Coffee English

Coffee English

“Coffee is a language in itself.”

Jackie Chan, a Hong Kong martial artist, actor, film director, producer, stuntman, and singer

According to, coffee is the second most traded commodity on earth (after oil). What’s so special about this drink? Apart from being a popular energy booster, it is said to protect against type 2 diabetes, liver disease and Parkinson’s disease (read more about health benefits and risks of drinking coffee here). Of course, moderation is the key and we should always remember that.

If it comes to coffee, there is one more thing we’d like you to remember – the importance of coffee vocabulary in everyday life. So, make yourself a cup of coffee and learn a few things in a relaxed but effective way…


Type Definition
Espresso [e’spresəu ], [ɪ’s-]  (short black)  a type of strong black coffee
Doppio  double espresso
Americano [əmɛriˈkɑːnəʊ] (long black) a drink of espresso coffee diluted* with hot water

*to dilute [daɪ’luːt] – to make a liquid weaker by mixing in something else (often water)

Caffè latte / latte [ˌkæfeɪ’lɑːteɪ] a hot drink made from espresso and warm milk
Mocha [‘mɔkə] / mocaccino [mokatˈtʃiːno] a chocolate-flavored variant of a caffè latte
Macchiato [ˌmakɪˈɑːtəʊ]  a drink of espresso coffee with a dash (small amount) of frothy (with small white bubbles on the surface) steamed milk
Cappuccino [ˌkæpu’ʧiːnəu] a coffee made with heated milk with a thick mass of bubbles
Ristretto [rɪˈstrɛtəʊ]  a drink of very strong, concentrated espresso coffee

You must have noticed that the words meaning names of coffee types are all Italian (apart from short black and long black which are English of course). The most convincing reason for it is that the espresso method was developed in Italy. Thus, we have the Italians to thank for the drink loved by millions.

“To me, the smell of fresh-made coffee is one of the greatest inventions.” Hugh Jackman, an Australian actor, singer and producer


  1. Coffee shop / bar / house (esp. in central and northern Europe):  I like this coffee shop for its special relaxed atmosphere.
  2. Barista [bə’rɪstə]: I think good baristas are true coffee lovers.
  3. Coffee grinder [‘graɪndə] / mill: If you love freshly-ground coffee, you can’t do without a coffee mill.
  4. Coffee machine: There is a coffee machine at the end of the corridor. Do you have coins to buy a cup of coffee? (in a different contest, a coffee machine can also mean a coffee maker – a machine that makes coffee)
  5. Coffee maker: I can’t live without my coffee maker!
  6. Caffeine [‘kæfiːn]: Caffeine is the stimulant which makes coffee such an energy booster.
  7. Decaffeinated [ˌdiː’kæfɪneɪtɪd] coffee: I prefer tea to decaffeinated coffee.
  8. Coffee beans: I like the smell of roasted coffee beans.
  9. Instant coffee: Many people think that instant coffee is unhealthy.
  10. Ground coffee: Whole bean or ground coffee can be quite a debate among coffee connoisseurs [ˌkɔnə’sɜː] (experts).
  11. Coffee pot: Fill the coffee pot and put it on to boil.
  12. Cezve (ˈdʒɛzvə): A cezve, small metal pot with a long metal handle, is used for preparing Turkish, Arabic, or Greek style coffee.
  13. Coffee aroma: This rich coffee aroma is irresistible!
  14. Coffee break: Let’s talk about it during the coffee break.
  15. Frappe (coffee): I love a cup of frappe on a hot summer day! (foam-covered iced coffee drink made from instant coffee, water and sugar)
  16. Half caff – a mix of coffee that is half caffeinated /ˈkafɪneɪtɪd/ and half decaf: I’ll have half caff, please.
  17. Half-caf – the adjective used when ordering coffee and you want half regular and half decaffinated: I’ll have a tall half-caf latter.
  18. Cold brew [bruː]: Cold brew, as the name suggests, is brewed without any heat.

Do you feel like having a coffee break now? Enjoy it if you can listening to a nice coffee/love song:

Ed Sheeran – Cold Coffee

See the lyrics here.

Useful vocabulary from the song:

  • To be drunk off sth. = drunk on sth.
  • Whiskey and Coke – a cocktail made with Jack Daniel’s whiskey and Coca-Cola
  • To be in on a joke (about sth.) – knowing the secret of sth.
  • A lump of sugar – a piece of sugar
  • The day is up – the day is over
  • For goodness’ sake – a phrase used to express frustration, exasperation, or annoyance

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