Many advanced students of English have asked me for help with everyday English skills like how to order a coffee in English or how to order a meal in a restaurant. When you are living in a new country, you are constantly facing challenges, every single day. If you love coffee as much as I do, you probably look forward to ordering your coffee every morning. If you don't have the right phrases and can't communicate with the barista, it takes the joy out of your daily ritual. So, in this post, I will talk about 6 different ways you can ask for a coffee or tea.
6 Different Ways to Ask for a Coffee:
"I would like _______"
- "I'll have _________"
- "Can I get ________?" (more casual)
- "Could I have_________?"
- "I'll take _________" (more casual)
- "Could I try ________?"
Can vs. Could
"Can I have a latte with skim milk?" or "Could I have a latte with skim milk?". Which phrase is best? They are both correct but you should choose "can" or "could" based on how direct or indirect you want to sound. Making a request with "can" will sound more direct. This might be more common at a coffee shop or a restaurant. Requesting a coffee with "could" might be more common at your friend's house. You want to ask your friend for a coffee but you want to show respect, you don't want to impose or sound too direct so you can say "Could I have a coffee?"
Size and Temperature:
When you order your coffee, use one of the six phrases above then say the size that you want- small, tall, medium, large, etc. Next, say whether you want a hot or iced coffee.
- "Could I have a tall, hot coffee"
- "I would like a large, iced cappucino"
photo credit: Kessop