Spain’s coffee culture

You can experience the coffee culture in Marbella in so many ways. Spanish people will typically have a coffee first thing in the morning with their breakfast to get them started. Then, at about 11.00 am, they will stop for a short break and have a coffee with a light snack – perhaps a pitufo or a bocadillo.

Drinking coffee is a way of life in Spain!

There are traditional Spanish bars where you can stand at the bar and drink coffee from a glass.

You can visit one of the small cafés in the old town or on a bustling high street.  Or, you can go to one of the many cafés on the paseo and enjoy magnificent views of the Mediterranean while you drink your coffee.

And then there are the chic and stylish cafés offering unbelievable choices and a variety of flavours. When you visit a restaurant, café or bar in Spain, you will find a wide range of coffees on offer.

Here are the most common:

Café Solo / Espresso
A small, strong black coffee usually served in a small glass or cup. If you need a bigger shot to get you going, ask for a Café Doble.

Café Macchiato
A Café Solo with foamy milk (espuma de leche).

Café Latte
A small measure of coffee with hot milk and foam, similar to a Café Sombra or Café Manchado.

Café con Leche
The most popular way to drink coffee in Spain, especially as the first cup of the day. It is half café solo and half hot milk. If you prefer it decaffinated, ask for a Café Descafeinado con Leche. You can have it from the machine (de maquina) or from a sachet (de sobre).

Café Cappuccino
A Cappuccino is a shot of coffee with hot milk and lots of foam on top.

Café Americano
Similar to café solo, but it is served in a larger cup with hot water – sometimes in a separate jug so you can add to taste. If you prefer it decaffinated, ask for Americano descafeinado.Café Cortado – a strong black coffee, similar to café solo but with a drop of milk.

Café Sombra / Manchado
A small measure of coffee with milk. It is therefore weaker than Café con Leche.

Café Mocha
A Mocha is a shot of coffee and a shot of hot chocolate with hot milk.

Café Bombon
A variant of a café con leche containing condensed milk with a café solo slowly poured in. It is then mixed and it tastes very sweet.

Café con Hielo
An (iced coffee) – popular during the summer months. It is usually served as normal with a separate glass with ice in it. You then pour the coffee over the ice.

Café Carajillo
Known throughout the world as “Spanish coffee”. In Spain, a traditional café carajillo is a café solo with a small measure of brandy. Alternatively, you can have it with rum or whisky. If it is done properly, the brandy is set alight first to allow the alcohol to burn off. Café solo is then added.

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