If you're anything like me, you walk into your favorite coffee shop knowing exactly what drink you're going to order. You chuckle inside your head at the people staring at the menu, confused by what appear to be foreign words, not sure what to get. After waiting a few minutes (which is far too long for people like us), you finally make it to the register and order the same drink that you ordered yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that. 

One day, you'll wake up perplexed at your mind's betrayal. You'll get out of bed concerned that you're no longer you, because on this day you no longer desire that coffee drink you order each and every day. Fortunately for you, I've had enough of those days that I created a guide to help others who go through this experience. Having been a barista for over four years, I know a thing or two about coffee, so hopefully this guide helps you out. 

Cold Brew Iced Coffee

ice, coffee, chocolate, cream
Wesley LeBlanc

My favorite option in this guide is a drink that is best ordered when it's hot outside, and when you're too tired to even think about what happens after buying coffee. This drink is what is known in the coffee industry as Cold Brew Iced Coffee

Cold brew originated in Japan in the early 1600s. At the time, it was called Kyoto-Style Japanese Coffee. Cold brew gets its name from the method in which it is brewed (crazy, right?). Rather than hot water showering a filter filled with coffee grounds, cold water drips a drop per second over an urn of coffee. The water drips its way through the coffee, saturating it completely. After about 12 hours, a pot of cold brew is ready. Because of the way it's brewed, it's about 60% less acidic and contains way more caffeine.

So, for those in need of more energy or get a stomachache after drinking regular coffee, this drink is for you. Cold brew can be mixed with your favorite flavor, sugar, and cream, or can be consumed black. It's my standard go-to when I'm not feeling my best. 

Iced Latte

milk, cream, coffee, yogurt, tea
Wesley LeBlanc

The iced latte is almost certainly a drink you've had before. It's the simplest of the drinks in this guide and one of the tastiest. This drink is literally espresso, milk, and ice. Because I live in Florida, it's almost always hot, which means I'm probably drinking an iced drink. When I'm wanting something a little smoother, I always go for an iced latte.

What's cool about this drink is that you're getting the energy of espresso, the smoothness of milk, and you can add any flavor available to it. My personal preference is chocolate, but I can confirm that vanilla, caramel, and so much more works just as well. Give it an (extra) shot. Excuse the coffee pun.

Red African Rooibos

Wesley LeBlanc

Like I said, I live in Florida, which means that at least twice a year I'm stricken with a cold. It might be a weak immune system that I have to blame, but something tells me it has to do with the torrential downpour that's immediately followed by a hell-like heat wave that I encounter at least once a week. Luckily for you, I've got you covered. After four years of being a barista who also gets sick, I can guarantee (kind of) this drink is the cure to your cold.

What you see above is a Red African Rooibos tea with some raw honey. From my own experiences, I can say that this tea cures headaches and migraines, helps counteract allergies, cures my colds, and even helps my lungs fight asthma. On top of that, it is astoundingly tasty. It's a smoky-sweet tea, usually filled with sharp, floral notes. I always add some honey to my tea as well because I like it a bit on the sweet side, and honey is way tastier than most other sweetener options. 

The Latte

coffee, cappuccino, milk, espresso, mocha
Wesley LeBlanc

This drink is quite possibly the most classic coffee beverage to have ever existed. The beverage I'm referring to is the latte. Are you bundled up in multiple layers because it's cold outside? Are you wanting to relax while simultaneously putting more caffeine into your blood stream? Are you wanting to take a dope picture for your Instagram? If you answered yes to any of these questions, the latte has you covered. 

It's the same thing as an iced latte, but hot. Lattes consist of espresso, steamed milk, and the optional flavor of your choice. If you want to test your barista and her latte skills, ask for some latte art. While it looks beautiful, it's also an indicator of a perfect combination of excellent espresso and consistently-steamed milk. If there's latte art on your drink, you can rest assured that it was made correctly. 

The Frappuccino

cream, milk, sweet, chocolate, milkshake, yogurt, ice, coffee, dairy product, caramel, dairy
Wesley LeBlanc

The final drink in this guide is definitely the most popular coffee drink out there, at least in our generation. This drink is everything in an iced latte, with a sugary-sweet frappe base added in. The key to this drink though is that it's blended. 

Here's the thing, frappes are delicious but they've never been, and never will be, a good and healthy source of energy. They're packed with sugar which makes them a ticking sugar-crash bomb. If you're looking for a drink that also acts as a dessert, get a frappe. If you're looking for energy, order any of the other drinks in this guide.

With that said, many baristas I know in the Jacksonville coffee community can all confirm that frappuccinos are the bane of any barista's existence. Seriously. Not only do these drinks require the most work to make, they're also extremely messy. 

Congrats, you've successfully made it to the end of my guide to ordering a drink when you don't know what to order. I hope this guide finds you well. Actually, if it finds you well, you probably know what you're ordering which means you don't need this guide. With that in mind, I hope this guide finds you extremely tired  and willing to experiment a little. Try something different this time.