September 10, 2007

#01-018: A Cuppa Joe: Ordering Coffee

A cup of black coffee

Note: Many people enjoy meeting friends over a cup of coffee (or tea). Here we see three friends ordering their drinks.

Get Ready: Do you ever meet friends for coffee, tea, or a light snack? What kind ofplaces do you go? What do you order?

Three friends, Larry, Curly, and Mo (short for Maureen, a woman's name) are in a coffee shop.

Waitress: What can I get you folks today?

Larry: I'll have a cuppa Joe.

Mo: Me too!

Curly: Me three!

Waitress: All right. And how do you take it?

Larry: Do you have any non-dairy creamer? I'm lactose intolerant.

Waitress: No problem, sir.

Mo: And do you have Sweet 'N Lo or Equal? I'm on a diet.

Waitress: Of course. How about you, sir? Anything special?

Curly: Nope! I like my coffee black.

Waitress: OK, that's three coffees, one with creamer, one with artificial sweetener, and one black. How about some pie today?

All three: No thanks!


Read more:

Practice: Match the term to its definition below:

  1. a cuppa Joe
  2. black
  3. coffee shop
  4. lactose intolerant
  5. Me three!
  6. No thanks!
  7. non-dairy creamer
  8. Nope!
  9. Sweet n Lo, Equal
  10. three coffees

  1. me, too (said by a third person, to be funny)
  2. a cup of coffee
  3. a slangy way to say "no"
  4. "I don't want any."
  5. three cups of coffee
  6. a type of restaurant for informal dining
  7. with no cream or sugar
  8. can't have milk, cream, or any dairy product (products made from milk)
  9. a powder that tastes like milk but has no milk in it
  10. popular low or no calorie sweeteners
Answers are in the first comment below.

Explanation of the Answers: After you check your answers in the first comment below, read on for more information on these words.

  • a cuppa Joe: Americans have a lot of slang terms for coffee, including "Joe" and "Java." So "a cuppa Joe" or "a cuppa Java" is simply "a cup of coffee."
  • coffee shop: These days, most people think of Starbucks and other specialty coffee places as "coffee shops." But before the lattes and the frappes, a coffee shop was a type of restaurant for informal dining.
  • lactose intolerant: see "non-dairy creamer"
  • Me three!: Curly is making a little joke. "Me too!" sounds like "Me two!" So Curly adds "three" to Mo's "two/too."
  • No thanks!: Be careful with this! "No thanks" means "I don't want any." It does not mean "You're welcome!"
  • non-dairy creamer: Some people drink coffee with cream, others with milk (it's cheaper). But Larry is "lactose intolerant." That means he can't drink milk, cream, or any dairy product (products made from milk). So he wants a substitute, a powder that tastes like milk, but has no milk in it.
  • Sweet n Lo, Equal: These are brand names.
  • three coffees: "Coffee," as a liquid, is an uncountable noun. Properly, the waitress should say "three cups of coffee." But we often refer to such drinks without units: "two waters" (two glasses of water,) "five beers" (five bottles of beer,) etc.

So have a cuppa Joe and relax while you read another lesson!

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for September 10, 2007

This lesson received 149 visits on my old site between January, 2012, and June, 2021.

1 comment:

  1. Answers to the Practice: 1. b; 2. g; 3. f; 4. h; 5. a; 6. d; 7. i; 8. c; 9. j; 10. e