How to order coffee in Malaga: History of the types of coffee

¡Un sombra y un pitufo! , ¡Un cafe Corto!, ¡Café Solo Corto! These are some of the most popular expressions when you go for breakfast in the beautiful Malaga. If you are not from the city, the provinces of Malaga, Andalusia in general, or you’ve only been in the city of Malaga for a short time, you’re probably wondering what these expressions might mean. It is a fact that the way that people of Malaga order their coffees is unique. In the rest of Spain, people don’t use the same words as “malagueños” do. Therefore, if you want to know some key information about both the history and the different types of coffee in Malaga as well as how to identify and order them, keep reading this article!

Before we start, keep in mind that the way you order your coffee in Malaga is one of the most important things you must know. It is important if you want to enjoy your coffee the way you like it! Also, the key is to find out how you can order the exact proportion of milk and coffee that suits your tastes and needs.

First and foremost, before we move on to the different names and types of coffee in Malaga, we will go through their history:

1. Coffee in Malaga: History

To begin with and as we already said, the variety of different types of coffee in Malaga corresponds to the amount of coffee and milk in each cup. More specifically, this variety began in the legendary Café Central in Malaga. In the decade 1950 the owner of the place, José Prado Crespo, was the one that categorized and named the different types of coffee.

What the owner did, was observe how each customer ordered coffee according to personal taste. At some point, he decided to make a list of his customers’ tastes and came up with nine different quantities. Moreover, after separating the different types of coffee according to the percentage of coffee and milk, he put up a poster in the shop in which he made the types known. This way, each customer could order his coffee based on that poster. That was the time, that the Malaga catalog of coffees was established.

Cafe central Malaga: Types of Coffee
Cafe central Malaga: Types of Coffee

2. Types and names of coffee: How you can order one

Considering all the above, we now know the history of the classification of coffee types in Malaga. Therefore, it is time to mention the 9 different types you can search for in the capital of Costa del Sol!

¿Puedo pedir un café, por favor? / Can I have a coffee, please?

1. Café Solo: A coffee contains 100% coffee without any milk. A good choice for those who like to drink a strong coffee.

2. Café Largo: This type includes 90% coffee and only 10% milk.

3. Café Semilargo: Prepared with 80% coffee. This is one of the most typical orders for every “malageuño” and you will certainly hear someone asking for this in Malaga!

4. Café Solo Corto: In this type of coffee the proportion is 60% of coffee and 40% of milk.

5. Café Mitad: This coffee type means 50% coffee and 50% milk. This is a good choice for those who prefer a good balance between coffee and milk.

6. Café Entrecorto: The Entrecorto type of coffee includes 40% coffee and 60% milk.

7. Café Corto: If you like your coffee rather light but not too milky, Café Corto should be your choice! This coffee contains 30% coffee and 70% milk.

8. Café Sombra: Ordering a Sombra in Malaga means choosing a drink that contains only 20% coffee and 80% of milk. A good option for those who just want a little taste of coffee!

9. Café Nube: This type includes slightly less coffee than the Sombra one. Cafe Nube contains 90% milk and only 10% coffee. Again like Café Sombra, this is a good choice for those who want even less taste of coffee and prefer milk!

#Café no me lo ponga: This is undoubtedly the most fun type. As its name suggests in Spanish, it includes 0% milk and 0% coffee! So obviously, this type is actually not coffee, but a joke among the local people of Malaga!

Types of coffee in Malaga
Types of coffee in Malaga

3. How did these coffee names become widespread in Malaga?

The spread of the coffee types in Malaga began shortly after they were first named by the owner of Café Central. The particular way of referring to coffee became popular and loved by the inhabitants of Malaga.

Furthermore, at that time, the company Cafés Santa Cristina asked permission to use the well-known coffee names in its advertising campaigns which undoubtedly contributed much to the recognition of the coffee names in the market. As a result, this way of ordering coffee spread throughout the city and even to the countryside and the provinces of Malaga. Therefore, these names and types became the dominant way of ordering coffee in the area. Also, it is a fact that it has been maintained to this day, without any changes.

Finally, we already know that Malaga has many virtues that make it worth a visit. It provides many activities, countless natural landscapes, and unforgettable walks that combine both natural beauty and unsurpassed views. Also, you can see attractions dating back thousands of years.

But apart from all of the aforementioned, its peculiar system of classifying the cafés undoubtedly adds a big plus to the attractions of the city! Especially for the real coffee-lovers! So, if you happen to be in Malaga or you plan to, from now on you will be totally familiar with the coffee system of the city. And, of course, you can enjoy your coffee the way you want it, without any inconvenience or misunderstandings!

# Are you a coffee enthusiast and you need to find out more about coffee in Malaga or Spain in general? Then click here, to get all the extra information you need!