There isn’t anything more Italian than ordering an espresso at a bar.
But if you want a latte, will you end up with warm milk and no caffeine?
Or perhaps you just aren’t sure what coffee options there are available. Bars rarely have a menu.
And can you sit down once they hand you your cappuccino? Does that cost more?
So what is an iced latte in Italian?
Do you need to learn how to order a coffee for Italy?
Italian coffee culture isn’t the same as American coffee culture. Or English. So here’s a cheat sheet on how to order the coffee you want in Italy.
And what to expect from any Italian bar.
And if you don’t get the
First Things First, What Is An Italian Bar?
A bar in Italy refers to a place where you can enjoy your cappuccino and cornetto (an Italian croissant) first thing in the morning.
A place to buy gum or throat lozenges.
Or a quick sandwich for lunch when you’re running late.
And a bar is the place for an
Most important: a bar is somewhere that has a restroom/toilet.
Owning a bar in Italy means long hours and hard work.
How to Order a Coffee in Italy
So how are you going to order that iced latte?
A traditional bar experience begins with going straight to the cash register and paying for what you’ll be having.
Include any pastry, sandwich, juice, etc to your order.
Yes, you pay for first.
If it’s slow and a family-run place, they don’t hold to this rule. But technically, this is how you order anything at an Italian bar.
Pay first, then head to where the coffees are made.
Having a croissant and cappuccino standing at the bar should cost less than 3 euros. If you sit down expect to pay double. This is one
Then take the receipt to where the espressos are being made and tell them your order: ‘Un
The person behind the bar will check your receipt and will mark the receipt as being fulfilled by ripping it or marking a line through it.
Traditionally they will serve you a glass of water right away for you to drink before your cafe.
But if they don’t, you can always ask-they include it in the price of any coffee order.
The key is to have the water before your coffee. If you drink it after it implies that the cafe wasn’t great and you’re trying to get rid of the flavour.
*This is also true for ordering
Your Basic Coffee Options at an Italian Bar
Known to us as an espresso. It’s quick and neat. Acceptable any time of the day. Want more? Ask for a doppio. ‘un doppio caffe per favore’
Add sugar if you’d like.
If you want a splash of milk with your
⅓ caffe, ⅓ milk, and ⅓ foam this is your classic breakfast drink. You won’t see many Italians having one in the afternoon.
The opposite of a
Seasonal or Specialty coffees in Italy:
Try a shakerato. The name is an Italianized
Caffe al ginseng
A sort of ‘stronger’ cafe. It is a cafe that has ginseng added to it. The idea is it wakes you up even more.
Caffe al orzo
Looking for a decaffeinated option or something with a nuttier
Orzo in Italian is barley and it looks just like
I do recommend adding some sugar and/or milk. It’s what they drank in WWII when there wasn’t any coffee, that
Dec or decafenato
This means a decaffeinated caffe/cappuccino, etc.
A caffe corretto
This is a
If you haven’t tried Varnelli and you like anise, then you’ll love it. Made in Le Marche near the national park of Sibillini it’s the amaro of choice for Umbria and Le Marche. I find a whole shot to be way too strong but I do enjoy a splash occasionally.
How to Order c
offee in Italy: Just give it a try!
With practice I now have no issue stopping at a bar by myself and ordering a coffee. Infact going to an Italian bar for a caffe is a treat. So give ordering coffee in Italy a try, if you don’t get it right the first time there is always a second.
And if you need a coffee but have a long train/bus/car journey? Buy the chocolates called ‘pocket coffees’…just make to eat the whole thing at once!
Visiting Perugia? Make sure to enjoy a
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