While we might have once found it acceptable to order just a plain old cup of joe, living in Berkeley has taught us differently. We still have the old second-wave coffee shops like Peet’s and Starbucks, but we have the added benefit of the Bay Area’s third-wave artisanal coffee, like Philz Coffee, and soon, Blue Bottle Coffee. With all the different choices, it can become unnecessarily overwhelming to order. The person in front of you got a non-fat triple-shot caramel macchiato, but what’s the right taste for you? Luckily, we at Clog are here to help you decipher the menu.
An espresso shot will give you a quick dose of caffeine with the biggest kick in just a 1 oz. shot. If you want to sip a little while longer, an Americano is the drink for you. It contains 1 shot of espresso with twice the amount of water.
If you want milk in your espresso drink, luckily there are quite a few options. A macchiato contains the least milk. It’s a shot of espresso with a dot of milk foam on top. A cappuccino is made in perfect thirds: one-third espresso, one-third steamed milk and one-third milk foam, although the espresso taste is still a prominent feature in the drink. A caffe latte, meanwhile, is quite milky at one-third espresso, two-thirds hot milk and only a thin layer of milk foam. A less common drink, between a macchiato and a latte, is the flat white. This drink is one-third espresso, two-thirds steamed milk and only a hint of milk foam. It has the milkiness of a latte while still providing the powerful taste of espresso.
The traditional cup of coffee we think about is drip coffee, or pour over. You make it by simply pouring boiled water over ground coffee in a filter. This is also what is cooled down and served to you over ice if you ask for a plain iced coffee.
If you want the same cold coffee but smoother and less bitter, order cold brew. Cold brew is brewed cold over an extended period of time and has a slight chocolatey hint. Cold brew foregoes the bitterness that builds in a regular iced coffee as it cools down and loses flavor.
A newer coffee is nitro cold brew which is definitely worth a try. Nitro cold brew is served from the tap and infused with nitrogen. It’s even smoother than normal cold brew and has a creamy, velvety taste.
With so many amazing coffee shops in and around Berkeley’s campus, you have an ample amount of caffeinated drinks to try out. And now the next time it’s your turn to order, hopefully you won’t be left with a blank expression.
Contact Juliet Hemmati at [email protected].