We’ve all been there, lost among the big words adorning coffee shop menu boards. For those of us who haven’t been properly introduced to the coffee world, espresso beverages are like Rubik’s cubes, confusing and tedious. Some people can solve the cafe menu puzzle easily, and others have trouble pronouncing cappuccino because it has approximately 8,000 C’s in it. Today we’re going to walk you through the different kinds of espresso drinks we offer here at Pangea Kitchen. Next time you order, you’ll sound like a regular connoisseur!  

You want a single or double?

Our main focus at Pangea’s coffee bar is the espresso. Espresso is very strong black coffee made by pressing extremely hot water under high pressure through finely ground compact coffee beans to create a concentration of caffeine-y goodness.  

 Some common misconceptions of espresso:

 1.) A shot of espresso has more caffeine than a cup of coffee.  Noooo— That’s not actually true! Sure, espresso carries a significant dose of caffeine for its size, but the caffeine content of a cup of standard black coffee is higher, simply because the serving size is larger.

 2.) You have to have an espresso bean to make espresso. Nope— There is no such thing as an espresso bean or roast.  Any bean or roast can be used. Espresso is a brewing method, having the right grind and espresso machine is what makes the shot.

From the espresso, the americano, the macchiato, the latte, and the cappuccino are created.  

I just want a regular cup of coffee.

The americano has an interesting history. Back during World War I, American soldiers were unused to the espresso commonly drank by Italians, seeing as it was too strong and bitter without some sort of cream or sweetener mixed in. To combat the bitterness of the espresso, soldiers diffused it with hot water, effectively creating the first americano! The drink followed the soldiers home, and it’s been a big hit among American coffeehouses ever since!

So the americano consists of espresso and hot water. Which is the closest thing we offer to a “regular cup of coffee.”

Wait, this is a macchiato?

Traditional macchiato…no, this is not what you would get from those large chain coffee houses, which is a common misconception. Macchiato is a shot of espresso with a dollop of foamy milk on top. No more and no less….unless you want to add some sugar. But it doesn’t come in anything larger than an espresso cup.

What’s the difference between a latte and cappuccino?

The latte and the cappuccino are similar in structure. The average latte, is made with espresso and then topped with creamy steamed milk and a little bit of foam. The cappuccino is made the same way except it has much more foam on the top. Cappuccino is typically made with 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, 1/3 milk foam.

What is the word that starts with an A?

Affogato. This is one of the sweetest espresso drinks we offer.  Affogato means “drowned” in Italian. So we start with a coffee mug full of your gelato of choice and then we pour or “drown” the gelato in a shot of espresso. You need a spoon to consume the first part and then you just drive right in and drink up the rest. Customers like to have options and this drink offers so many. We make 12 different gelatos everyday that you can pair with your espresso shot. Chocolate Hazelnut gelato is a must try with this drink.

Pangea Kitchen’s coffee is provided by our friends at Tinker Coffee in Indianapolis. The folks at Tinker are pro coffee roasters, focusing on providing us the perfect roast of the best coffees in the world.

Now that you know all this coffee lingo, why don’t you join us for a fresh cup?