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What Are the Types of Coffee in Italy

February 11th, 2020 by Prontopia

Italy is the Makkah of coffee lovers. That's because Italians are serious coffee junkies. They came out with just about every possible combination, from "espresso" to "shakerato".

Keep in mind the following difference not to get confused: "espresso" is just one type of coffee, as all coffee in Italy comes out of an espresso machine. One could say that espresso is the basic element of any coffee, but -and this is important - not all the caffè you'll have in Italy can be called espresso, only the espresso that you will find described below!

Do you wish to try Italian coffee? If so, you might be wondering: what are the types of coffee in Italy? Below, you will find out.

Prontopia assistants can help you find the best bars and help with your Italian coffee order!

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1. Caffè espresso, normale or liscio

This is the basic coffee you can get at any bar. It comes in the cute, iconic ceramic cup. This is for true coffee lovers, short and strong. The taste of coffee is not altered by any other ingredient, unless you want to add some "zucchero" (sugar) to sweeten it.

2. Caffè doppio

Simple: two espresso coffees in one cup. Very strong.

3. Caffè lungo

This is not two espressos, but the water for one espresso runs a little bit longer than usual, resulting in a slightly milder espresso.

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4. Caffè in vetro

Many Italians prefer their coffee served this way. The funny thing is that any kind of coffee can be served "in vetro" - it just means that the drink is served in a small glass cup.

The reason behind this is that glass disperses the heat much faster than a ceramic cup, so you can drink your coffee faster if you're sensitive to hot temperatures.

Usually, you will hear this being ordered a lot during the summer. No one wants to wait long to drink coffee!

5. Cappuccino

Do we even need to explain it? The ingredients are milk heated with steam, and espresso. There's more foam in a cappuccino than in a latte.

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6.  Caffè macchiato

Caffè macchiato is an espresso with a little splash of milk in it, basically a small American Latte. "Macchiato" has two more specific combinations one can ask for, which are:

  • "Caffè macchiato caldo", a coffee with a splash of hot milk

  • "Caffè macchiato freddo", a coffee with a splash of cold milk

All clear so far? Let's move on!

7. Caffè schiumato

The "caffè schiumato" is very unique and not many know about this combination: it's an espresso with a bit of foamed milk on top. Yummy!

Trust us: you'll surprise the whole bar with this request!

8. Latte macchiato

Be careful not to confuse it with the American Latte or with "macchiato", which is the shortcut for the above mentioned "caffè macchiato"!

"Latte" literally means milk in Italian, so this is simple milk with a splash of coffee, the exact opposite of a "macchiato". For "Latte macchiato", there is a variation: "Latte freddo macchiato caldo", which is cold milk with a bit of hot coffee.

9. Caffè Shakerato

Ideal for the summer, it is perfect for a refreshing and energizing break, as it is made with coffee, ice, and liquid or cane sugar. This combination creates a cool drink with a delicious, dense foam.

Keep in mind that you may encounter variations in sugar dosage or amount of milk, as each bar has its own way of making it.

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10. Decaffeinato

Or "deca", for friends. This coffee is for those who like the aroma of black coffee beans, but fear the exciting effects. In fact, this is a caffeine-free version of an espresso.

Bonus: Caffè corretto

For those who are strong enough to try it, this coffee has the addition of alcohol. Usually you can choose to add sambuca or a delicious Italian grappa.

These are all the main ways to have a coffee in Italy, but as you can imagine, there are nearly infinite combinations, depending on personal taste and bars' imagination. Just for example, in Padova the famous Caffè Pedrocchi offers a special kind of coffee made with the addition of mint cream (see the pic below).

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To discover these kind of city specialties, it's best to have a Prontopia local person with you to choose where to have your next coffee break.

What are the types of coffee in Italy that are your favorites? Let us know what your favorite coffee combination is!

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©Photo Credits: Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash, Photo by Jason Wong on Unsplash, Photo by GC Libraries Creative Tech Lab on Unsplash, Photo by Demi DeHerrera on Unsplash, Photo by Prontopia


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