Since Venice was one of the first European ports to bring in coffee beans back in the 16th century, coffee dates back for ages in Italy. Italy really emerged as the world’s leader in coffee in 1901 when an inventor by the name of Luigi Bezzera had the bright idea to force pressurized water through a handful of coffee powder to produce what we now know as an espresso. It got its name since it could be prepared expressly for the customer and because the water used had to be expressed through the coffee.

Espresso machine filling mug
Espresso machine filling mug

The first American coffee bar in Florence, Italy was Caffee Maranesi. Back then, the person who prepared the coffee was called a barman, until the word barista was introduced. The coffee shops became a place where people would gather and exchange ideas and their plans for the day. By the late 1950’s, most Italian people drank coffee at home, as this was around the time that everyone was using a machine called the Moka Express to make their coffees. Nowadays, Italy is one of the world’s biggest coffee roasters with tons of coffee shops situated on every corner. Seeing as to how coffee was basically born in Italy, it’s no wonder that Italians do coffee differently. Keep reading to find out all about Italian coffee culture.

How to Drink Italian Coffee

When visiting Italy, the locals can always tell who the tourists are just from the way they consume their coffee. The only way to drink your coffee like a true Italian is to have it setting at the counter in an Italian coffee bar. You can do this while meeting with friends or while you relax and have a moment to yourself. If you’re not sure on exactly how to drink coffee like a local, simply spend some time watching the locals and you’ll be sure to pick up some hints. You can find them walking in large groups, with friends, making their coffee orders with the baristas, and then sipping very slowly on their coffees before paying and leaving. All of this usually takes less than ten minutes.

Different Italian Coffees

There are several different types of coffees that are popular in Italy, however, the most well known one is the espresso. If you happen to be in the Northern Italy area, instead of ordering an espresso, you would ask for a caffe liscio. If you do order this way, you will definitely look like a local. If you like your espresso with extra water, then you want to ask for a lungo, and for a more condensed espresso, order a ristretto. Since there are no cup sizes in Italy, a cappuccino is served in a pretty small sized cup. An Americano is served in two parts — an espresso and a small jug with hot water so that you can add as much or as little as you want. If you’re wanting a small cappuccino with just a little milk, order a macchiatone. If you’re a latte lover, order a caffe latte, otherwise you may be served only milk in a glass. Italy also has a caffe con panna, which is basically an espresso with a huge dollop of fresh whipped cream on top.  Also, Italians are used to having alcohol in the daytime, and serve up an espresso with a shot of liquor, which is called a corretto. In the summertime, Italians drink several cold coffee drinks, such as the caffe shakerato, caffe affogato, and the caffe crema.

Oldest Italian Coffee Shops

Coffee and beans
Coffee and beans

Coffee shops have grown to be a wonderful place for customers to relax alone with a good book, to meet for business, or just to enjoy a delicious coffee. Coffee shops are my favorite place to be when I just want to people watch or enjoy a quiet afternoon. I almost always bring my laptop along so that I can enjoy games that I love playing on pokerstarscasino and kongregate. I always order an Americano with heavy cream, which is an Italian staple. If you find yourself in Italy and want to enjoy some of the best Italian coffee, here are a few of Italy’s oldest and best coffee shops that are still standing; Caffe Florian, located in Venice, is the oldest cafe in Italy and the second oldest in the world. They are famous for their caffe alla veneziana, which is a Venetian coffee made of espresso with just a sprinkle of Florian liquor, topped with whipped cream. Caffe Cova, which is located in Milan, is another old coffee shop that everyone should visit. This is a coffee shop where you not only can enjoy a fine cup of coffee, but you can get a traditional Italian dessert as well. Lastly, Caffe Fiorio, located in Turin, is a historic coffee shop where you can go to taste old fashioned Italian coffees such as the bicerin, which is a hot drink made of espresso, chocolate, and whole milk.