Ordering coffee in Italy isn’t difficult but it is different than in North America.
If you depend on caffeine each morning ordering coffee in Italy may be one of the most frustrating aspects of your holiday. I’m not particular as long as it has caffeine but I had to laugh when Michael from Go See Write was frustrated that his cafe normal wasn’t an americano.
How to Order Coffee in Italy
Perhaps the single defining difference of coffee in Italy is that it is often consumed while standing – something that never occurs in North America unless it’s in a disposable cup while walking down the street.
Asking for coffee or normal coffee is an espresso. Espresso is served on a saucer with a small spoon. Often you will also have a complimentary chocolate or biscuit.
Sometimes you are given a small glass of water. Some Italians say it is to cleanse your palate before drinking the coffee and others say it is for afterwards to refresh.
Espresso with a bit of steamed milk. Italians only drink this for breakfast, never in the afternoon.
Most similar to a latte, hot milk with espresso in a large glass.
Most similar to American coffee, it’s espresso diluted with hot water and served in a larger cup. While this may be available don’t be fooled, Italians do not drink this, it is only for tourists.
Caffè Americano Decaffeinato
An espresso with a bit of milk, sometimes foamed.
Coffee with ice and sugar shaken like a cocktail.
The most fun of them all, espresso with a shot of liqueur.