How to become an adult:
- Step 1: Realize you have no clue what you are doing.
- Step 2: Realize nobody else does either.
- Step 3: Fake it til you make it.
- Step 4: Decide to buy a coffee since that seems like an adult thing to do.
- Step 5: Go to a coffee shop.
- Step 6: Wait in line, occasionally checking your watch as if you have a pressing appointment.
- Step 7: Step up to the counter, examine the menu, and… what do these words even mean?
- Step 8: Place your order. “I would like a small coffee, please.”
- Step 9: Ignore the barista’s raised eyebrow when she asks which type.
- Step 10: Pick the only thing you are sure to pronounce correctly. “Americano.” What’s an Americano?
- Step 11: Hurry out of the shop with your drink to recover your dignity.
- Step 12: Taste the beverage and gag.
- Step 13: Decide that being an adult is overrated.
- Step 14: Go buy a Slurpee instead.
I’ve been there. I like coffee, but the names are confusing. For a first time coffee drinker, how are we supposed to know the difference between a cappuccino and an espresso?
Once I went to a specialty coffee shop, they had a menu with descriptions under every option. That coffee was amazing. Maybe chain cafes don’t have such descriptions because they themselves don’t know… but I digress.
A coffee guide for the perplexed:
- Espresso – A basic order where hot water is shot through ground coffee beans and the brew is poured into a small cup. This is the purest and most refined coffee experience.
- Macchiato – A third of steamed milk mixed with 2/3 of espresso composes this strong drink. A sweetener is optional.
- Americano – This is just hot water and one shot of espresso. This is not recommended for someone trying coffee for the first time, but it has a definite appeal for someone who needs a dose of energy.
- Cappuccino – A three layered beverage: the first is espresso, followed by a shot of steamed milk, and topped with frothed milk. Sometimes it’s garnished with chocolate shavings or powder.
- (Cafe) Latte – Here is a good order for those starting with coffee. It’s basically an espresso shot with steamed milk poured over it. The result is a light foamy drink.
- Long Black – Here comes strong coffee made of hot water and two espresso shots. Recommended for hangovers, tortured artists, and the black of heart.
- Flat White – Similar to a latte, except flat whites consists of smoother and silkier milk poured over an espresso shot. If you don’t like the foam, here’s the solution.
- Mocha – Forget lattes for first-time coffee drinkers. If you like to drink dessert or are a child at heart, raise your glass because this is essentially a chocolate latte.
- Vienna – This is made of two shots of espresso topped with whipped cream instead of milk and sugar. I’ve never tried this but it sounds good to me!
- Affogato – Forget about mochas, because this one trumps all the coffees! Affogato is espresso poured over ice cream. Yes, this is a real thing. You’re welcome.
- Irish Coffee – If sweetness isn’t your thing, but you still like to treat yourself, Irish coffee contains whiskey and cream. Cheers!
- Bonus: Frappuccino – Frappes are not traditionally coffee. In fact, they are more of a dessert than a drink. These beverages are trademarked by Starbucks and consist of coffee or creme blended with ice and flavor shots, topped with whipped cream.
I take no liability for further humiliation in a coffee shop. If the barista asks you about what type of milk or shot, or double or single, drip or French, I have no idea about that. Just smile and nod to the first one she says and pray it tastes alright.
So tomorrow morning, whether you are drinking a latte, cappuccino, or an Irish coffee (we won’t judge) remember that coffee is the best accompaniment to a healthy breakfast, and with that, I present to you a simple and new way to enjoy eggs.
Sunny Side Up Eggplant
- 1 eggplant, cut into 1-inch slices
- olive oil
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- Lightly brush the eggplant slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until softened.
- Grease a frying pan with olive oil and set it on medium heat.
- When the pan is hot, place the eggplant slices on it and sprinkle with spices.
- Using a knife, cut several slits from the center of the eggplant and a hole in the center.
- Slowly crack the eggs over the eggplant and cover the pan for about 5-10 minutes or until the egg is cooked.
- Serve warm.