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What could be better than enjoying a coffee… in Italy? Knowing what to order, and how (and when) to drink coffee like an Italian!
That’s because Italian coffee isn’t like coffee in the United States or anywhere else. Even the names don’t mean what you might expect. Take a story we heard from one traveler to Italy. Since she was familiar with the “Italian” lingo of coffee from Starbucks, she thought she was all set when she arrived in Italy and, proudly, ordered a “latte.” The server looked at her funny. “Latte? Caldo o freddo?” (Hot or cold?). She spoke a little Italian, so it was her turn to look at him funny: “Caldo, of course!” she said.
He disappeared for a moment, came back, and handed her a cup of exactly what she’d asked for—hot milk.
Don’t want that to be you? Then it’s worth knowing a little bit about coffee in Italy! Here are some starting tips.
A “bar” is really a “cafe”
The number of places labeled “bar” in your average Italian city would make you think all Italians have a drinking problem. They do: a coffee drinking problem! That’s because a “bar” is actually what we would call a “cafe.” (And, confusingly, a caffè actually means a “coffee”… but more on that later).