally with you about feeling anxious and jittery after drinking coffee! I didn't drink it for the longest time for that reason. I have recently switched to decaf and can mostly handle that, but sometimes I still feel a bit strange after drinking it. My go-to drink is a decaf vanilla latte, preferably with oat milk! I'm a sucker for super sweet drinks and could never drink coffee plain. Café bombón sounds amazing and would definitely give that a try!

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  23. Now that I think of it I didn't really drink coffee in Spain when I visited over 8 years ago. It's good to know they have such an array for next time!

    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams

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  24. Wow! It certainly is complicated! Personally, I don't enjoy frothy or strong coffee, but I have to admire all the possibilities!

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  25. This is such a charming place! It's complicated, but it's actually part of the fun and experience. Thanks for sharing these lovely photos dear.
    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

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  26. Oh, you are going to love it, it's delicious! I hope you get to visit Spain some day

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  27. Yay, that's great! If you have any questions/need recommendations about Spain let me know.

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  28. Hahaha, glad to see you've found a favorite ;)

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