If you walk into a Buenos Aires cafe and simply ask for “un café,” you will be brought a shot of espresso in a tiny cup. This is also known as a “café chico.” Chances are, this is not what you had in mind when you ordered a coffee! Familiarize yourself with the following coffee drinks to avoid these sorts of mixups when you study Spanish in Argentina.
Café chico. An espresso shot, black.
Café en jarrito. A double shot of espresso in a slightly larger cup.
Café cortado. An espresso shot cut with milk. This is the most popular coffee order in Argentina. You can get a larger version by asking for it “en jarrito”.
Café con crema. An espresso cut with cream instead of milk.
Lágrima. An espresso-size cup of milk with just a drop or “lágrima” of espresso.
Americano. Espresso diluted with hot water. Like the name suggests, this what most Americans have in mind when they ask for a cup of coffee.
Café con leche. A latte–half coffee and half milk.
Capuchino. Layered coffee, milk, and froth topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon. In Argentina, you can order a cappuchino at any time of the day without ridicule.
Don’t care for coffee? Well, you should at least try it! Sipping a café cortado in a Buenos Aires cafe is a must-do experience for visitors to Argentina. If you can’t get on board with coffee, you can try a submarino–a glass of warm milk with a chunk of chocolate melting in the bottom.