What do You Need to Know When Doing a Coffee Pause in Italy

To some extent, it can be said that the Italians invented the way on how the rest of the world prepares and serves coffee. If coffee has a spiritual home, it is Italy, without any doubt.

Foreign attempts to adapt the coffees in strange milkshakes and frappins is regarded as desecration in Italy – where coffee is traditionally served. Many international chains have yet to open cafés there, while independent cafés that are equipped with professional barges and waiters can be found everywhere. Some cafés dates back from early 18th century. Café Fiori in Turin served coffee for Nietzsche on which they can be very proud, and on the other hand, café Gran Caffe Renzelli is a family business that dates back from 1803.


You can regard your first Italian coffee as an unofficial ceremony. First rule – do not order double vanilla latte with whipped cream. Most of the Italian coffees can be ordered in one word and the most usual word for coffee is espresso. Macchiato is an espresso coffee drink with a small amount of milk. Americano is a type of coffee drink that is prepared by diluting an espresso with hot water, thus by giving it a similar strength to – but different flavor from traditionally brewed coffee. Anyway, the king of white coffees is definitely cappuccino and is traditionally prepared with double espresso, and steamed milk foam as well.

Italian coffeeThere are no sizes of coffees in Italy. The standard cappuccino is served in a porcelain cup of 180 milliliters. Skim milk almost does not exist, but there is a possibility that you may find a coffee without caffeine. Also be very careful when you are ordering latte. The word “latte” in Italian means milk, and in this case you can receive milk instead of coffee. If you order coffee latte on example, you will get warm milk with a little coffee.


In Italy, there is almost no option for a coffee to go. Except for the railways, you will rarely find a coffee to go. Whether you are in a hurry, then you are expected to sit in the cafeteria. Italians are not accustomed to sitting in a couple of hours. A coffee break is known as “una pausa”, and literally what actually represents. Take a bite from the bun, swallow the espresso, exchange some words with the waiter for some political scandal, and move on.

Traditionally, cappuccino is drinking in the morning. Some might even consider it as a mistake, if you are drinking cappuccino after 10 AM. However, drinking cappuccino in the afternoon or at night is not illegal, but it will be good to apologize for that gesture when ordering.


One of the nicest things about Italian coffee is that no matter what part of the country you are in, the quality is always great. As much as they like pasta, the Italians love the coffee roasted, bitter and with a brown foam. You will not be able to find fruit tastes or coffee art in Italy. There are none who wants to wait for more than 10 minutes for the waiter to bring coffee. The speed of Italian bartenders is really incredible.

Italian coffee 1


Although simplicity is the best thing, Italian coffee culture allows small variations – some of which are regional. Caffè corretto is a espresso with a little bit of alcohol. Doppio is a double espresso that is the best option when you had a hangover or when you are tired also. Ristretto is an espresso with less water, but with the same strength. Cappuccino scuro (cappuccino scrub) is a cappuccino made with less milk. Bicerin is a specialty of the Piedmont region, especially Turin, which dates back from the 19th century. It is made of a layer of espresso, hot chocolate and milk and is served in a bowl glass. Similar like bicerin is the marocchino (Morocco), another Piedmont invention that is a mixture of espresso, cocoa and milk.

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  • Bee
    March 10, 2018, 6:59 pm

    Don’t order an espresso, it’s “un café, por favor”.


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