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Ordering coffee in Italy sounds the most natural thing to do in this country, and it actually is, but it might not be as easy at first, and I realized that running my boutique hotel in Levanto.

We almost all drink coffee around here, from teens on, but each one has its favorite version, and according to the region, there might be really a lot of options.

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Risveglio molto lento stamattina all’Oasi ☕️

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Also, if your idea of getting an Italian coffee is queueing up at Starbucks ordering some flavored coffee in a specific size, you might be really disappointed, although we now have Starbucks downtown in Milan (visit it!!!).

Italians aren’t that good at queuing (!) and certainly not to order a coffee, plus we usually order it at the bar and drink it right away, standing. Having more time or a friend to chat with, we sit at the table, wait for the waiter and use the coffee as an excellent excuse for a break. What we never do is ordering a coffee to go. I actually do that all the time when traveling, but in Italy, it’s simply not something you do, and it’s actually almost impossible to find a bar where this is an option…

We mainly drink some coffees in the morning while others perfect for an afternoon break or for after dinner. Still, I never really bothered following this kind of non-written rules, and you definitely shouldn’t, but just so you know how it’s supposed to work, I’ll share Italian typical coffees in three blocks.

Italian coffees to drink all throughout the day


If you order a caffè, literally a coffee, you’ll get a shot of espresso. The king. It is always served in a tiny cup, and you can add sugar or honey to it or drink it as it is. Its taste is really intense, but it actually has very little caffeine…

It can be lungo (larger, so weaker flavor, but more caffeine), corto or ristretto (just a few creamy drops), doppio (double shot), con panna (with whipped cream on top), or even decaffeinato (decaffeinated).


Macchiato is a white coffee coming in a tiny size or making it easier, a shot of espresso with a bit of milk. You can order the milk as you prefer: cold, hot, with or without foam. If you don’t make a clear choice, you’ll get it hot.

You might also listen to somebody asking for a macchiatone. Just the same thing, but served in a bigger cup.


My favorite! It’s the new entry to Italian coffees, and I drink it every day several times per day. You can order it in a small or a big cup (in tazza piccola or tazza grande). It’s an espresso with ginseng extract, and it’s very sweet.

Italian coffees at breakfast


Orzo is the only thing I was allowed to drink as a kid as it’s caffeine free… you can order it in a small or a big cup.

Caffè latte or latte macchiato

So, it’s basically an American latte (3/4 of hot milk and a shot of espresso with a bit of foot on top) served in a tall glass, but if you do ask for a latte, you’ll get the same tall glass full of milk. Just hot milk… so, don’t forget to add the word caffè in front!


If Espresso is the king, cappuccino is the Emperor because everybody knows it all around the world. It’s served in a teacup, and the balance between espresso, hot milk, and foam is perfect, even though you can, of course, ask it with a double shot, less or more foam, or even mild milk.

It’s considered a breakfast hot drink, but my mum, for instance, drinks it at any time and you can certainly do the same if it pleases you…

Caffè americano 

Ordering a caffè americano, the closest you can get to a black coffee, you’ll get an espresso served in a big cup, with hot water on the side.

Italian coffees after lunch time


If you want to taste espresso with a shot of your favorite liquor, you need to order “un corretto” (i.e., a corrected). We usually add a shot of grappa, whiskey, Sambuca, or cognac.


It’s a chilled espresso poured over ice and shaken to a froth. You can have it with or without sugar, and I love it with a few drops of Sambuca. It’s usually served in a fancy glass, and it’s excellent on hot summer afternoons.


This is also a new entry among Italian coffees, and you get as many variations as our regions, and it’s a perfect afternoon treat. It’s generally a shot of espresso with frothed milk, and cocoa powder on top served in an espresso cup-sized glass.

Moka, the true Italian coffee

I couldn’t end this post without telling you about our beloved moka, a category on its own. This is the coffee we drink at home, the one whose smell wakes us up in the morning, and definitely the one you’ll be offered in any Italian home.

Moka pots are also known as stove-top espresso makers that brew coffee by passing boiling water pressurized by steam through ground coffee. Named after the Yemenite city of Mocha, it was invented by an Italian engineer named Alfonso Bialetti in 1933. Its coffee is much stronger than that obtained by drip brewing. Furthermore, depending on bean variety, moka pots can create a foam emulsion, known as crema.

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Buongiorno! ☕️🍪

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Italian coffee at the Oasi in Levanto

Well, if you’re staying in my boutique hotel in Levanto, don’t worry: you can order coffee as you wish – or any other hot drink – plus, I’ll arrange a private class with coffee tasting just for you!

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Silvia's Trips

Hi there! My name is Silvia and after 15 years between the Paris Opera and the Palau de les Arts in Valencia I now run a boutique hotel in Cinque Terre, deal with tourism management and blogging, sail, horse-ride, play guitar and write about my solo trips around the world. For more info about me and my travel blog check my full bio.

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