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Coffee in Italy

  • Coffee in Italy

    Coffee! Most of us start our day with an aromatic cup of coffee at breakfast to wake up, regular coffee that is. No misunderstanding here, we order a cappuccino when out for a nice dinner or when we are on holiday in Italy. Sometimes we drink an espresso, or a caffe latte. When we drink coffee or what kind of coffee we drink, all is fine, we just enjoy!

    This is different in Tuscany and the rest of Italy. Coffee is an important part of the Italian culture.

  • Around 1570 coffee was introduced to Italy in Venice by a famous botanist. At first only the rich could drink the fragrant hot coffee since it was only possible to obtain by prescription at the pharmacy! It was not long before the whole country was in the grip of coffee after the price fell sharply when it was no longer sold as medicine. Italians today drink an average of 7 to 8 cups of coffee a day! Italy became world famous for coffee after the invention of the espresso machine at the end of the 19th century.

  • Coffee gives you a boost, energy kicking in. The Italians see coffee more as a medicine. No one will sit down when having a caffè (espresso); they drink this at the bar.
    Coffee like coffee is meant to be, this is the Italian way. If you like flavours, vanilla, mocha, hazelnut for example, you will have to order these at home.
    Please note there are two prices used for coffee, a more expensive price when served at the table ‘ a tavolo’ and a different cheaper price at the bar ‘al banco’. The bar is always the place to be anyway!
    Sometimes you will have to pay before, put your receipt at the bar and you will be served your coffee (even quicker when you leave a small tip).

  • There is such a variety in coffees in Italy, how do I order the coffee I like?
    We have put together a list of many of the most popular the coffees in Italy for you. When you order coffee in a typical Italian coffee bar, know what you want beforehand, the barista asks you what coffee you would like. There is no menu and no time to waste.

    Just stay casual and cool when ordering your caffè macchiato at the barista. Piece of cake. In some areas of Italy a small glass of water will be provided, drink this before your coffee, it is to clean the palate.

  • This is how it goes, la dolce caffè vita by the To Tuscany team:

    Un caffè –
    An espresso as you know it. When you use the word espresso to order you will get one but Italians say caffè. Definitely you will have more success and fun ordering the Italian way.

    Un caffè ristretto –
    Extra strong espresso in a small cup! An unbelievable boost for your system this little coffee wonder.

    Cappuccino –
    Espresso with a little bit of warm steamed milk and foam. Without the well known cacao powder. Strong cappuccino? Cappuccino con doppio caffè. Less milk? Un cappuccino scuro. When the morning is over please order another kind of coffee to keep your barista happy. 
    When you order a cappuccino after lunch or, even worse, after dinner you will get a friendly but stern response. Do you really want a cappuccino now? Sometimes it is just not possible to order a cappuccino after 11 o’clock in the morning. Some restaurants won’t even be able to provide it.

    Latte Macchiato –
    Known by us as caffè latte. A glass of warm milk with a drop of espresso. Without foam and served in a larger cup. A proper morning coffee for the Italians.

    Caffè Americano –
    This is an espresso with hot water added. Together with the Lungo this meets a regular coffee. Italians almost never drink this coffee, this a tourist cup only. The Lungo is the stronger version.

    Caffè Lungo –
    Served in a larger cup, coffee where more water (40ml) has run through. When in craving of a regular cup of coffee this is the one to make you happy too.

    Caffè Macchiato-
    Espresso with a little bit of warm milk and foam. Other kinds are macchiato caldo – with hot milk, macchiato freddo, with a dash of cold milk, or macchiato con schiuma di latte, with milk foam, and milk foam only! This little bit of milk is fine to order the whole day.

    Caffè Doppio-
    Double espresso, strong stuff! Watch your heart rate.

    Un deca –
    Decaf coffee, un caffè deca, cappuccino deca etcetera.

    Caffè con panna –
    Espresso with whipped cream, in some countries (it is true!) known as a cappuccino.

    Caffè freddo-
    Ice-cold coffee, best to order in summer, espresso with ice cubes and sugar. Or order the more hip caffè shakerato (shaked!) all ingredients are shaken till creamy and soft. Nicely served in a champagne glass or wineglass.

    Caffè corretto-
    Espresso with a splash of liquor like Grappa, or bitter. Normally used as an aperitif.

    Coffee dessert- finish the day with a caffè affogato –
    Vanilla ice cream drowned in freshly made espresso. A scoop of ice cream with hot espresso poured over it. Gelato con caffè. Super easy to make delicious dessert.

  • Believe it or not, hot steamy creamy delicious chocolate milk does exist in Italy. Order a cioccolata calda and enjoy.

    And the list continues….

    While on holiday in Italy, remember to take a break the Italian way - Run into a bar, order a caffè and something sweet to eat, finish your coffee in three gulps, take a few bites of your sweet pastry and off you go again. This is a true Italian coffee experience!

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