The capital of Andalusian has a peculiar way to order a coffee. A mitad (half and half), a cortado (short), a nube (cloud), a sombra (shadow), and more five varieties which delight coffee lovers everyday in Malaga and other cities along Costa del Sol.
The measuring system is a certain proportion of milk and coffee, which designates with a simple name.
It was developed in the 1950s by Don José Prado, who ran his Café Central, in the heart of Plaza de la Constitución in Malaga.
The system spread quickly in local cafes and now is something that really distinguishes Andalusia from other Spanish provinces.
So how to order a coffee in Costa del Sol?
The simple answer is to choose by the names:
Solo (black): 100% coffee
Largo (extra strong): 90% coffee, 10% milk
Semilargo (strong): 80% coffee
Solo Corto (expresso): 60% coffee
Mitad (half and half): 50% coffee, 50% milk
Entrecorto (semi-short): 40% coffee, 60% milk
Corto (short): 30% coffee, 70% milk
Sombra (shadow): 20% coffee, 80% milk
Nube (cloud): 10% coffee, 90% milk
Here in Spain has the coffee tailored to suit everyone, so you will certainly find your favourite. The drink is common be served in a glass or cup depending on how you like it.
When the coffee comes with milk, you should indicate the milk temperature at which you want it, which may be fría (cold), caliente (hot) or templada (warm – half cold, half hot). If your preference is for a cold coffee, you can order it with ice.
If you fancy a booster, you can order a “café carajillo”, which is coffee with alcohol. Usually, the most common are dash of brandy, anisette or rum.