The "Caffè" in Italy
I had the idea from a question in a discussion of an exercise: in Italy cafè there are many different type of coffee, and many way to call them. I'd like to make a list, hoping you all will apreciate it. (Note: the word "caffè" can often be omitted).
- caffè espresso or caffè normale: is the most typical Italian coffee, it is made by the specific automatic coffee machine. If you ask just "un caffè" in any Italian bar, you'll recieve an espresso. It can be served in a little glass (caffè in vetro) or in a little cup (caffè in tazzina). The home-made variation is made with the "moka" (it is also called "caffè moka" or just "moka") you won't find it in bars, but in some hotels or BandB.
- caffè decaffeinato: decaffeineted coffee (usually prepared like an espresso);
- caffè corto or caffè ristretto: an espresso made with little water (it has the best taste of coffee with very low level of caffeine), the quantity can be half little-cup or less;
- caffè lungo: an espresso made using more water in the machine (it is diluited in taste but it has more caffeine);
- caffè macchiato: an espresso with a bit of milk, it could be "macchiato caldo" (with a drop of hot milk) or "macchiato freddo" (with a drop of cold milk) or "schiumato" (with a drop of milk foam), "macchiato chiaro" with a bit more milk, "macchiato scuro" a bit less milk;
- caffè corretto: coffee with any liqueur (grappa, amaretto, brandy, tonic liquor...). It has too particular variation: moretta (where the liqueur is a mix of anisette, rum and brandy) and resentin (once the espresso is drunk you clean up the cup with a bit of liqueur);
- caffè doppio: any type of espresso with double dose of coffe powder and water. It is automatically a double "normal" but you can ask even a "doppio ristretto" or a "doppio lungo". You can also ask a "caffè in tazza grande" (Note: in Italian bars "tazza grande" is around 150ml/5-6fl.oz) with all its variations.
- caffè all'americana or caffè filtro: the drip coffee. You hardly find this one in Italian bar: if you ask an "americano" you usually receive a normal espresso watered down (the difference between "lungo" is that in "lungo" the added water passes through the coffe powder);
- caffè napoletano: a coffee prepared with the typical Neapolitan coffeemaker;
- capuccino: coffee and milk foam, you can have it with or without cocoa powder.
- caffè alla turca: spiced coffee (in Italy it's made adding an infusion of cardamom, ginger and cinnamon to a "moka");
- caffè d'orzo: barley coffee;
- caffè al ginseng: modern water-soluble beverage with coffee, milk and ginseng essence;
- caffè in ghiaccio: espresso poured in a small cup with ice cubes. Sometimes it the ice could be served apart: ("caffè con giaccio a parte"). In Naples and its area almond milk could be added to the iced coffee;
- caffellatte: 50%coffee-50%hot milk;
- caffè shakerato: ice, coffee and a bit of liqueur mixed with a cocktail shaker;
- mokaccino: chocolate creme on bottom, espresso and cream on top;
- viennese: like a cappuccino (in a bigger cup) filled with whipped cream;
- el bicerin: traditional Piedmontese product, made of espresso, homemade drinking chocolate and condensed milk;
- marocchino: an evolution of "bicerin", made of cocoa powder espresso and milk foam;
- espressino: a small cappuccino cocoa powder or chocolate topping;
- espressino freddo or **crema di caffè": iced mousse of coffee;
- latte macchiato: a glass of milk with a bit of coffee;
- caffè criollo: espresso, cocoa and rum;
- caffè del marinaio: espresso, anisette and zest.
- caffè macchiato nero or macchiato scuro: sometimes this is the name of a drink with espresso and hot chocolate.
These are just a few types of Italian coffee: someone adds different other spices (pepper, cinnamon, orange slice, ginger, aniseed, vanilla...) or other toppings (walnut paste, nutella, white choccolate, gianduia, honey..) and you can combine different type of coffee and made your personal flavour.
Looking at the picture I remember a funny thing: the "caffè sospeso". This isn't a type of coffee, but the philanthropic custom (from Naples and its area) to pay two coffee and have just one of them, so the second one rest "on hold". When a poor person enter in the cafè, he can ask if there is a "caffè sospeso" and he reicives it without pay.. as if the previous customer had gifted it to the stranger.
What annoys me is when I walk in to an Italian-styled coffee place like Nero's and their posters for the drink sizes are entirely in Italian. When they ask me what size drink I would like, I say "medio" and they look at me puzzled and say "you mean medium?" which elicits the responce: "Well, you started it." I feel like walking in there and speaking nothing but Italian.
"medio" isn't a size for an Italian coffee: they're ristretto (0,5-1 oz.), espresso (1,5-2 oz.), doppio(3-4 oz.)/tazza grande(<6oz.), americano (>6 oz.). So if you say "medio" they understand you aren't Italian and they offer you an American size :)
In Nero's in England, under sizes, they have put medio themselves under 'sizes' so I said to them what they have written. I assume someone just read a dictionary and thought "oh, medio means medium. I shall make some posters".
lol. they would be like what are you saying. then say something nice about them with an angry face and they'd be like stop saying bad things about me calm down then just smile and leave.
I asked for a coffee at the coffee shop. The man asked, "is that to sit in?" I said, "No, I want to drink it."
There's an old joke that stingy people who don't want to pay extra for a cappuccino order "macchiato caldo in tazza grande" which ends being pretty much the same but at the cost of normal coffee :)
Also, in Naples and its area the ceramic coffee cups are usually heated before pouring in the coffee, to the point that it's painful to hold; it gives more time to taste and smell the aroma. Apparently it originated as a precaution during the epidemics at the beginning of the last century but it became a trend. It's also trendy to serve the coffee together with a glass of water, to drink before the coffee to better enjoy its taste or after it to clean up the bitter aftertaste.
the coffee cups, are usually heated even in Northen Italy: somebody asks "un caffè in tazza fredda" to be able to drink it immediately without pain! :)
And of course when ordering coffee in Italy then you should be aware that ordering just a "latte" will yield you a glass of milk. It would be the 'caffè latte' you're after. The Italian course here does teach you what "latte" means, but it's easy to forget when you're used to referring to something else as a "latte".
Benissimo, molto grazie.
Now i will be able to go into an Italian coffee shop and not get strange looks, like when I asked for a cappuccino in the afternoon. The waiter looked at me as if I had just arrived from Mars!
My girlfriend is Spanish, she only drinks "café con leche" that is our (I am Italian) Cappuccino. She got used to the strange looks for ordering a Cappuccino also after dinner. ;) It's not typical in Italy, but at the end is just a big "macchiato".
This document should be on a website so everyone can benefit from the knowledge.
Caffè in ghiaccio, caffè in ghiaccio con il latte di mandorla, caffè freddo, Espressino. In each part of Italy there are different ways to call the same thing. Espressino, marocchino, mocaccino are the same thing. Caffè espresso is good only on south. On the north of the country is too light.
You're right: the same beverage can have different names. For the rest, I completely disagree: espressino, marocchino and mocaccino are similar but different things, and "the espresso is good only in South" is an urban leggend: a recent research made by IIAC (International Institute of Coffee Tasters) pointed out that statistically the best coffe are made in Trieste: Neapolitan most famous bars didn't pass the test, the winners of the International Championship of Coffee Makers were from Alessandria, Turin and Bologna. And unnecessarily the strongest is the best: what made a coffee good is the origin of the grapes, the roasting of coffee, the grind, temperature and pressure of water, cleanliness and maintenance of the machine.
Non ci sono mai stata (ahimè!) ma alcune tra le persone migliori che conosco vengono da lì, quindi ne ho una buona conoscenza indiretta ;)
Thanks for putting this together!
vorrei caffè alla turca e caffè criollo. :D
what would you like to know about hot chocolate?
the most common hot choccolate are just the word-by-word translation of americans' (exept for the one with marshmellows:you could find it just in american chain of stores):
cioccolata calda = hot chocolate;
cioccolata calda con panna = hot chocolate with whipped cream;
cioccolata calda all'arancia = hot chocolate with orange flavour;
cioccolata calda bianca = white hot chocolate;