For many, university is the time when people begin to embark on their coffee journeys. I personally love coffee and all that it entails; the smell, the taste, the energy you get from it. But, despite this, what I have observed is that many people don’t know how their coffee is made and have trouble differentiating one caffeinated drink from another. That’s why I’m here to break it all down for you. So, sit back, relax, have your cup of coffee, and read (trust us, you’ll feel smarter by the end of it).

First things first, many caffeinated beverages consist of three ingredients: espresso, steamed milk, and foam.

Besides pulling out the French press, there are 5 additional common methods of brewing:

  1. Pour Over: Boiling water, then slowly pouring it over the coffee grounds.
  2. Drip Coffee: (AKA. your traditional cup of coffee) coffee brewed using grounds placed into a coffee maker
  3. Cold Brew: Coffee grounds placed in ice water, steeped for a long period.
  4. Espresso: pressurized hot water passed through the coffee grounds, creating a ‘shot’
  5. Ristretto: Same process as an espresso but with half the amount of water to create a stronger and more concentrated shot of espresso

Now that you’re familiar with brewing methods, let’s move on to drinks.

Below we’ve included a list of some of the most popular bevvy’s ordered around town:

Americano: 1 shot of espresso + hot water

Long black: 2 shots of espresso + hot water


Macchiato: 1 shots of espresso + 1-2 tsps. of steamed milk

Long Macchiato: 2 shots of espresso + 2-4 tsps. of steamed milk


Cortado: 1:1 ratio of 1 shot of espresso + warm milk

Cappuccino: 1-2 shots of espresso + 2 oz. of steamed milk + 2 oz. of foam

Flat white: 1 shot of espresso + 4 oz. of steamed milk

Latte: 1 shot of espresso + 8-10 oz. of steamed milk + light layer of foam

Mocha: 1 shot of espresso + 1-2 oz. of chocolate syrup or powder + 2 oz. of steamed milk + thick layer of foam

Affogato: 1 shot of espresso + whipped cream


It may not seem like spending two to three dollars a day on coffee is a lot, but it adds up really fast. In fact, the average cup of coffee in Toronto sells for $3.28! Knowing that, if you buy one coffee a day (and really, who can survive on just one) that’s roughly $100 a month which is $1200 a year! You can go on vacation with that. What’s even more crazy is that cup of coffee you buy every day for two, three, or five dollars costs the coffee shop around $0.18 to make.

Listen, everyone has the right to spend their money as they please, whatever makes you happy. But the next time you’re out ordering a fancy coffee, just remember that the four dollar purchase you’re about to make adds up. Instead, try putting your barista skills to the test, and save that cash for a later date.

Written By MUSE’s online contributer Amira
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