Infographic: Guide to Coffee Drinks


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Okay, the subheading on this infographic is hysterical. We’re based in Seattle. We know these people. We stand behind them in line alllll the time. They order this stuff with a straight face, but I get embarrassed when my coffee order has more than four words. Single tall soy latte is about as far as I’ll go without blushing.

That said, there’s some rudimentary problems with this infographic. The Venn diagram is a good idea, but this one gives no indication of proportion. Prepare yourself–I’m not just a Seattleite, I’m a former Seattle barista.

Take the intersection of milk, milk foam, and espresso. What you’ve got grouped there, in the same section, is cappuccino and latte. The problem? Cappuccinos typically have about as much milk as foam (don’t worry, I’m not going to get into wet versus dry cappuccinos), while lattes are nearly all milk with a topping of foam. Because this Venn diagram isn’t taking amounts into consideration here, someone who really didn’t know would assume that cappuccinos and lattes are exactly the same.

This infographic would benefit so much from giving individual drinks their own diagrams. One could see, by amount of overlap, the proportional difference between lattes and cappuccinos. You could also include more details, because here’s a world of difference between an espresso macchiato and a latte/caffe macchiato. (Told you this was going to get bad.) Sure, it’s created for people who don’t order insanely specific drinks… but there has to be some differentiation here. Getting a little more specific would make it stronger.

If the infographic was set up that way, picture this–a clueless coffee newbie is standing anxiously in line, waiting to get to the counter and play 20 questions with the barista about what the heck to order. Then he remembers this great infographic that shows him exactly what goes into every drink! He pulls it up on his smartphone, realizes that what he wants is called a split-shot skinny latte, and orders confidently. (That’s not too needy of a coffee order, as they go.)

Until this infographic gets much more detailed, I’ll have to give it a D. It isn’t telling the whole story, but at least there’s no unnecessary text. If all I was familiar with was drip coffee, I would know more than when I’d started–but not much more.

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