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The Ultimate Guide for Ordering Coffee in Italian

The Ultimate Guide for Ordering Coffee in Italian

Coffee - it's one of the first things we think about when we wake up and we all know that Italy is the "coffee paradise".

And wouldn't it be nice if the next time you are in Italy, you could order your coffee in Italian?

So, don't be shy, do through this article and learn how to order your next coffee in Italian!

Everything You Need to Know Before Stepping into a Bar:

1. It's ridiculously cheap!

That's right, coffee in Italy is probably one of the cheapest things you can get! An espresso is normally between 0,80 cents and 1,10 euro (depends on the location of the bar). A cappuccino is usually somewhere around 1,50 euro. I would say, pretty cheap right?!

2. Lo scontrino comes first (or almost always).

This might be confusing but most of the times before ordering your coffee you should pay for it at the cassa and get the scontrino (the receipt). Only then you can go to the barista and order your coffee. Some local places might allow you to order first and pay afterwards. 

3. Want to drink coffee like an Italian? Know what to order and when...

Let's get this straight from the beginning, in Italy nobody orders an espresso, if you want to have an espresso you should simply ask for a caffè. Another very important tip, please don't order a cappuccino after 1-2 pm... In Italy coffee drinks that include milk are only order in the morning, for breakfast. 

4. Drink your coffee standing, there is no time for sitting.

You have probably already noticed that in Italy people drink their coffee standing. Why is that? Because it's costs less than sitting and because they are always in a hurry. If you sit at a table and the waiter comes and takes your order it means that automatically your "cheap" espresso will become not so cheap anymore. Because of the waiter serving you the price of the coffee will be doubled or even tripled, so why pay more? Also, Italians drink at least 4-5 coffees a day and if they had to sit down every single time, their whole day will be gone! To sum up, no reason to sit on a table, just go Italian, look at the barista and ask for a caffè!

5. Yes, you can ask for a glass of water!

When drinking coffee you should be always drinking a glass of water because we all know that coffee dehydrates you. The good news is that in Italy you are always welcome to ask for a glass of water with your coffee. 

The Different Types of Coffee in Italy

Here are the different types of coffee in Italy (or at least the most common ones):

  • Caffè - simply an espresso.
  • Caffè doppio - it's a double espresso.
  • Caffè lungo - same as an espresso but it's made with a little bit more water (almost double), so it's a bit less strong.
  • Caffè ristretto - a "shorter" espresso version, it has the same amount coffee as the normal one but it has half the water, so it's really strong!
  • Caffè americano - an espresso to which boiling water has been added.
  • Cappuccino - no need for explanation, i think!
  • Caffè macchiato  - an espresso with a little bit of milk. If it's macchiato caldo (warm), they will add steamed milk, otherwise they will just add normal milk. 
  • Caffè con panna - an espresso with a bit of cream on top
  • Caffè latte - an espresso to which a large amount of warm milk was added.
  • Latte macchiato - steamed milk served in a tall glass with an espresso added on top 
  • Caffè corretto - an espresso with a little bit of liqueur, usually a grappa. 

Useful Phrases for Ordering a Coffee in Italian

Vorrei ordinare un caffè. - I would like to order a coffee.

Un caffè macchiato per favore. - One espresso macchiato please

Lo preferisce macchiato caldo o freddo? - Do you prefer with warm or cold milk?

Potrei ordinare un cappuccino? - Can I order a cappuccino?

Si può fare il cappuccino con il latte di soya? - Is it possible to make the cappuccino with soya milk?

Devo pagare prima di ordinare? - Do I have to pay before ordering?

Mi può fare un caffè corretto con la grappa, per favore? - Can you make me a caffè corretto with grappa, please?

Posso avere anche un bicchiere di acqua? - Can I have a glass of water?

Andiamo a prendere un caffè! - Let's go get coffee!

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