Introduced during the 1500s, coffee has played an essential role in Italian culture ever since. With everyday favourites such as cappuccino or café macchiato chosen for breakfast and espresso as an afternoon pick-me-up or after dinner – there is a coffee for everyone. Below we will discover different types of Italian coffee and the typical coffee-based drinks you can discover whilst travelling through the “Bel Paese” or “Beautiful Country”.
Probably the most popular Italian hot beverage featuring coffee, cappuccino includes milk and is made with Italian espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam in equal parts. Depending on your preference, you can increase or decrease these amounts to suit your tastes. Traditionally, Italians would have drunk cappuccino in the morning due to the milk content. To customise your cappuccino, you can add cinnamon or cocoa and during the summer you can make an iced version of this classic – the iced cappuccino!
Beloved by both Italians and tourists, the Caffè Latte is a milky drink generally consumed in the morning. It is important to point out that the Caffè Latte tends to be smaller in Italy than the versions you will encounter in other countries.
Caffè ristretto consists of a rather stronger version of espresso made with the same amount of beans but only half of the water. Perfect when you are in a rush, it is generally consumed in just one sip. This drink is served in a small cup like an espresso cup.
Ginseng coffee or “Caffè al Ginseng” in Italian, is a typical Italian espresso with a ginseng root extract which will give your coffee a nutty flavour. If you are a tea lover, this could be an interesting option for you.
This might be one of the one of the most distinctive beverages found in Italy and does not contain coffee at all, it is instead brewed with barley as a substitute.
Marocchino is considered as a dessert coffee drink, as it is prepared with a shot of espresso, a layer of foam and cocoa powder. Served in a glass and typically topped with a sprinkle of cacao powder, this delightful beverage looks as good as it tastes! Some variations may also include cinnamon or Nutella.
That’s how iced coffee is known throughout Italy. When you are seeking something cold and refreshing, this iced Italian coffee is perfect for you! Literally meaning “shaken coffee”, it is brewed by baristas by shaking espresso and ice in a cocktail shaker and served in a coup glass. Caffè Shakerato can be taken with sugar and frequently includes a drop of amaro or other liqueurs.
A Caffè Corretto, or “corrected coffee” is often used to describe an espresso coffee with the addition of alcohol. Italians love to add grappa, brandy, Sambuca, Irish cream, rum or anisette to their coffee; however, there are an infinite number of options available. Caffè Corretto is perfect for those who want to end a meal with coffee but do not want to sacrifice the taste of a good digestive.
As Italians enjoy coffee throughout the whole day, often as a break from work, this is an important ritual often shared with friends and relatives, or to welcome a stranger or a new acquaintance.