by Sarit Bridell

In the midst of the daily grind, homework, actual work and trying to make time for a social life, the one thing most of us can agree on is our desperate need for daily coffee.

The great thing about being in the Twin Cities area is that, as students needing a place to study and also some caffeine, we have a plethora of coffee shop options to choose from.  However, many of those coffee shops have menus that feature some obscure coffee creations.

Most coffee drinks have some sort of espresso and milk mixture. Espresso is not a specific type of coffee but the method of preparing the coffee beans. Espresso is derived from sometimes several different types of coffee bean and ground down to a very fine texture. The idea behind this is not to create a bitter taste but a bolder coffee flavor.

Most of the drinks you will see on a coffee shop menu aside from traditional roasts or teas are made of espresso. Here is a list of how some of your favorite drinks are actually made.

Macchiato:

Despite the popular Starbucks spin on this drink using milk caramel and vanilla, a Macchiato is actually only a single shot of espresso with foamed milk layered on top.

Cappuccino:

Cappuccino is probably one of the most misunderstood coffee creations out there. It is a shot of espresso with steamed and wet milk poured over it. Depending on where you order, you may or may not have a lather of froth on top of this classic drink.

Latte:

Lattes can easily be argued as the most popular coffee creation. This is most likely due to the sweet and mellow flavor they have as well as all the different flavor options you can get.  Lattes consist of either a single or double shot of espresso with steamed milk. These drinks can also be ordered cold with flavors spanning from chocolate to lavender. Spyhouse in Minneapolis features a lavender latte called the Spygirl which has gained recognition for its amazing flavor.

Americano:

Lastly, we have the classic Americano which is essentially a watered down shot of espresso that resembles a classic brew with a slightly bolder and smooth flavor.

For some new ideas of things to order head over to Spyhouse and get a lavender Spygirl or stop into Urban Bean to experience the best iced mocha you will ever have. Also for those students on the run and on a budget ,order a dark roast at Starbucks with steamed soy on top for a drink that resembles a soy latte at about half the cost.

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