Fifty Shades of Coffee

Coffee: All You Need to Know and More

Today, we delve into the deep dark world of coffee and the first thing that comes to mind is “The Coffee Song” by Osibisa. And if you don’t know it, you probably aren’t old enough to be drinking coffee anyway!

What you may know however, irrespective of how young you are, is that Brazil is the home of the coffee bean as well its lead exporter.

However, starting with the Italians, lots of other countries have done some pretty cool things with coffee beans over time and today almost everyone has their go-to coffee favourites. But just in case you don’t have one yet, here’s a list to help you pick.


The Espresso

An espresso is a type of coffee beverage made by forcing water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans.  This brewing method extracts all the flavour from the coffee beans, resulting in a concentrated, intense and full-bodied cup of coffee. Because of how rich it is, the espresso serves as the base for almost all other coffee drinks.

The term espresso is the Italian word for “fast”, and the espresso machine was invented, as its name suggests, to provide people with a cup of coffee, fast!

So think of an espresso in these terms, dark, rich and intense (so kinda like Denzel Washington but found on the Bourbon House Café menu) and served to you in record time.



Shortened from the Italian “Caffè Americano” which literally means “American Coffee”, this is a type of coffee drink prepared by diluting an espresso with hot water, giving it a similar strength to, but different flavour from traditionally brewed coffee.

There is a popular, but unconfirmed, belief that the name has its origins in World War II when American G.I.s in Italy would dilute espresso with hot water to approximate the coffee to which they were accustomed.

An Americano is basically an espresso but with less character so perhaps the coffee version of President Trump?



Cappuccino bucks the trend. It comes from an Italian word that refers not to coffee, but to friars. When the cappuccino drink was first introduced in Italy, it was named after the Capuchin friars because the colour of the espresso mixed with frothed milk was similar to the colour of the Capuchin robe.

Essentially, an espresso-based coffee drink, it is traditionally prepared with double espresso and steamed milk foam.

So basically a Cappucci-no is twice as potent as the espresso but with steamed milk foam? Sounds like a Cuppucci-yes to me!




The Macchiato is an espresso coffee drink with a small amount of milk, usually foamed. In Italian, macchiato means “stained” or “spotted” so the literal translation of caffè macchiato is “stained coffee”, or coffee with a spot of milk.

Get yourself a caffè macchiato, and you’ve almost gotten yourself a 101 Dalamations, except their swimming around…in a cup…and steaming hot!


Café Latte

The term as used in English is “latte” which is a shortened form of the Italian “caffè latte”. It is a combination of espresso and steamed milk. The French equivalent to a “latte” is a “grand crème”.

We know you already probably love yourself a lot but at Bourbon House Café, we go the extra mile – we love you a LATTE!



Latte Macchiato

First, in a latte macchiato, espresso is added to milk, rather than milk to espresso as in a caffè latte. Also, a latte macchiato is often a “layered” drink, rather than a mixed one, as with a caffè latte. Simply, in a caffè latte, the emphasis is on the coffee, while in a latte macchiato, the emphasis is on the milk.

So this is basically a latte but made in reverse. Speaking of reverse how’s that reverse Shaku Shaku coming along?


Now that you know which coffee is which, you are fully equipped to try any of them at out Labone or East Legon locations whenever you need a pick me up during the day or need fuel to start your day!

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