What’s the difference between a solo corto and a mitad? How about a sombra and a nube? We’ll help you learn how to get the perfect cup of coffee in Málaga, Spain.
Málaga is notable for its numerous cafés where you can enjoy the unhurried ceremony of savoring a cup in a leisurely way. In Spain it’s not unusual to drink several coffees a day (our kind of country!).
Whether you take your coffee black or with milk, when executed perfectly, the outcome yields a cup exacted to your personal taste.
The legendary Café Central, located in the palm-dotted Plaza de la Constitución, is famous for its unique method for ordering coffee that characterizes Malagueños.
In 1954, import products, including coffee, were rationed and expensive to obtain. As a result, José Prado Crespo, the owner of Café Central, devised a coffee menu adapted to suit the varied tastes of his clientele. That led to nine different ways to order a customized cup of coffee — putting Crespo well ahead of the consistent customer experience one expects from a Starbucks.
From that moment on, the residents of Málaga became accustomed to ordering their coffee exactly the way they wanted.
Inside the café on one of the walls, a tile mosaic created by the famous Málaga ceramic artist Amparo Ruiz de Luna, illustrates the options. The name used for each is based on the ratio of coffee to milk.
9 Ways to Order Coffee in Málaga
Solo: A short single espresso without milk.
Largo: A double espresso with a little milk.
Semi Largo: 70% coffee, 30% milk.
Solo Corto: 60% coffee, 40% milk
Mitad: Half coffee, half milk.
Entrecorto: 40% coffee, 60% milk
Corto: Just under half a glass, or “short” on coffee
Nube (“cloud”): 25% coffee, 75% milk
Sombra (“shadow”): 20% more coffee than a nube
The café has outdoor seating where you can relax and sit with the perfect cup of joe and gaze out upon urban life within the historic square. –Duke