6 Interesting Lao Words For Coffee

lao words for coffee banner with coffee cup and beans in the background

Are you a coffee lover? If you’re bound to Laos and worried that you might not get your every morning fill of steaming coffee, this list of Lao words for coffee is for you. In Lao, coffee is called “ກາ​ເຟ” (ka fe). Varieties like “ກາເຟເຢັນ” (kafe yen, Laotian iced coffee) and “ກາ​ເຟ​ດໍາ​” (ka fe doa, black coffee) are popular in the country. See how easy those words are? In this post, we’ll go over the top Lao words for coffee and phrases related to it. Let’s begin!

Why Is Coffee Significant In Lao Daily Life?

Did you know that Laos is known for its fertile highlands with many coffee plants, where Southeast Asia’s most exquisite coffee beans and arabica crops with the highest coffee quality are grown? The country is an ideal coffee production spot, and Lao coffee is becoming a force to be reckoned with in the global coffee industry.

Among all the varieties they have in the country, locals prefer the signature Lao coffee, called “kafé.” This Laos coffee is strong, dark, and brewed with a small amount of sweetened condensed milk. However, you can choose how you want your Laotian coffee to be served; if you prefer less milk, want to add ice, dust with a bit of orange powder, or it’s still hot black coffee for you.

Aside from the needed daily caffeine fix, coffee is a large part of the Lao culture. It symbolizes hospitality, warmth, and togetherness. Many Lao households follow a morning routine of having a cup of kafé. They make this morning habit a time for families to come together, share stories, and prepare for the day ahead. On the other hand, people frequent coffee shops (ຮ້ານ​ກາ​ເຟ) around town to grab coffee and, more importantly, interact socially and bond with friends.

In recent years, Laos has witnessed a coffee shop (ຮ້ານ​ກາ​ເຟ) boom. As more people become interested in coffee making, the country has seen a surge in independent outdoor cafes and artisanal roasteries, especially in Southern Laos. This trend reflects the growing love for coffee and creates opportunities for travelers and coffee enthusiasts to explore the local coffee scene.

different kinds of coffee beans

Basic Lao Words For Coffee

If you’re eager to immerse yourself fully, knowing the basic coffee lingo will make your experience even more delightful. Here’s a handy guide to ensure you order exactly what your caffeine-loving heart desires!

Coffee: ກາ​ເຟ (ka fe)

Laos’s coffee journey began during the French colonial era when the French introduced the Robusta variety to the fertile Bolaven Plateau. Today, coffee is more than just a drink in Laos; it’s a reflection of its colonial history and a major export product.

Iced Coffee: ກາເຟເຢັນ (kafe yen)

In the sweltering heat of Laos, nothing refreshes like a ‘kafe yen.’ This beverage, a fusion of strong brewed coffee and sweet condensed milk, poured over ice, offers a sweet respite. It’s not just about the temperature; it’s about savoring the slow pace of life, especially during the midday heat.

Black Coffee: ກາ​ເຟ​ດໍາ​ (ka fe dam)

The robust flavors of ‘ka fe dam’ resonate with the rugged terrains where the coffee beans are cultivated. Laotians often enjoy their coffee strong and black, a testament to the purity and quality of the beans harvested in the country. It’s a no-frills drink, reflecting the simplicity and authenticity of Lao culture.

Coffee With Milk: ກາ​ເຟ​ນ້ຳ​ນົມ (ka fe nam nom)

Milk softens the strong flavor profile of Lao coffee. This drink is often enjoyed in urban centers and tourist spots, reflecting the blend of traditional and contemporary tastes.

Espresso: ກາເຟ​ອີສເປຣສໂຊ (ka fe espresso)

In Lao, “espresso” is typically referred to by its original name with a Lao pronunciation. Espresso is a concentrated coffee brew, and while it isn’t a traditional Lao coffee, it’s gained popularity with the global influence and the rise of modern cafes in the cities.

Latte: ກາເຟ​ລັດເຕ (ka fe latte)

A latte is similar to the cappuccino but has more milk and less foam. It’s a milder coffee experience and is growing in popularity in Laos, especially among the younger generation.

Macchiato: ກາເຟ​ມັກກິເອໂຕ (ka fe macchiato)

A macchiato is essentially an espresso “stained” or “marked” with a splash of milk. This coffee type provides a midway taste between a cappuccino and an espresso. While not traditional in Laos, it’s beginning to appear on cafe menus, thanks to global coffee influences.

different kinds of coffee blends

Basic Lao Coffee Phrases

Here are the other coffee-related terms and phrases you might want to add to your Lao vocabulary:

English TranslationLao ScriptLao Pronunciation
May I have a coffee, please?ຂ້ອຍຂໍກາເຟໄດ້ບໍ?Khonykho kafe daibo
I’d like a cappuccino.ຂ້ອຍຢາກໄດ້ ຄາປູຊິໂນKhonyyakdai kha pu si on
What types of coffee do you have?ເຈົ້າມີກາເຟປະເພດໃດແດ່?Chao mi kafe papheddai aed?
I prefer black coffee.ຂ້ອຍມັກກາເຟສີດໍາKhony mak kafe sidoa
I’ll have a coffee with milk.ຂ້ອຍຈະດື່ມກາເຟນົມKhonycha dum kafe nom
This coffee is delicious.ກາເຟນີ້ແຊບKafe ni aesb
How much does a coffee cost?ກາເຟລາຄາເທົ່າໃດ?Kafe lakha theoadai?
Thank you for the coffee.ຂອບໃຈສໍາລັບກາເຟKhobchai soalab kafe
Can I have a refill, please?ຂ້ອຍສາມາດຕື່ມເງິນໄດ້, ກະລຸນາ?Khony samad tum ngoen dai kaluna
This café has a cozy ambiance.ຄາເຟນີ້ມີບັນຍາກາດທີ່ສະດວກສະບາຍKha fe nimi bnaiakad thi saduaksabai

Learn Beyond Lao Coffee Culture By Mastering The Language With Ling

There is more to explore about the Lao language beyond its words and phrases used to refer to coffee. You will be amazed at the other stories the phrases carry. When you are ready to become more proficient in the Lao language, you may want to grab your phone, go to the Play Store or App Store, and Download Ling. It’s a language-learning application that makes the process of mastering a new language easier, even for newbies.

Ling offers a delightful approach to language learning, acting like a caffeine boost whenever you hit a roadblock in learning a new language skill. What’s more, it offers a dose of other languages you can learn to speak or write. Ling provides you with a personal AI assistant or tutor to guide you from harvesting, roasting, to perfecting the combo you use for each cup of language serving. Download Ling today, and let your language skills percolate to perfection!

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