Italian Coffee Culture-A Guide To Your Espresso

Types of Espresso Drinks

If you go to Italy and make some Italian friends, they will definitely invite you to have a cup of coffee. Of course it will be espresso. Not that they don't have American coffee in Italy but why don't you venture and choose one of the many kinds of espresso they have to offer.

Drinking coffee in Italy is almost like a ritual. A ritual that accompanies Italians throughout their day. Before they go to work, they have an espresso, on their way to work they might stop for a second espresso. They have another during their breaks and again in the evening. And so it goes.

What is Espresso

Making coffee is an art in itself and ordering "un caffe" in Italy usually means an espresso. This means to "press," and refers to the pressure applied to the hot water forced through the ground beans, creating this strong, flavorful mixture.

There are several types of espresso:

Lungo - More water (about double) is filtered through the grounds giving a weaker taste, but still stronger than normal coffee.

Ristretto - Less water is used, it gives stronger taste.

Doppio - That would be a double espresso, do not drink this unless you are planning to be up all night.

Corretto - With a dash of liquor.

Con panna - With cream on top

Macchiato - With a drop of milk.


Italians usually have several espresso coffees a day, usually after each meal. Espresso is prepared and drunk immediately. A good bartender must know not only how to prepare the perfect espresso but to serve it in the most appropriate cup. Unlike people in the US, Italians drink coffee from porcelain cups, but sometimes a glass one is served. The cup is almost as important as the coffee itself.

The tall, paper-cup Starbucks sized coffees do not exist in Italy. While visiting Italy, you can enter any modest looking coffee shop and still get a high quality coffee drink. Coffee is a culture in Italy, it's always good.

While visiting Italy I enjoyed drinking espresso from a glass - caffe al vetro. The glass did yield a special taste to the coffee.

It's best to go to a coffee bar early in the morning and watch the bartender being super busy preparing different cups of espresso. The requests for different types of espresso were so many and he was preparing each cup with so much care, yet super fast. It was definitely an art.

More by this Author

  • LA Fitness Membership Fees-How To Pay Less

    Exercising is one of the best things you can do for your health and shape so joining LA Fitness or other local gyms maybe on your mind if you want to start working out. You can do a lot at LA Fitness, pump weights,...

  • What do Bulgarian Women Like?

    Every woman is different but here are some practical advise for those of you who like a lady from Bulgaria and want to ask her out. Do the following, and you are sure to make a very pleasant impression to every...

Comments 6 comments

kensengnim profile image

kensengnim 5 years ago from Choco Rainbows

This is a very informative hub! :) Thanks for posting

Gypsy48 profile image

Gypsy48 5 years ago

I think I will have a Corretto(probably more than one) when I visit Italy! Informative hub.

Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

I am going to have to memorize these distinctions! I love coffee and am not always clear on what I am ordering. Thanks.

innersmiff profile image

innersmiff 5 years ago from UK

"Un espresso, por favore" is the only sentence in Italian I know, and the only thing I really want to know. Espresso is the only way to have coffee really.

datingonlinenow profile image

datingonlinenow 5 years ago

I just got an espresso machine!

oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 4 years ago from The Midwest, USA

Hi Angela, oh how I would love to go to Italy and have some coffee! This is a great hub sharing the different types of preparations of espresso and coffees. Thanks so much for sharing. :)

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article