Understanding Italian Coffee – The Art of Espresso

Understanding Italian Coffee – The Art of Espresso

If you are a coffee and espresso lover, then you must know that Italy is where it all began! That is precisely why it pays to be a student of the Italian coffee culture, and find out all that there is to know about the birth of espresso in Italy. In Italy, espresso is an art form that has many different traditions and customs surrounding it. To add even more variety to your coffee and espresso palette, you can find out about the art of espresso drinking in Italy!

One of the first things to keep in mind if you are ordering authentic Italian espresso is to pronounce it “espresso” and not “expresso”. That is a very common mistake, but it will give you a way in a moment. When those terms are translated, “expresso” means a fast train, so that is definitely not what you are looking for if you are trying to order a quality cup of Joe. When you go into an authentic Italian cafe, the menu choices may be overwhelming to you. Interestingly enough, Italians don’t normally drink coffee with any other meal except their breakfast, which is much different than the American coffee culture. If you go to Italy yourself, you will only find tourists in cafes ordering coffee in the hours after breakfast.

Another traditional Italian espresso custom is the use of a stovetop espresso maker. These items are also popular in the United States, and they work by sitting atop the stove and heating water through a bottom chamber until it pushes up through the filter and coffee grounds into the top chamber to create the final brew. These are often called a moka pot, and they are convenient and easy to use to make a deep espresso brew at a fraction of the cost of a larger home espresso machine.

To complete your understanding of Italian espresso terminology, it is helpful to know how to order espresso in Italy. For a simple shot of espresso, you can simply order a caffe. This will give you a very strong coffee, which is espresso itself. If you want a weaker version of that, which is American style coffee, then you can order a Caffe Americano. If you would like a double shot of espresso, then you can simply order a Caffe Doppio. For a delicious iced coffee for a hot day, that is called a Caffe Freddo. Got all that?

Last but not least, here are a few other espresso terms that you may already be familiar with. For a traditional latte, you will order a Caffe Latte. For espresso that has a splash of steamed milk, you will order a Caffe Macchiato. As a point of reference, this is just a small version of a cappuccino. If you would like a richer flavor to your brew, then you can order a Caffe Marocchino, which is a shot of espresso with a splash of steamed milk and cocoa powder. Take this opportunity to sample all of the delicious flavors of the Italian coffee culture!