How To Order Coffee Around The World

How to order the perfect coffee around the world – and the best cafes

Where would you order uma bica, and do you know your cortado from your lágrima? Here’s how to ask for a coffee in 10 cities around the world, plus our pick of cafes old and new.

Suchi, Wednesday 24 September 2014 00.59 EDT
CoffeeHow do you like your coffee? Find the perfect cup around the world with our guide.Photograph: Alamy

Cafes are great places to get a feel for a city but if you simply order a “coffee” or “café” in a non-English-speaking country, you won’t always get the drink you’re expecting. To save you from coffee disaster, we’ve listed the most popular varieties in 10 cities. And if we’ve missed your favourite, let us know in the comments below.


Pingado: short espresso with just a drop or two of (often unheated) milk
Uma bica: short strong espresso – so strong that the locals say you should “Beba isto com açucar” (drink this with sugar), or bica for short

Old school: Leitaria A Camponeza
Over a century old, this former dairy shop-turned-cafe retains its intricate art nouveau tile mosaics depicting idyllic countryside scenes. 
• Rua dos Sapateiros 155/157, +351 21 342 5112,

New wave: Grémio Cafe
This newcomer shares a small space with a bicycle workshop. Aside from preparing artisan coffee, the Portuguese owner, who previously worked in the London food scene (Food Hall, Monmouth Coffee), offers excellent craft beers and creative vegetarian and vegan dishes, like mandioca(cassava), chickpea and okra curry, and seitan (dough made from wheat gluten) in a mustard cream sauce.
• Avenida 24 de Julho 86B, +351 961 588 980,


Grand Cafe Orient, PragueGrand Cafe Orient.

Preso s mlékem: long espresso with cold or steamed milk (usually served on the side)
Vídenská káva: long espresso in a tall glass with lots of whipped cream on top

Old school: Grand Cafe Orient 
After settling into green velvet chairs under brass chandeliers in this cafe designed by Czech cubist Joseph Gocar in 1912 (and restored to its original splendour in 2005), order Czech pastries, like medovnik (layered cream and honey cake) and traditional apple strudel with your coffee, which will be brought to you by uniformed waiters. Later, take the spiral staircase up to the museum of Czech Cubism.
• Ovocný trh 569/19, +420 224 224 240,

New wave: La Bohème
The interior is a mishmash of arty decor with patches of wallpaper depicting frothy clouds and shelves of books, with violins hanging from the ceiling. Beans are roasted upstairs and your order comes either on a silver tray or a leather coaster. Display cupboards hold collections of house coffees, moka and vacuum pots and Hario Skerton hand grinders for sale (about £27).
• Sásavská 32, +420 800 700 607,

Buenos Aires

Full City Coffee House, Buenos AiresFull City Coffee House.

Cortado: long espresso with a shot of steamed milk
Lágrima: espresso-sized cup of steamed milk with a drop (lágrima means tear) of espresso

Old school: El Gato Negro
This 85-year-old cafe in a bustling theatre district also sells teas and spices from around the world.
• Av Corrientes 1669, +54 11 4374 1730

New wave: Full City Coffee House
Crafting artisanal drinks from 100% Colombian coffee, including the rare Guayatá bean, Full City Coffee House (owned by a Colombian-British couple) has been welcomed by Buenos Aires coffee aficionados. The seating space is equally attractive, with a clean, white interior, little wooden tables and an outdoor patio surrounded by vine-draped walls.
• Thames 1535, Palermo Soho, +54 11 4556 1789,


Tamp & Pull, BudapestTamp & Pull

Fekete kávé: extremely strong, black coffee; also used for single espresso
Tejes kávé: single espresso with steamed milk
Hosszú kávé: espresso with hot water added

Old school: Centrál Kávéház 
Seek out the dark wood and gleaming brass elegance of the 127-year-old Centrál Kávéház (“coffeehouse”) for a feel for the traditional coffeehouses of the late-19th/early-20th centuries.
• Károlyi Mihály utca 9, +36 1 266 2110,

New wave: Tamp & Pull
For truly artisan coffee in Budapest, locals and expats flock to Tamp & Pull, a quiet nook in the city centre. Leave your mark on the graffiti wall, watch the modern espresso machine in action through its perspex side or study the old espresso-making equipment scattered over the brick wall. The baristas are highly-trained and the owner is a four-time champion of Hungary’s national barista competition. 
• Czucor utca 3, +36 30 456 7618,


+Tova, Sofia, Bulgaria+Tova

Kafe bez smetana: long espresso without milk
Tursko kafe: Turkish coffee – a strong, thick coffee traditionally made by boiling roasted and very finely ground coffee, sometimes together with sugar, in a small pot

Old school: Cafe Wien 
From the black-and-white photos depicting Sofia’s past to the delicate sweets, such as torta garash and sweet pumpkin banitsa, and the wood-panelled interior, Cafe Wien exudes lavish, old-world charm.
• 29, Moskovska, +359 2 441 6216,

New wave: +Tova 
One of the newer cafes in town, +Tova’s industrial chic space hosts an array of events, including spiritual workshops, photography exhibitions and Bulgarian folk music performances.
• Marin Drinov 30, +359 88 720 3340,


No Fire No Glory, BerlinNo Fire No Glory

Milchkaffee: large cup of filter coffee with heated milk
Aeropress: highly concentrated coffee made in an AeroPress, considered by coffee pros to be a very clean and precise brewing method

Old school: Konditorei Buchwald
Dating back to 1852, Konditorei Buchwald, is known for its cakes – particularly its buttery, layered apricot or chocolate baumkuchen, but also for fruity mousse cakes and cheese strudel. There’s a pleasant outdoor patio and old-fashioned indoor seating with flowery wallpaper, white tablecloths and chandeliers.
• Bartningallee 29, +49 30 391 59 31,

New wave: No Fire No Glory
In a city that’s overwhelmed with “third-wave coffee” cafes, this one stands out. One of the five co-founders of the Berlin Coffee Society, this cafe even sends its staff to a barista summer camp.
• Rykestrasse 45, +49 30 288 392 33,


Café Verlet, ParisCafé Verlet

Café noisette: single espresso with splash of cream or hot milk and sometimes milk foam
Café allongé: long espresso

Old school: Café Verlet
After a long day at the nearby Louvre, revive yourself in this cafe, with its own roaster dating back to 1880. 
• 256 rue Saint-Honre, +33 1 42 60 67 39,

New wave: Ten Belles 
This newcomer near Canal Saint-Martin is a place for serious craft coffee (and excellent cookies). The crowd of cool, artsy locals happily squeeze into the narrow, bare-walled space or tiny upstairs mezzanine.
• 10 rue de la Grange aux Belles, +33 (0)1 42 40 90 78,


2Periodico Café, Rome2Periodico Café.

Caffè americano: espresso with hot water added
Latte macchiato: a cup of steamed milk with a splash of espresso
Caffè: single espresso

Old school: Sciascia Caffè
A family run establishment since 1919, with its wood panelling and antique lamps Sciascia Caffè is the perfect spot to observe Italians and their traditional coffee-drinking rituals.
• Via Fabio Massimo 80/A, +39 06 321 1580,

New wave: 2Periodico Café 
Near the Coliseum, in Rome’s fashionable Monti district, this cafe serves up coffee by day and live music after hours, with free concerts by local singer/songwriters, cover bands and DJs.
• Via Leonina 77, +39 06 4890 6600,

Mexico City

People in front of the Cafe EL Jarocho in the evening, Calle Allende, Centro Historico, Coyoacan, Mexico CityCafe EL Jarocho, Coyoacán. Photograph: Alamy

Café de olla: filter coffee brewed in a tall clay pot/urn, often with cinnamon and cane sugar (piloncillo)
Café con leche: filter coffee with steamed milk, although newer cafes use espresso instead

Old school: Café El Jarocho 
The original cafe opened in 1953, but El Jarocho has slowly expanded into a small chain in the artist-filled neighbourhood of Coyoacán, home to the souvenir-heaven of Mercado de Artesanías.
• Avenida México 25-C, Coyoacán, +52 55 5659 9107,

New wave: La Procedencia 
Surrounded by new city bike lanes and trendy fashion boutiques, this airy artisanal cafe in expat-filled Colonia Roma serves organic, locally roasted coffee and a wide range of healthy breakfast options, such as homemade plantain bread and fresh slices of papaya.
• Tonala 109, +52 55 59 123 007,


Babelia Books & Coffee, BarcelonaBabelia Books & Coffee.

Café solo: strong, bitter shot of espresso
Café bombón: café solo with a generous spoonful of sweetened condensed milk

Old school: Cafe del Centre
Open since 1873, this family owned cafe in the Eixample neighbourhood has seen its fair share of celebrated local writers, artists and activists pass through. They would have been surrounded by the same art nouveau décor, elegant dark wood bar, upright piano and marble tabletops that remain today.
• Girona 69, +34 934 881 101

New wave: Babèlia Books & Coffee
While one length of this library-quiet cafe features shelves packed with used books in various languages (for purchase and/or perusal), the other side is a rustic brick wall with a coffee bar, where you can also pick up treats such as hazelnut and raisin cookies and homemade brownies.

• Villarroel 27, +34 934 24 66 81,

Tags: uVu Lids

In the News

10.10.2014 - The $100 Million Drive-Thru ChallengeRead More

09.29.2014 - National Coffee DayRead More

09.25.2014 - How To Order Coffee Around The WorldRead More

07.01.2014 - Waffles and ToGo Coffee - As American as USA SoccerRead More