Debenhams' research revealed that three-quarters of their coffee drinkers had been confused by coffee menus, so the chain has produced a menu with speciality coffees described in simple terms.
Caffè latte is described on the menu as "really, really milky coffee". Cappuccino as "frothy coffee", mocha as "chocolate-flavoured coffee" and espresso simply offered as "a shot of strong coffee". The Plain English Campaign has been recruited to support the launch.
"I am surprised at the need for this, and their descriptions are not great."
Louie Salvoni of Espresso Service and the Coffee Council said: "Are Debenhams' customers living in some sort of time bubble? Do they only ever go to Debenhams and home again? Do they not watch TV or not listen to the radio?"
"I think they are going to cause themselves a problem. I'm going to go there and order a cappuccino, and if they ask me if I would like frothy coffee, I will say no - as a properly-made cappuccino is not a frothy coffee."
Debenhams when invited to comment, responded: "This isn't a publicity stunt. We were responding to comments and feedback from our customers that they find coffee names confusing, and we're certainly not trying to dumb down the nation's favourite hot drink."
By Lisa Jenkins
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