Getting Into Coffee

So, I thought I hated coffee until about this year. I loved the smell and the look, but every time I tried a sip, I wanted to gag. Then, my little made me take a sip of her iced latte (from Dunkin, of course) at the beginning of this senior year, and all of a sudden I'm a bit of an addict. I still don't like hot coffee (I'd rather just have tea!), but over the past year I've been discovering coffee and its spin-offs through experimenting and constant trips to Dunkin or Starbucks or even McDonald's in a pinch! I thought I'd use this post as a bit of a guide for coffee newbies since there's so many fancy terms and such! Keep in mind, I'm basing this all off of the iced versions since they're still all I prefer!

T E R M S:
  • Coffee- The most simplest of all, I suppose. Coffee obviously comes from coffee beans and is brewed in pots or in pods in a Keurig. It also comes in instant forms, which I drank if I needed some in my apartment! There's a difference between brewed and drip, but I'm honestly not sure of it. I couldn't even tell you which you get when you order it. However, brewed is typically 80-135 mg of caffeine in about 7 oz while drip is 115-175 mg. 
  • Espresso- Espresso is made by forcing boiling (or nearly boiling) water through finely ground coffee beans (according to Wikipedia ;)). It's more concentrated than regular coffee as it's about 100 mg of caffeine in 1.5-2 oz.  
  • Cappuccino- Since iced cappuccinos really aren't a thing (they "exist," but read this article), I don't know much about them. However, they are basically espresso + hot milk + steamed milk foam.
  • Latte- Or caffe latte. The hot version is made with espresso and steamed milk, the iced version is made with espresso and chilled milk then placed over ice. In the latte's case, it is milk added to espresso.
  • Macchiato- Like the latte, except the espresso is added to the milk. I don't know that I've tried too many macchiatos. The coffee flavor is stronger in the latte, so if you're totally accustomed to coffee tastes yet, I'd go with this first.
  • Mocha- Mochas are like lattes except that there is chocolate added to the drink in the form of sweet ocoa powder. In the winter when I was absolutely freezing and the thought of something iced made me cry, I'd get mochas from McDonald's. 
  • Americano- Americanos are made by adding hot water to espresso. I learned from Eat Your Kimchi that it came about because Americans in Europe would ask for water to be added to their "coffees" because they found the espresso too strong on its own. Iced is made with cold water instead of hot. It is also a lower calorie option!
  • Frappuccino/Coolatta- Frapp at Starbucks, Coolatta at Dunkin. They are made with coffee blended in ice and topped with whipped cream. Usually, they come with other ingredients (like my favorite--the mocha frappuccino!). These are definitely more "treat" than "coffee," which I learned the hard way.... i.e. less energy and more weight gain. 
T I P S:
  • Experiment! If you're shy about it, here's what I usually get: iced caramel or vanilla coffee with skim milk and no sugar, iced americano with skim milk (I add a little sugar on my own), or iced caramel latte with skim. I just tried the americano today, and it's actually quite good!
  • Make it at home on your own: When I was at school, I used to make iced coffee in my big's Keurig or from instant coffee in my kitchen (which does not taste that great, in retrospect). All I did was put in one of the K-cups (there's so many to choose from!), add milk and sugar, and then dump the mixture in a cup with ice. I did it in the dining hall as well! It tastes much better to make it hot then put it over ice then try to put it on ice to begin with.
  • Don't drink every day. I try not to! I don't want to get caffeine headaches, so I try to only drink it when I'm low on energy. And I only get a frapp if I'm treating myself. 
Good luck! Hope this was a good introductory to coffee.

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