ITALIAN COFFEE CULTURE
Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world. We love coffee, from espresso, coffee with milk that has many options, to coffee with alcohol or tea. We try to put coffee on every possible way. Just like coffee on tiramisu.
Coffee is one of the most important part of the Italian culture. Region to region, even some cities within specific region have their own coffee culture. The biggest difference is the taste between the North and the South.
In the South, the coffee tastes strong and creamy with a sharp bitter aftertaste. Whether in the North, they prefer a more delicate taste with a sweet aftertaste. But the similarity between the North and the South, most of them drink espresso without sugar. Do you dare to try?
Italian drinks coffee a lot, mostly espresso. 1 person can drink 6 to 8 shots of espresso a day.
I can drink 2 to 5 shots a day depending on what I do during the day. Can I sleep after 5 shots of espresso? Surely can! Sometimes I drink 1 shot after dinner and fall asleep quickly afterwards.
But why Italian drinks coffee so much?
Beside for an energy boost, coffee is also used for a little break during working hour.
Italians always start their day with a coffee and pastry at local bars. Don’t expect to see them having breakfast sitting on the coffee table enjoying morning with a cup of coffee. Most of them take the coffee standing up at the bar, aside from because a small shot espresso which takes a minute to drink, also because the bar will charge service fee if you’re seated at one of tables.
A shot of espresso at the bar normally costs €1.00, although some fancier places can charge more. But the price of a cappuccino at the bar is much cheaper than in coffee bar in Indonesia.
Before you go to Italy, knowing some types of Italian coffees can be useful so you won’t get confused when you go to a coffee bar!
Caffè is actually a shot of espresso which is served on a tiny cup. You can choose to put sugar or without sugar. There are 2 kind of espresso, caffeinato (normal coffee with cafein) and decaffeinato (without caffein). If you want to drink an espresso after dinner and worry about not sleeping after, you should take caffè decaffeinato.
Doppio means double in Italian. If you order doppio, you will get two shots of espresso. Double energy boost!
Lungo or Americano
Caffè lungo is a shot of espresso served with a glass of hot water and you mix it by yourself.
Everyone’s favourite beverage! It is basically ⅓ espresso, ⅓ steamed milk and ⅓ foam, you can ask the barista to sprinkle it with cocoa powder. Italians usually drink cappuccino only in the morning and won’t drink one after 11am. Only tourists drink cappuccino after 11am, including me. lol.
Do not mistaken macchiato as coffee with a lot of milk here! I got confused at the beginning when I ordered macchiato and I got a tiny espresso with foam. Yes! Macchiato in Italy is basically an espresso with a drop or two of hot milk and a bit of foam. If you want more milk and less coffee, just say Lattè Macchiato.
It is a shot of espresso, cocoa powder and milk froth, created in Alessandria, Italy. In the north of Italy, thick hot chocolate is mixed with espresso and a layer of foam on top.
Espresso mixed with a liquor such as Grappa or Cognac.
Shakerato is served during hot season when drinking normal espresso is too hard to bear. It is actually an espresso poured over ice, shaken to a froth and served without ice.
Caffè al Ginseng
My favourite coffee! Caffè al ginseng has a nutty flavour, an espresso mixed with ginseng extract and no need sugar cause it is sweet without any.
Those are some types of Italian coffees that you can find in any local bar. Oh by the way, bar in Italy has two meanings, bar as a coffee bar and drinking bar to hang out at night. It also made me confused at the first time I arrived here!
So, are you ready to experience the Italian coffee culture now? Get your ticket to Italy!
PS : When you go to a bar you can say “un caffè per favore!" (1 espresso, please!).