Coffee Lingo 01: Coffee Shop Drinks and Crema Coffee

People always ask me what for recommendations on what I get at coffee shops. I usually tell them a cortado or a cappuccino. With not knowing what a cortado/cappuccino is, people tend to assume that the measurements are similar to Starbucks. With that being false ( a macchiato is not a sweet drink and it's also tiny.) I wanted to talk to you guys today about some coffee lingo featuring some photos from CREMA Coffee in Nashville. 

Before we start here's a little more about CREMA Coffee:

Coffee is our one thing. 

In the summer of 2007, we decided to give that one thing a shot.

Rachel, a coffee pro, and Ben, a man of many interests--both of us ready for adventure, and willing to work hard to create something special. We were eager to provide an experience--not only a coffee experience, but a human experience. An experience that inspired, that offered new meanings for common things.

Building a coffee shop from scratch--building anything from scratch--is not glamorous. A full night’s sleep is a pipe dream, and culture bloggers aren’t exactly lining up to cover your grand opening. That’s probably a good thing--bloggers aren’t great with a table saw.

We did everything ourselves, carving old lumber to fashion a bar, ripping out cinder block, scrubbing out that decades-old diesel engine repair shop smell (we didn’t plumb or run electric, but we tried!). We were completely self-funded, which is to say, “barely funded.” We painted for days, bought every piece of used equipment we could find, and coerced three of the best humans we know to join the team. Without the help of friends, family, and a truly special weiner dog, we never could have done it.  

We are Midwestern bred--walking rows of beanfields and pulling weeds was expected growing up. This farming work ethic ingrained in us served us well as we began our journey. Rachel worked seventy-hour weeks for the first two years, while Ben spent six years in the corporate world, working to capitalize the business and fund food (you know, for eating). It was hard work, and we claimed to love every minute of it.

We opened small, using just half our building and renting the other part. We added a deck, more chairs, and a full-time trainer. We knocked down a wall and grew into the whole building. We began roasting. We added coffee classes, crowned shift leads, and paved our infamous “off road” gravel lot. We built a new bar (or expert craftsman this time!), expanded our food menu, and set up an outpost at Pinewood Social. We have always been eager to learn, serve, and improve.

Back to the roasting thing: it was always in the plans, and after three years we were ready to begin our roasting journey. Our impetus was honest--we knew the best coffees came as a result of great relationships, directly with farmers. Soon we were traveling to places we’d only read about, and meeting people who were just like us--farmers who were passionate about sharing something amazing with the world. We found ourselves as a part of a larger, global story--the story of humble people doing hard work. We are honored to be a part of this story, and we strive to tell it every day.

We believe that how we do anything is how we do everything. And so in everything we aim to work humbly, and honor those who are a part of this story with us.

When we think of where we’ve come from--our hands covered with sawdust and coffee residue, our eyes eager yet sleep-deprived--we are honored and proud of where we are today. The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) has awarded two of our coffees with top two finishes in their annual roasting competition. We get to work with some of the region’s brightest culinary minds at Pinewood Social, The 404 Kitchen, Farmer’s Daughter, Prima, and Husk to name a few. We have partnered with coffee farmers around the globe. We have employees who are family. We have loyal, joyful customers who are friends.

We are spurred from bed every morning by the allure and wonder of serving a simple experience with you. We are truly grateful to share the coffee experience--and the human experience--with you.

Let's get started on some coffee lingo. I'm going to break this up with a few posts. This one is going to be about coffee beverages:

Espresso: (not expresso) espresso is a concentrated, often thick coffee beverage with a layer of dense foam whose ingredients are exclusively coffee and water, created with a machine that forces hot water through a basket of tightly packed, finely-ground coffee for a limited amount of time at very high pressure. 

Macchiato: is an espresso coffee drink with a small amount of milk, usually foamed. The drinks at Starbucks that they coin being a macchiato is not a macchiato. That's more of a latte. 

Cortado: A cortado is a beverage that consists of espresso coffee mixed with a roughly equal amount of warm milk to reduce the acidity. The milk in a cortado is usually dense rather than frothy or foamy 

Cappuccino: A cappuccino is an Italian coffee drink that is traditionally prepared with double espresso, hot milk, and steamed milk foam. Variations of the drink involve the use of cream instead of milk, and flavoring with cinnamon or chocolate powder.

Americano: An Americano is a style of coffee prepared by brewing espresso with added hot water, giving it a similar strength to, but different flavor from drip coffee.

Black Coffee: Black coffee consists of ground coffee, usually poured from a pour over/v60/chemex. 

Batch Brew: Batch Brew is all about the equipment which allows the user to prepare large batches of filter coffee in one, automated go

Nitro Cold Brew: Nitro coffee is cold brewed, put into a keg and then infused with nitrogen gas. It's served straight from the tap, just like a cold beer, and it offers that frothy and bubbly, adult-beverage feeling with the carbonation and beer-like head from the nitrogen.

Cold Brew Coffee: Cold brew, also called cold water extract or cold press, is the process of steeping coffee grounds in water at cool temperatures for an extended period. Coarse-ground beans are soaked in water for a prolonged period of time, usually 12 hours or more.