Not Just a Cup of Coffee!! Your Guide to Spanish Coffee

The Spanish love their coffee and it is as much a part of everyday life as tapas or wine! Below are a list of the different types of coffee that can be sampled in any restaurant or bar.

Cafe Solo

Small strong black coffee usually served in a small glass, popular around 11am when workers come into bars for the main breakfast of the day.

Cafe Americano

Not traditionally Spanish but slightly weaker than a cafe solo and served in a larger glass with a little more water.

Cafe con leche

Probably the most popular with tourists, half cafe solo, half hot milk, served either in a glass or cup.

Cafe Sombra or Manchada

(sometimes called leche manchada): Largely milk with a dash of coffee! The name sombra means shade and mancha means stain, effectively staining the milk with a very small amount of coffee.

Cafe Carajillo

A shot-sized glass with brandy and a small glass of cafe solo beside. The brandy is set alight and when all the alcohol has burned off the cafe solo is poured into the glass – perfect morning tipple particularly on a cold day!

Cafe Bombon

Perfect for a sweet tooth! Condensed milk is poured into the bottom of a glass, then cafe solo is poured on top – slowly! The drink remains half black and half white until it is mixed.

Cafe Belmonte

The same method as a cafe bombon but brandy is added

Cafe Asiatico:

This coffee is known only to the region of Cartagena, reaching to Murcia. Thought to have been imported from north africa, the method is the same as the cafe bombon, but slightly more complicated. A coffee bean is added, plus lemon rind, a liquer called “43” topped off with ground cinnamon – absolutely fabulous as a hot toddy and off to bed!!


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