Italian coffee is one of the world’s signature beverages. It’s no wonder that there are many different types of coffee out there. Each one has its own unique brewing process, so finding out the intricacies of each type can be useful if you plan on visiting Italy.
Below are some of the most common types of coffee that is served in Italy.
- Caffè (Espresso)
While the direct translation of caffè means coffee, it also refers to a shot of espresso. This type of coffee is served in a small cup and is drunk in small sips that can last you the entire day. This can also be served with different variations or additions. Usual add-ons include liquor (grappa, sambucca, or cognac), which turns it into a caffè corretto. It’s possible to add a shot of Irish cream as well.
- Caffè Latte
This is a drink that’s almost equal parts milk and espresso. The term latte is already familiar in many parts of the world, so you might not be so surprised to see this on a menu. Because of the how much milk is in this particular drink, Italians would usually take this in the mornings to start their day.
- Caffè d’Orzo
For those who don’t want to watch their caffeine levels, this is the perfect coffee for you. Made from barley, it’s a great option if you don’t want to have a sleepless night while still enjoying a cup of coffee. Some variations of this drink include taking it with a slice of orange, giving it a nice citrus flavour.
- Caffè al Ginseng
Another unique coffee drink, caffè al ginseng is a blend that’s reminiscent of chai tea latte, with its distinctly nutty flavour. This espresso is mixed with ginseng extract, which is said to give drinkers a boost in energy and keep them alert. It also helps with digestion, making it the perfect drink to have after a meal.
- Caffè Americano
Despite being a diluted version of the classic espresso, it’s still stronger than the average American cup of joe. It’s basically prepared by brewing espresso with hot water. It has a similar strength, if somewhat different flavour, with drip coffee.
Perhaps one of Italy’s most famous coffee, cappuccino can be found in practically any café around the world. A typical cup of cappuccino is made from equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and foam. Its name is taken from the color of the robes that the monks of the Cappuchin order wear. Italians traditionally drink a cup in the morning, before 11am, since they consider it a meal in itself thanks to the foam and milk in it. However, don’t let that dissuade you from drinking it in the afternoon or evening.
A macchiato is essentially a cappuccino with less milk and froth. It’s made with an espresso with a little bit of hot milk. And because it doesn’t have as much milk or froth, Italians find it perfectly acceptable to take this at any time of the day.