Thailand has some of the best coffee in the world! Thailand is a paradise for coffee lovers, especially in the northern city of Chiang Mai, where there are coffee shops on every corner.
Thai people love coffee, and most coffee beans are grown and roasted within the country. In the south of Thailand, it's still more popular to be served instant coffee like Nescafe or powdered coffee.
If you're a person who loves a caffeine kick, you need to know how to order coffee in Thai!
Coffee in Thailand is bold and strong. Really, really strong. You can get all the usual types of coffee here, but be aware that 99% of the time, there will be sugar or sweetened condensed milk or syrup in the coffee.
Later in this article, we'll teach you how to ask for coffee with little or no sugar and how to ask for no milk, which is also a common ingredient in Thai coffee.
Thai people also make the best-iced coffee anywhere. It's delicious and thick (if you like it Thai style) and refreshing. It isn't easy to find a place that doesn't make a great coffee!
A great cup of coffee can cost as little as 30 baht ($1). However, if you prefer Starbucks, you're going to pay an arm and a leg, and honestly, Thai coffee is much better. The only bonus to paying for a 150-300 baht ($5-$10 and up) coffee at Starbucks is their specialty drinks.
Most coffee shops are takeaway. Your coffee may be served in some interesting ways if it's cold such as in a plastic bag with a straw or a plastic bag within a paper bag that looks like a gift bag. Most of the time, iced coffee is served in a paper cup with a lid and a straw.
Hot coffee is served in a plastic cup with no straw and a lid. The best thing about takeaway coffee in Thailand is the special plastic slip with handles you can get with coffee!
It provides handles to hang your coffee on your motorbike or easily hold it while holding other things in your hands.
It slips around your coffee cup like a sleeve leaving the plastic handles on top for you to hold. Genius!
No, no, there isn't. Thailand is a highly caffeinated nation. Thai people love caffeine, and if they aren't drinking coffee, they're drinking Thai Red Bull (M-150). So, if you love the taste of coffee but can't drink caffeine, it's best to bring your own from overseas.
You'll also see signs everywhere selling coffee, and they all say กาแฟสด gah-fae-sot, which means fresh coffee.
When ordering a coffee, the most important distinction is whether you want it hot or cold (iced) or blended. Blended coffee essentially means a coffee smoothie with ice!
Once you've decided if you want to hold col (iced) or blended coffee, it's time to choose which type of coffee you would like. Thankfully, all the names are borrowed and sound very similar to English, so don't worry if you don't get the accent quite right!
*Be aware that espresso coffee is rarely served the way you imagine; Italian style. It's nearly impossible to find a coffee shop that serves espresso shots.
Rather in Thailand, they will put a shot of espresso (it's just strong coffee) into a cup and create a regular cup of strong coffee. It's often served with milk and sugar too.
Let's combine these and learn how to say coffee in Thai when it's hot, cold (iced), or blended.
To order coffee in Thai is super easy. Add the word 'want' เอา ow in front of the type of coffee you'd like this:
|I'd like an iced expresso||เอาเอสเพรสโซ่เย็น||ow-es-press-o-yen|
|I'll have a hot americano||เอาอเมริกาโน่ร้อน||ow-a-mer-i-can-o-ron|
|I'd like 2 iced americanos||เอาอเมริกาโน่เย็นสองแก้ว||ow-a-mer-i-can-o-yen-song-gao|
|Can I have 3 hot cappuccinos?||เอาคาปูชิโน่ร้อนสามแก้ว||ow-ca-po-chee-no-ron-sam-gao|
If you're ordering more than one of the same type of coffee, you would include the number in Thai along with the word glass "แก้ว gao" (even though it's served in a cup.)
Make sure you speak clearly and that the barista has heard you. Confirm it by repeating your order. All too often, you'll get your coffee and be filled with disappointment when you realize there's milk or sugar. It's a habit for baristas to put it in, so you can politely ask them to make it again.
Here are some examples in context:
Well, there aren't any choices. Hot coffee is served in small cups, and iced coffees are served in the same sized cup unless you buy coffee from 7-11, Lotus's, Amazon Cafe, or Starbucks.
Now you should feel confident ordering your morning coffee or any time of day. Thai drinks it all day long!
Quite a few Thai words, like the words related to coffee, are very similar to their English counterparts. It can make learning Thai easy! If you'd like to know more and feel less overwhelmed about communicating on your visit to Thailand, why not try a language app? We have the perfect option for you.
Ling has Thai and over 60 other languages waiting for you! You'll be able to listen to native speakers in real-life contexts and conversations while learning how to write, read, and speak.