There are different ways to enjoy coffee in Spain. Do you already know them? If not, our Spanish school El Rincón del Tándem tells you about the most popular coffee drinks and the basic words you need to know to order your favourite coffee in Spain ?

Today we explain how to order coffee in Spain. There are different ways in Spain to enjoy one of the most popular beverages in the world.

Generally speaking, Spanish people love coffee and usually have it every day. At home, in a coffee, a bar or a restaurant, coffee is widely consumed and is an essential product of the Spanish typical diet.

If you are a coffee lover, let’s take a look at the menu below and choose your favourite one ?

Café solo:

Strong black coffee (also known as expresso) with a strong flavour. It is served in small cups. Spaniards usually drink it at the beginning of the day, during breaks at work or after lunch.
People who are not so sensitive to caffeine, also love to enjoy it after dinner.

Café cortado:

If you ask for a cortado, you will get an expresso served with a splash of milk or foam. It is similar to the Italian “caffé macchiato”.

Café americano:

It it served in a slightly bigger size. The preparation consists of adding hot water to a café solo. That is not a typical Spanish way to drink coffee, however is getting more and more popular and is mostly ordered by tourists and people that like coffee less strong.

Café con leche:

As we already mentioned in our previous post, starting the day with a café con leche is a very common habit in Spain.
Spaniards usually have it at breakfast, although some people also like to enjoy it in the afternoon. Café con leche has a bigger size than cortado and contains equal parts of café solo and milk.

If you order a café con leche, you will be asked whether you want it served with hot (steamed), cold milk or milk at room temperature (del tiempo).

Café descafeinado de maquina:

A decaffeinated café solo. De maquina means machine-brewed. You can have any coffee drinks decaffeinated (i.e.. Cortado descafeinado, café con leche descafeinado, etc.); you just have to ask for it.

Café descafeinado de sobre:
In this case, you will get a small cup of hot water and a packet of instant coffee.

Café bombón:

A shot of expresso coffee served with condensed milk at the bottom of the cup. The way to prepare it is pouring condensed milk into the expresso; this way the milk sinks underneath the coffee. It is served in a small glass so that you can clearly see the two bands of contrasting colour (black and white) that stay separated until you stir them together.

That is a delicious coffee recipe for sweet lovers.

Café con hielo (o café del tiempo):

That is a typical Spanish way to enjoy coffee in spring or summertime. In Spain, café con hielo is a simplified version of more fashionable cold coffee drinks. When you order a café con hielo, you will get a cup of hot black coffee and a small glass with ice cubes. After adding sugar, you will (very carefully) pour the coffee in the glass and stir

It is also known as café del tiempo as, when mixing hot coffee and ice, the beverage will be at the temperature of the room.
You can ask for any variation of coffee with ice.


It is a café solo served with liquor. The liquors that are usually used to prepare it are rum, whiskey, brandy or anisette. Nevertheless, you can order it as you like it most; for instance, with local liquors or other alcoholic drinks, like orujo (grape liqueur), Baileys, etc.

Lastly, in Spain sugar is never pre-added. If you like to drink your coffee sweet, you can ask for azúcar blanco (refined sugar) or azúcar moreno (brown sugar/cane sugar).

We hope this post this post helped you to drink coffee in Spain the way you like most.

If you want to know more about Spanish food, drinks and culture, our teachers will be happy to tell you more at El Rincónd el Tándem Spanish school.

Have a good day!