Italians know good coffee. Internationally famous brands such as Lavazza and Illy are evidence of this cultured nation’s obsession with the bean. Those who embrace Italian cuisine and style deem a triple-shot soy vanilla latte as sacrilegious. Since the country’s coffee traditions are intrinsic at best, it’s wise to channel your inner Italian. Italian coffee — Photo courtesy of larsomat
To start, there will be no lazy mornings spent lingering over coffee. To get your caffeine hit the way the locals do, you need to go to the bar, which is the Italian equivalent of a café. Insider tip: Remain standing. Italian coffee shops charge a fee as soon as you sit down at a table. Consequently, a coffee bar is buzzing at 8 a.m. with customers standing shoulder-to-shoulder as if it were cocktail hour.
Coffee is everywhere you turn. Along the canals of Venice, for instance, you can’t walk more than a few steps without someone serving the ever-present beverage from a street vendor or a hole-in-the-wall restaurant.
Never ask for a latte. All you will get in return is a blank expression, followed by a glass of milk. Rather, ask for a caffé latte or a cappuccino con latte freddo. These milky delights are strictly morning beverages and served alongside a buttery pastry. However, every now and then rules are meant to be broken. The classic Italian macchiato has had a facelift in recent years, and now the once single espresso topped with milk has been transformed into a luxurious double shot with a frothy crest.
Join locals for an espresso pick-me-up around 3 p.m., but whatever you do, avoid the word espresso; it is a technical term in Italian. Rather, request un caffé or a short black. Well, when in Rome …