You may have noticed by now that Boston is experiencing extremely frigid temperatures currently.
Today’s temperature is 7 degrees Fahrenheit (or – 14 degrees Celsius). With the dew point and wind chill, it actually FEELS more like – 12 degrees Fahrenheit (or -24 degrees Celsius)!!
It’s important to keep your body warm while the temps are dropping outside. Lots of international students arrive to Boston unprepared for what the winter is really like here.
One way that many Bostonians like to get warm in the winter is by drinking hot coffee! You may have seen Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks cafes at almost every corner here in Boston already, and wondered what made them so important or popular. Even compared to Coffee-Producing countries like Brazil or Colombia, it seems like Americans are much more obsessed with drinking large coffees, multiple times a day, right? If you walk down State Street, near EC Boston, any time in the morning, I guarantee that about 90% of the people you pass are holding large coffees!
Sometimes students are nervous to go into Dunkin’s or Starbucks and order a coffee, but here are some simple English tips so you too can stay warm and enjoy a hot and caffeinated drink!
The benefits of going to Dunkin Donuts is that it is cheaper than Starbucks, and their coffee is not as strong as Starbucks (if you don’t like strong coffee). Their drink sizes are also easy to remember: Small, Medium, and Large. They usually have several different flavored syrups like cinnamon, coconut, or raspberry, that you can add to your coffee. In my opinion, Dunkins makes their coffees VERY sweet if you ask for sugar, so my own personal rule is 1 sugar for a small, 2 sugars for a medium, and so on.
When you go to order a coffee and are standing in line, the cashier will likely say:
“Can I help you?” or simply, “Next?”
You can say: “Can I have a small coffee with cream and sugar, please?” or, “Can I have a medium coconut coffee with milk and 2 sugars?” It’s easy! Just smile, say “please” and “thank you,” and don’t worry if you make a mistake or have to go slowly- the best part about Boston is that there are so many international people here, that most people are accustomed to being patient with non-native English speakers!
If you don’t love coffee, I also recommend Dunkin Donuts’ hot chocolate. It’s thick and delicious, and basically tastes like a melted chocolate candy bar!
Starbucks has stronger, more expensive, and fancier coffees. You’ll have to remember that they have different names for their sizes: Tall= small, Grande= medium, and Venti= large. Ordering coffee in Starbucks can be a little more challenging for an English language learner because they have all sorts of specialty drinks there like lattes (coffee mixed with steamed milk), frappuccinos (basically ice cream and coffee blended together- you must try it!), and shaken iced teas. One tip is to start simple, with a regular coffee order (like from Dunkin Donuts), but if you want a recommendation, try: A Grande Vanilla Latte which is strong espresso mixed with sweet vanilla flavoring and steamed milk, or a hot Grande Chai Tea Latte which is a spicy tea drink made creamy with steamed milk.
Good Luck ordering your coffees, and stay warm out there!