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How to order coffee in Barcelona: All the varieties and advice

Barcelona is one the favourite destinations of the lovers of a good coffee. In any typical neighbourhood café (leave behind Starbucks for a few days please) it is possible to enjoy a delicious coffee that has nothing to envy of other parts of the coffee drinking world.

But when you don´t have a good command of Spanish maybe it is difficult to order a coffee in Barcelona. So that it does not become an impediment and you can enjoy the best Spanish coffee, served how best you like it, we are going to explain to you how to do it. Furthermore, we will recommend different types of typical Barcelona coffee the you will want to try if you are brave.

If you would like to get to know more deeply Spanish gastronomy and its culture, we encourage you to join the tour of tapas and flamenco of Webarcelona, in which you will visit the centre of the city making all the stops necessary to eat the best tapas.


How to order coffee in Barcelona (without dying) of embarrassment trying

You open the door of the bar, you sit at the tableo or at the bar and the waiter asks you – what do you want? You, with the security of having studied in Spanish classes, respond “Un café, por favor”. At which point the waiter asks you “How would you like it?”

So that in this precise moment your mind does not go blank nor do you end up ordering water, we offer a solution. The most common types of coffee you can order in any café in Barcelona are:

  • Café solo: You´ll probably know it as an expresso o espresso and it is the coffee that only has café. In many places, if you order “un café” they will serve you this type, even if it is never too much to add the word ¨solo¨ just to be sure.
  • Cortado: This is how to call a coffe with a little bit of milk, in a measure the same as a café solo.
  • Café con leche: This is served in a bigger cup than the previous two and it also contains coffee and milk. It is the probably the most famous type of coffee in Spain and is highly recommended in winter.
  • Café Americano: The Spanish don´t tend to have coffee like this, but if you want a coffee with hot water, this is way to order it.
  • Carajillo: If you want to add a little alcohol, ask for a carajillo. It is the Spanish version of the Irish Coffee. It is often served with whisky, brandy, rum or liquor de crema.
  • Café con hielo: The best in summer! They will give you a café solo and a glass of ice so you mix it yourself.


Other advice so that you order the coffee that you want in Barcelona

As well as the coffee, you can also ask for other things such as:

  • To sweeten your coffee you can ask for it “con azucar” (with sugar), “con azucar moreno” (with brown sugar), “con sacarina” (with sweetener) etc
  • If you want to go without caffeine, you can order you coffee “descafeinado”
  • For the temperature of the milk, you can ask for it “fria” (cold), “templada” (mild) or “caliente” (hot). If you order hot, prepare for it to be coming straight out of the furnace
  • There are also lots of types of milk that can complement your coffee. “leche de soja” (soya milk), “leche de avena” (oatmeal milk), “leche desnatada” (skimmed milk), “leche semidesnatada” (semi-skimmed milk) and “leche sin lactosa” (milk without lactose)


Types of coffee typical of Barcelona

As well as the most common coffees that we have already presented to you, in Barcelona you can find other types of coffee typical of Catalunya. For example:

  • Café Catalán: This is made of coffee and crema catalana, a very famous dessert made of a base of egg yolk and sugar
  • Cigaló: This is a carajillo of brandy or another spirit served in a long thin glass.
  • Perfumat: Coffee with anise.
  • Honorable: Coffee with rum, Pujol brand. Rather, they order it to make a joke about the expresident Pujol and maybe some bars won’t understand it.

Did you know that Catalunya is also famous for its wines? Enjoy a tour of wines amongst the best bodegas in the region and get to know its secrets first hand.