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When in Rome: How to Drink Coffee Like an Italian

My favorite spot in Florence, Caffé Giacosa. They serve the best cappuccino in Florence.

Warning:  If you order a “latte” in Italy you will be served a warm glass of milk!

There are four main ways to drink your coffee in Italy:

  1. an espresso, called “caffe” (a shot of espresso, think really strong coffee)
  2. a “macchiatto” (a shot of espresso with a dollop of frothy milk)
  3. a “cappuccino” (a shot of espresso with a lot of frothy milk)
  4. and a “latte macchiato” (a tall glass of hot milk with a shot of espresso)

Most cafes are NOT equipped with an American-style slow drip coffee pot, so if you order an American coffee (or cafe Americano), you will probably just get a shot of espresso mixed with hot water.

For beginners, I recommend trying a cappuccino. If you want to fit in, remember that cappuccinos and machiattos are only consumed in the mornings, it is a “no-no” to drink them in the later afternoon or after a meal!