Italian Coffee Drinks

Coffee is a popular drink in Italy and is typically ordered in the form of an espresso shot. The espresso shot is served at a bar where it is imbibed while standing and is generally finished off in 3 sips or less. Italian espresso is usually very strong. (***Keep in mind that sitting at a table will not only cost you nearly double the price of a regular espresso but it will also signal you out as a "tourist".)

While espresso remains the most popular type of coffee drink in Italy, there are many other types of coffee drinks one can order while in Italy. It is also possible to order a Cafe Americano, Caffe Latte or Cappuccino. 

Espresso - Consists of about 1.5-2.0 oz of concentrated beverage brewed by forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans.

Caffè Americano - Adding hot water to an espresso shot giving it a different flavor from a coffee made by a drip coffee maker.

Caffè Latte - Consists of one espresso shot, 1/2 glass of steamed milk and topped off with 1/2" inch thick milk foam.  In Italy, caffelatte is almost always prepared at home, for breakfast only. The coffee is brewed with a stovetop Moka Pot and poured into a cup containing heated milk. (Unlike the international latte drink, the milk in the Italian original is not foamed.). The drink is similar to a cappuccino the difference being that a cappuccino consists of espresso and steamed milk with a 20 mm (¾ inch) layer of thick milk foam.

Cappuccino -  Consists of espresso and steamed milk with a 20mm (¾ inch) layer of thick milk foam.

Certainly one thing we enjoy most when going to Italy is having a delicious morning cappuccino in a piazza of a small town while watching people, Vespas and other vehicles pass by. Customarily, a cappuccino (or any coffee drink with milk for that matter) is consumed anytime before 11am. Many restaurants/bars will and do make exceptions after 11am but there are stories of patrons in smaller towns who have been served reluctantly or denied their requests. However, we have never had any experience with being denied a latte or cappuccino at any time of the day so we're inclined to believe this is more myth then truth.

When you go to Italy be sure to try one or all of the coffee drinks mentioned above!
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