Ordering a Coffee in Chinese – Beginner Lesson with Audio

by Dave Flynn | 13th March, 2011 | Chinese in Action |

No matter if you’re tired from travelling or just need a pick-me-up during work at the office, there’s something that is transcends all situations – coffee! With a subject this essential it’s surprising we haven’t covered it sooner. Below is a list of some key vocabulary including the names of common coffee types and sizes that you’ll find in Starbucks and also a conversation between a waitress and customer buying a cup of coffee.

note: If you see any words that are different in your part of the Chinese speaking world then please post a note in the comments, as some words are phonetic translations they can differ slightly from place to place.

Ordering Coffee in Chinese

This lesson also includes audio, so click the link below to listen to all of the keywords and conversation while you read along (two words below for ‘milk’ and ‘sugar’ aren’t included in the audio – we’ll add them soon!) Update: the lesson content and audio have been updated:

ChineseHacks.com Beginner Lesson – Ordering a Coffee in Chinese

Vocabulary

歡迎光臨(欢迎光临)

Pinyin: huān yíng guāng lín
English: welcome; you’re welcome to browse

需要(需要)

Pinyin: xū yào
English: want; need

咖啡(咖啡)

Pinyin: kā fēi
English: coffee

受歡迎(受欢迎)

Pinyin: shòu huān yíng
English: to be well received; to be popular;

選擇(选择)

Pinyin: xuǎn zé
English: choice

打折(打折)

Pinyin: xuǎn zé
English: to give a discount.
Note: The way to express a percentage discount in Chinese works the opposite way than in English. Instead of saying “20% off” you would say “discounted to 80%”, e.g 打八折 (dǎ bā zhé)

優惠(优惠)

Pinyin: yōu huì
English: a concession; a favourable discount; usage here is the same as 特價(特价 tè jià) “special offer”.

不用(不用)

Pinyin: bú yòng
English: not neccessary Note: Even though 不用 is the same as 不要 means that you don’t want something, you would never say “用” to indicate that you wanted something, instead you would say “要”

Coffee types and extras

美式咖啡(美式咖啡)

Pinyin: měi shì kā fēi

English: Americano

那堤(那堤)

Pinyin: nà tí

English: Latte; also known as 拿鐵 (拿铁 ná tiě)

焦糖瑪奇朵(焦糖玛奇朵)

Pinyin: jiāo táng mǎ qí duō

English: Caramel Macchiato

卡布奇諾(卡布奇诺)

Pinyin: kǎ bù qí nuò

English: Cappuccino

摩卡(摩卡)

Pinyin: mó kǎ

English: Mocha

濃縮咖啡(浓缩咖啡)

Pinyin: nóng suō kā fēi
English: Espresso

冰咖啡(冰咖啡)

Pinyin: bīng kā fēi
English: Iced Coffee

熱咖啡(热咖啡)

Pinyin: rè kā fēi
English: Hot Coffee

糖(糖)

Pinyin: táng
English: sugar

奶油球(奶油球)

Pinyin: nǎi yóu qiú
English: milk/cream (in the small disposable one-serving cartons)

milk pots

Coffee Sizes

小杯(小杯)

Pinyin: xiǎo bēi

English: Short (literal: small cup)

中杯(中杯)

Pinyin: zhōng bēi

English: Tall (literal: medium cup)

大杯(大杯)

Pinyin: dà bēi

English: Grande (literal: large cup)

特大杯(特大杯)

Pinyin: tè dà bēi

English: Venti (literal: especially big cup)

5 Stages of Caffeine Intake

Image from theoatmeal.comThe 5 Stages of Caffeine Intake

Usage

Waitress

歡迎光臨。請問,先生需要什麼咖啡呢?

欢迎光临。请问,先生需要什么咖啡呢?

huānyíngguānglín. qǐngwèn, xiānshēng xūyào shéme kāfēi nē?

Welcome, what kind of coffee would you like?

Customer

嗯,請問,有什麼選擇?

嗯,请问,有什么选择?

ēn, qǐngwèn, yǒu shénme xuǎn zé?

Um, excuse me, what choices are there?

Waitress

很多,我們最受歡迎的咖啡有美式咖啡、那堤、焦糖瑪奇朵、卡布奇諾、摩卡還有濃縮咖啡。今天美式咖啡有八折優惠。

很多,我们最受欢迎的咖啡有美式咖啡、那堤、焦糖玛奇朵、卡布奇诺、摩卡还有浓缩咖啡。今天美式咖啡有八折优惠。

hěnduō, wǒmen zuì shòu huānyíng de kāfēi jiù yǒu měishìkāfēi, nàtí, jiāotángmǎqíduō, kǎbùqínuò, mókǎ háiyǒu nóngsuōkāfēi. jīn tiān měishìkāfēi yǒu bāzhé yōuhuì.

Lots, our most popular coffees include Americano, Latte, Caramel Macchiato, Capuccino, Mocha and Espresso. We have a special offer today, 20% off Americano.

Customer

那一杯美式咖啡就好。

nà yī bēi měishìkāfēi jiù hǎ.

One cup of Americano then.

Waitress

中杯、大杯還是特大杯?

中杯、大杯还是特大杯?

zhōngbēi, dàbēi háishì tèdàbēi?

Tall, grande or venti?

Customer

大杯好了。

dàbēi hǎo le.

Grande is fine.

Waitress

請問,要冰的還是熱的呢?糖跟奶球要加嗎?

请问,要冰的还是热的呢?糖跟奶球要加吗?

qǐngwèn, yào bīng de háishì rè de nē? táng gēn nǎiqiú yào jiā ma?

Excuse me, do you want iced or hot coffee? Would you like to add sugar and milk?

Customer

熱的,謝謝。糖跟奶球都不用。

热的,谢谢。糖跟奶球都不用。

rè de, xièxiè. táng gēn nǎiqiú dōu búyòng.

Hot, thanks. no sugar or milk.

Waitress

一杯大美式打八折後就是$75NT,謝謝。

一杯大美式打八折后就是$75NT,谢谢。

yī bēi dà měishì dǎ bāzhé hòu jiù shì $75NT, xièxiè.

One large Americano, 20% discount, that’s $75NT, thanks.

Customer
好的。
好的。
hǎode.
Okay.

Waitress

請稍等。

请稍等。

qǐng shāo děng.

Please wait a moment.

Are there any other situations you’d like to see us cover? Let us know below!

This lesson will soon be available to practice with a teacher on Chineseteachers.com

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Dave Flynn

Dave is a designer of websites, learner of Chinese and lover of technology. Originally from the UK, he's been living in Taiwan and learning Mandarin Chinese for the last seven years. He founded and runs Chinese Hacks, a blog dedicated to effectively learning Chinese.

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Tags: #audio #Chinese #coffee #Conversation #cup #flavour #lesson #ordering #size #Starbucks #usage #Vocabulary

8 Comments

  1. pan

    意式咖啡 is also used for an espresso.
    拉铁咖啡 is also used for a latte, though to be honest I’ve never actually seen it listed on a menu as that (a google search came up with this place’s menu though http://www.bybrothers.com/coffee_latte.php)


  2. In Taiwan it most people won’t bother saying cappuccino and will instead say 卡布 only.

    So for example, a pro coffee drinker would say “一杯熱卡布,謝謝"and leave it at that. :D


  3. Selly

    How about adding “Soya” to the list for ordering “Soya Latte” or cappuccino/mocha/hot chocolate made with soya milk instead?


  4. also hear 奶精 used a lot, as well as奶油球


  5. vineet

    Thanks for sharing this information. I watched a video on YouTube. In this video we will see some conversations that will show us how to talk in English when you are at a cafe. What words and phrases would you use if you went to a cafe and wanted to order coffee? This video is very interesting. For watching this video please click on this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyoDt3egGHg&feature=plcp


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