Ordering decaf coffee

This is something I feel I should have had down a long time ago…

I’ve been going out for coffee more recently and have been ordering decaf coffee a lot more recently too.

I’m not a fan of espresso (the fun is over too quickly!). If I wanted a decaf espresso, I believe just ordering a ‘descafeinado’ will suffice? There is no need to even say ‘café descafeinado’?

My coffee of choice is usually an abatanado or meia de leite.

But when I ask for an ‘abatanado descafeinado’ or ‘meia de leite descafeinada’ there is confusion and strange looks. Including one time getting two drinks - an abatanado and a decaf espresso :smile: I feel I’m teetering on the brink of having this happen every time I order!

What I am doing wrong here? Is using the word ‘descafeinado/descafeinada’ just confusing people?

Should I instead be asking for an ‘abatanado sem cafeína’ or a ‘meia de leite sem cafeína’?

@RickG, yes, we can just say descafeinado for a decaf espresso. And that’s the only type of descafeinado people are used to ordering/serving, as far as I know. Your other requests seem to be quite off script, which is why you’re confusing everyone :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: I think changing it to sem cafeína would just make it worse. Maybe try descafeinado com leite and then carry on explaining what you want in more detail, if necessary. I don’t even know if that’s a thing, but I think it’ll help if the first word that people hear is decaf.


Thanks very much for your reply, Joseph!

Yes, maybe it is quite ‘off script’ :smile:

I usually end up getting what I want in the end, but it’s a struggle getting there sometimes. (Probably all good practice for my Portuguese). The local cafes / pastelarias know my quirks by now too, which makes it easier.

I’ve had fun ordering coffees in the past.
I had another instance of getting two coffees when I asked for a ‘café abatanado’ (even though I was just at the cafe by myself). That ‘café’ really is redundant in this context.

Another time I feel I really irritated the guy behind the counter by continually saying ‘mais cheia’ when he presented my abatanado!

I don’t think I will ever “go native” with my coffee choices. Espresso makes more sense to me if you are drinking many a day but I just want one or two coffees a day that I can savour.
I’m also quite happy ordering a meia de leite after lunchtime :scream:
If I get deported from Portugal, you’ll all know why!

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I liked the humour in your posts Rick.
It had occurred to me that the “shaking of heads” was to be asked for a coffee without caffeine when the whole point of a coffee is the caffeine!!
I could see “b****** foreigners” going round in his head :grinning: :grinning: :grinning:

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