Italian coffee culture is strong, just like the espresso, and cafes are always full no matter the time of day.
Australia also has a strong coffee culture serving up excellent coffee that would take a lot to beat.
So what is it that is so special about Italian coffee. Why do we all fantasize when we think or talk about enjoying a cup of coffee in Italy? I suppose we all have our reasons and suggestions but I guess for me, it is just the fact that I am drinking coffee IN I T A L Y.
In Italy a cafe or coffee shop is actually called a “bar”. You will see hundreds of bars around Italy, and in Rome they are on almost every corner and sometimes up to three or four in one block
Italians don’t linger, they drink their coffee at the counter and fast. Espresso is an essential, so they don’t waste time sipping while reading the paper or visiting with friends. Instead, they’ll pop into bars five or six times a day for a quick cup, gulped down at the counter over some banter with the barista and continue on with their day. In Australia it is more of a social event to meet for coffee and chat for ages, rather than the need for a quick pick me up.
So for an authentic experience, join the masses standing at the bar. The most important thing is that you take in the bar’s atmosphere, breathe in the scent of freshly ground coffee and sweet pastries, and enjoy the taste of real Italian coffee. If you do feel like sitting, be prepared for a slightly larger bill. In the big cities, it is usually twice the price or even more if you use table service.
There are many many types of different cups of coffee; however Cappuccino is Italy’s most famous coffee drink. The cappuccino is a warm, soothing, perfect ratio of espresso to whole milk, frothed to perfection. Be warned,they do come with an unwritten rule — you cannot order them after noon, unless you want to risk being scorned. Italians have a weird thing about drinking cappuccino only in the morning. You’ll never see an Italian order a cappuccino after dinner, yet it’s almost all they drink in the morning.
If you see a bunch of people sitting around drinking cappuccini at three in the afternoon, you have probably found the tourist bar.
Cappuccini are fantastically frothy, and the espresso is always made with quality coffee beans and ground on site.
If you request a caffe’ or coffee, what you will get is espresso in a demitasse, which is very strong coffee served in a tiny cup. The best espresso has strong caramel coloured foam on the top, which is the “crema.” Generally, the thicker the crema, the stronger the brew will be.
Ask for a latte in Italy and you will be served a large, tall, glass of milk. The correct way of ordering this drink is to request a caffe con latte – coffee with milk. Essentially a shot of espresso and double the amount of hot milk, this drink is topped with a little foam.
Coffee is one of the favourite drinks in Italy. It is consumed not just for breakfast but throughout the day.