The fabulous range of Italian Coffee compositions
The core coffee order in a typical Italian bar or Caffè would consist of a "cafe" (espresso) or capucchino.
However, there are a few variations, you may want be aware of:
1. A cappuccino. The most famous Italian coffee in the world: milk heated with steam and a good coffee.
2. A caffè. You will immediately notice how curious this request is for the bartender, because he will hesitate for a moment to give you time to add the necessary suffix: con latte, ristretto, corretto, long, and so on. If you don't add anything, he will proceed with the order.
3. Latte Macchiato. Not a cappuccino or a caffè and milk, simply a glass of milk with a hint of coffee.
4. Un cappuccino secco. It means a cappuccino with only foam.
5. Un cappuccino chiaro. When there is little coffee.
6. Un cappuccino scuro. When there is a lot of coffee.
7. Un caffè lungo. Not two in one, but only one portion of coffee left longer than usual, therefore slightly more watered down.
8. Caffè Shakerato. Espresso shaken with ice, milk and sugar until frothy, usually strained into a martini glass or other elegant glass.
9. Caffè macchiato. The coffee macchiato is obtained by adding a "stain" of hot and frothy milk to the coffee.
Regional Coffee Insights in Italy
Caffè in the South of Italy
In the south, Italians love their coffee that is ristretto and strong, but at the same time creamy and served with a large glass of water. The aftertaste must always be firm and slightly bitter which will then be "adjusted" with sugar. Almost an obligation in the South, especially in Naples, is to serve the coffee in a heated cup in order to maintain its heat and maximize its flavor.
Caffè in the North of Italy
In the North, on the other hand, more delicate aromas with medium roasting and a sweeter aftertaste are preferred. Precisely for this reason the most consumed variety is Arabica which manages to reflect these characteristics. Espresso is the star of the bars followed by "Moroccan" or "corretto" coffee with hot milk and cocoa. There is no shortage of summer versions of coffee in the North, such as Caffè Shakerato, as a shaken coffee made with vanilla liqueur.
Have you tried any of these regional Italian coffees?
Campania - Caffè Napoletano
The tradition of Neapolitan coffee is closely linked to Giffoni's ancient production of hazelnuts, from which the Neapolitan wafers are also derived.
Like many popular recipes, there is no single version, but a series of variations on the theme of the basic ingredients which are coffee and hazelnut cream.
Marche - Moretta di Fano
Sweet moretta was the drink of fishermen of the late 19th century in the small town of the Marche, and is now drunk after a meal as a digestive or as an invigorating hot drink on a cold day.With its unique mellow aroma, it is composed of three homogeneous layers, each of its own color: the typical moretta amber-yellow layer, the toasted brown of the coffee, and the coffee cream color on top.
Puglia - Espressino
The cold espresso is an excellent drink to cool off in the summer heat, but usually people start ordering it in the bars when Spring arrives. The preparation of the cold espresso is based on coffee and cream with the addition of soft ice-cream. This version was very skillfully created in one of the bars in Lecce.
Piemonte - Bicerin
The ancestor of the famous Turin coffee Bicerin is the Bavareisa, an eighteenth-century drink of French origins in which coffee, chocolate and liquid cream were mixed together.
These days, it tends to be layered, and accompanied by a local dolci, such as meliga pastries, a typical shortbread from Cuneo.
Puglia - Caffè alla Salentina
It has been the official drink of Lecce summers, since the 1950s. For the barmen from Salento, the preparation is a true ritual that allows you to cool the coffee but without watering it down. To sweeten the extremely thirst-quenching drink, the Bari or Foggia almond milk is added. It should be placed at the base of the small glass before pouring a long espresso. Everything is then covered up with a lot of ice.
Toscana - Ponce alla Livornese
The Livorno-style ponce, as the name points out, is the Italianized version of the well-known English punch, but with coffee instead of tea. And this habit of the great British colony of Livorno, was immediately adopted by the locals. One part rum, one part hot coffee, sugar and lemon peel. Very often ordered as a special coffee after meals as a digestive.
Val d'Aosta - Caffé alla Valdostana
People from the Aosta Valley believe in friendship and loyalty. There is the strong local tradition to drink all together using the same wooden container or kettle, called the Cup of Friendship (Coppa dell’amicizia) or grolla (where it is produced). For the barista, for each cup of coffee, half of grappa or genepì, two teaspoons of sugar, a lemon and orange zest, cloves, cinnamon and juniper are required. A long, boiling espresso coffee is poured into the cup, then sugar, zest and spices are added. First, sprinkle the rim of the sugar cup moistened with the grappa, then pour the rest of it into the coffee.
Veneto - Caffè Padovano
Mentioning Caffè Pedrocchi to the Paduan people means recalling the glories of one of the most well-known Italian historical cafés. This recipe is linked to Antonio Pedrocchi, the one who in 1826 designed a coffee roasting business, including a bar, which soon became the meeting place for the intellectuals of the time. Cream placed on top of an espresso base, then the milk and a sprinkling of cocoa are added. In summer, when it is hot, this coffee is prepared the Pedrocchi style by adding the refreshing aroma of mint.