Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Un caffè per favore! How to drink coffee in Italy.


Melania
 Share

Recommended Posts

Ah, a good cup of coffee- something that many cannot start their day without. In Italy it is a staple and perhaps coffee's spiritual home. When drinking coffee in Italy, it is very different to other countries. The whole experience is filled with mysterious unwritten rules that somehow every Italian is born knowing.coffee.thumb.jpg.462ad5aabe11e4242ea40ce12df97b4a.jpg

 
Craving a cappuccino? Better check the time. Traditionally, any kind of milky coffees like lattes or cappuccinos are not ordered past 11 a.m. Italians consider this to be a breakfast drink, because milk. Yes, milk. Italians believe that milk plays a major role in digestion. Having too much milk later in the day or even after a meal is a strict taboo. No one likes an upset stomach! If you're in Italy make sure to head to the nearest coffee shop early and order your cappuccino with a fresh pastry...or two.
 

It's past 11 a.m, you've seen the Trevi Fountain and stood in line to get into the Colosseum and you're craving a caffeine boost. It is time for an espresso, which Italians call a caffè (I know, its confusing). A caffè is had after a meal and comes in the tiniest of cups. It is taken in one shot if you're in a rush or sipped slowly if you're not (I mean it looks ridiculous to sip it - the cup is so small). You'll see many Italian business people taking shots of coffee during their lunch hour, do not be intimidated, a caffè can be enjoyed by everyone! When you're ordering you can ask for "un caffè per favore" or if you would like a dash of milk "un caffe machiatto per favore" is also acceptable.

 

A coffee is also enjoyed after dinner, but sometimes with a twist. This type of coffee is called a "caffè coretto", which is an espresso shot mixed with an Italian spirit such as Grappa. They are small in size, but pack a punch! The caffè coretto makes you feel relaxed, but also gives you a bit of a buzz. It is common for young Italians to have a caffè coretto before a night out or even as a nightcap after the party. Either way, it makes for the perfect beverage before an evening stroll on a cold winter's evening. When ordering a caffè coretto the waiter usually brings you the Grappa on the side for you to mix yourself. Definitely sip this one! A caffè coretto goes well with a tiramisu, or on warmer evenings, stop for a gelato.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Un macchiato is perfectly acceptable at any time, the quantity of milk is minuscule, a latte e caffè no. Is my mind, as Italian, not really because milk plays a role in digestion. A cappuccino is a meal in itself. My question when seeing someone drinking a cappuccino after a meal is: are you not full already? Do you need more food on top of what you just had? I am a caffè sipper 😙. I also associate corretto mainly with a old people drink 😁 it was my grandparents used to start their day, caffè with grappa. But maybe it’s jut me. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of my favorite Italian memories was the afternoon cafe freddo.  Absolutely not the frappe you get when you Google it, but "back in the day". a cold second extraction of used espresso grounds.    It certainly had no milk, and I can't remember if it was sweetened, probably it was.   But at times when I wanted something cold and not alcoholic, it was lovely.

eGullet member #80.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don’t think I ever got a caffè freddo...my sister loves it, I will have to ask her. On my part cold coffee is bad and milk in coffee is equally bad 🤣 I don’t drink cappuccino and milk in coffee is a crime 😁. But I know I might be considered weird by many.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I drank black coffee for years, several pots a day, until it started telling on my stomach. Then I went to half and half. 

 

Have never been a fan of cold coffee, though I did drink iced coffee in Japan, where it seemed to be very popular.

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, Franci said:

Un macchiato is perfectly acceptable at any time, the quantity of milk is minuscule, a latte e caffè no.

 

That is why I drink them, @Franci!  And your explanation of why one wouldn't have a capp after a meal is spot on!

 

On 5/27/2020 at 8:12 AM, weinoo said:

2018_02_11_1654.thumb.JPG.bb93849bae5162f4a6e1029674df05b5.JPG

 

Don't forget the macchiato. Marked with a smidge of steamed milk.

 

Edited by weinoo (log)

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...