It’s incredibly easy to find a coffee shop or bar with a good barista in Italy. Like Americans, the Italians appreciate a good espresso throughout the day. A cappuccino at breakfast, a caffe macchiato as a pick-me-up, or an espresso after dinner. But there are a few differences in the way an Italian takes his coffee. Here’s what you need to know.
- Coffee with milk, such as a cappuccino or caffe latte, is only consumed in the morning hours of Italy and never after a meal.
- A caffe, or simply an espresso, is sipped in the afternoon as a pick-me-up or after a meal.
- There are no size differentials in an Italian coffee shop. No tall, no grande, and definitely no venti.
- Bummed that you can’t get a venti? Don’t worry. Though coffee may come in smaller portions than you’re used to, it’s pretty typical to enjoy several throughout the day. Rather than order a doppio, coffee is best consumed in small, steady doses. Seven or eight espressos a day isn’t unheard of.
- But it won’t break your bank to do so. Coffee in Italy is refreshingly cheap. Anything over 2 Euros is a ripoff.
- Taking it to go? Don’t think so. Takeaway coffee isn’t a thing in Italy. Whether you’re in a hurry or not, your drink is coming to you in a porcelain cup. Either plan to stay for a moment or sip your coffee quick.
- Coffee is typically enjoyed al banco, or, at the bar. When you visit a cafe in Italy, you’ll see friends lined up al banco, chatting with a coffee in hand.
- When it’s time to order, simply ask for un caffe, rather than an espresso. And definitely don’t say “expresso” either.
- Coffee is often consumed on the go, and the absence of paper cups ensures that it is served at the perfect, ready-to-consume temperate.
- If you’re ordering from a bar (rather than a coffee shop), your coffee may be served with a glass of water. Drink this first, to cleanse the palate, then enjoy your coffee.
Not sure what to get? Stay tuned for our next blog post detailing a variety of popular coffee orders.