Coffee drinking in Italy has its own rules and traditions, most noticeably distinguishing tourists from the local population. We won’t call you out on any faux pas at Caffè Strada, but we thought we’d share our tips in case you might be travelling soon.
1. Cappuccino, caffé latte, latte macchiato or any other form of coffee with milk is only to be ordered in the morning, and never after a meal. Trust us, just don’t do it in Italy.
2. Coffee flavor is sacred. That is because in Italy, they’ve been masters of coffee for centuries and they have it down to a science. Pressure is measured in bars, temperature to the tenth of a degree and brewing time is down to the second. Ordering a caramel macchiato in Italy is akin to asking for a knafeh without cheese. There are, however, a few exceptions to this rule. Ordering a marocchino is one.This drink begins with a shot of espresso served in a small glass dusted with cocoa powder, then hit with a blob of milk froth. Sounds tasty? We’ve got them at Caffè Strada.
3. Using the word “espresso” is an oxymoron, as a single espresso shot is the default setting, you can simply refer to an espresso as un caffè.
4. You have the option of ordering a double shot of espresso, or un caffè doppio, after a long night. It is seldom ordered in an Italian bar as Italians drink a lot of coffee, but in small, steady doses.
5. If you order un caffè, your barista might reply, “Liscio?” which means, “straight?”. Options include replying in the affirmative or a number of variations explained in rule 6.
6. There are but a few tolerated variations to coffee’s holy trinity of espresso, cappuccino and caffé latte: caffè macchiato or latte macchiato – an espresso with a dash of milk or a hot milk with a dash of coffee (in the morning, of course!); caffè freddo or (iced coffee), and caffè lungo or caffè ristretto if you would like more or less water in your coffee.
7. Everything else is heresy.