05 Mar


Who taught: Sara at a local coffee shop

Hello, my friends out there… It’s been a while. Sorry for being absent for so long! Over the last few months, I had too many irons in the fire but it is all great. I enjoy every moment. Hope all of you are doing well!

Often, I go to a local coffee shop to work. Usually, I order a small Americano. In fact, Sara at the coffee shop knows me and what I want. As soon as I walk in, she immediately starts to make one Americano for me. No need to even talk or order. So simple.

But, at first, there was a time that I was not sure what she was talking about. Ordering something to eat and drink is not that simple for non-native English speakers. Here is the conversation we had at first.

Me: “Can I have a small Americano, please?”

Sara: “Sure, do you want regular or decaf?”

Me: “Regular is fine with me.”

Sara: “What size?”

Me: “Small, please!”

Sara: “Single or Double?” (At this point, some of you might be confused. Well, this maybe is an item for another post but, simply speaking, this is about the amount of coffee to brew. Again, ordering something to drink is not easy.)

Me: “Single, please.”

Sara: “For here or to go?” (Again, you might be confused. No one uses full sentences when it comes to ordering foods.)

Me: “For here, please.”

Sara: “Room for cream?” (How about this question? Tricky, huh?)

Me: “Yes, please. In fact, a lot of room.” (I like my Americano with less water in it.)

Sara then makes the coffee and ready to server in a small cup.

Sara: “Wanna saucer too?”

So, at that point, I was lost because I did not know the word.

Me: “Sorry?”

Sara picks up a small plate to put the coffee on, saying “saucer?”


Saucer (source: www.prima-coffee.com)

That is the moment I realized what a saucer means. Would they ever call it “plate”? I do not know. Maybe…. Could you help me, my American friends?

Well, this happened a long time ago but I still do remember that moment vividly. Frankly, it is my daily life. Every day, I learn new words. Literally, every single day! I do not think this will ever end.

So hard to be good at English.

Speaking of saucer, there is another related expression, flying saucer. Can you guess what it would be? A hint is that you want to think of the shape of a saucer. What is a thing that is flying in the sky and its shape is like a saucer? That’s right. It is UFOs.

Well, next time you visit the USA and go to a coffee shop to order, remember these questions. They will come in handy.

I have always been wondering what would happen if I say all of what I want even before they ask.

As soon as you stand in front of a barista, you say the following.

A small Americano with a single shot and a lot of room for cream. It is for here but I do not need a saucer.

They might say, “Slow down, dude!” or they might like you. Give it a try and let me know.

Happy learning!