Italian coffee is an integral part of the Italian way of life. Who would not like to start the day with a good coffee in the morning? Italian coffee drinkers have their very own habits and usually drink their coffee standing up in a bar. You will look in vain for filter coffee there. Whoever orders coffee (caffè) in Italy is served espresso.
Italian coffee according to the way it is prepared
As already mentioned, traditional practices are not the same everywhere. Would you like to order a coffee (caffè) in Florence? Then the friendly waiter will serve you a fantastic espresso. Italians understand coffee as espresso. When you visit Italy, you can decide according to your taste whether you prefer a strong (caffè doppio, with double the caffeine content), weaker (caffè lungo, with double the ration of water) or even a decaffeinated coffee (caffè decaffeinato).
Here is a small overview of preferred Italian coffee specialties:
- Caffè – Espresso, the most popular drink of the Italians, the classic way to drink coffee. Italians do not drink their espresso until the afternoon. You get the Italian espresso presented in a thick-walled espresso cup.
- Caffè Macchiato or originally Macchiato – spotted coffee, takes second place on the popularity scale of the Italians. It is an espresso refined with a sip of milk.
- Latte macchiato – spotted milk, this Italian coffee specialty consists of three layers and is served in a tall glass. First, hot milk is poured into the glass, then milk foam is poured over it, and finally, the espresso is slowly poured through the milk foam. The air contained in the milk foam, which remains on the surface, creates the three layers. In Italy, latte macchiato is drunk at breakfast or a little later in the morning.
- Cappuccino – consists of one-third espresso and one third each of hot milk and milk foam. Decisive for a good cappuccino is the mixture ratio between espresso and milk. The higher the fat content of the milk, the better the milk foams for a perfect taste experience. The Italian drinks cappuccino as well as latte macchiato for breakfast.
- Caffè Latte – milk coffee, is a cappuccino without foam. It is served in a cappuccino cup, but the frothed milk is missing. Its origin is not in Italy. When the Espresso spread all over the world it was quite bitter and strong. Some people had a problem with bitterness so they added hot milk. Be aware. If you only say “latte” to an Italian waiter but you mean the coffee, you will get milk. Always use the full expression.
Where does the Italian drink his Caffè?
A café or bar is the place where Italians meet friends, chat, read the newspaper, or come to drink coffee. This bar is almost like an institution; one repeatedly visits it. Caffè or espresso is a tradition in Italy and is never served in a paper cup. Coffee enjoyment is generally celebrated in ceramic or glass cups. No matter which hot coffee drink you want to order on your visit to Italy, you will get it in a decent drinking vessel.
Italian roasting is the darkest of the conventional roasting grades for Italian coffee. This type of roasting results in a slightly bitter taste, but the coffee also has a lower acidity than filter coffee, for example. For this reason, Italian coffee is very digestible. In Italy, the strength of the coffee roasting is linked to the region in which the roasting plant is located. In the southern areas of the country, the roasting process is more concentrated, which is why you will need more sugar for your coffee in the south than in northern Italy. The number of small roasting plants with their own craftsmanship has been dramatically reduced in the country. Italy owes its excellent reputation as a coffee nation decisively to these small craft businesses.
Italian coffee culture has always had new methods of preparing coffee without losing taste. You have to experience Italian coffee to be able to enjoy it in all its nuances of flavor. For Italians, their coffee (caffè) is a daily ritual.
To find out about the impact of coffee on your health, read here.