How to order a cup of coffee in an italian bar

Enzo Ricci,  Wednesday, 6 September 2017

espresso machine 

It is very easy to order a cup of coffee in one of the many bars in Italy. Follow these 14 simple rules for a real coffee tasting experience:

  1. Espresso (esprɛsso) is drunk in Italy at breakfast, after meals; in principle at any time.
  2. If you can't choose between an espresso and a cappuccino, then you can take a Caffè Macchiato (kaffɛ makkjato). This is a smaller cappuccino, served in a small cup.
  3. Don’t ask in a bar for an espresso, Italians do not use the word espresso. You can only say a caffè (kaffɛ) and the barista knows what you want.
  4. Someone will offer you a glass of water with the coffee. Drink the water to clean your mouth and prepare for the taste of coffee. Of course, you can also leave the glass of water in place.
  5. Espresso is robust and concentrated. Be careful not to drink more than three / four in a day.
  6. Cappuccino (kapputtʃino): only for breakfast with a croissant. NEVER after a pizza or dinner. NEVER in the evening.
  7. Drinking coffee together in a bar is a way to socialize: with a friend, with colleagues or with someone you have an eye on.
  8. Drink coffee standing at the counter. Otherwise, the barista can charge you three times the price.
  9. Stay away from coffee dispensers. It is just dirty water.
  10. If you want to drink something that older Italians drink, ask for a Caffè Corretto (kaffɛ korrɛtto): an espresso prepared with a little bit of Sambuca or Grappa.
  11. In summer, at 40 degrees, a Caffè Shakerato (kaffɛ ʃekerato) is delicious, a cup of coffee made with ice cream in a cocktail shaker. It is just delicious and is often served in a Martini glass.
  12. In cities such as Milan, Rome or Turin, there is a lot of experimentation with coffee: Ginseng coffee or Mocaccino made from hot chocolate, cappuccino and panna. Not italian, but for when you are curious.
  13. The coffee cups are often hot, and sometimes even steam comes off. That's because they are on top of the coffee machine. If you don't like this, ask for a cup of coffee in a glass, Caffè al Vetro.
  14. A barista is often very busy, so the simpler the order, the better.

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