Coffee in Italy v. Coffee in the United States
Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, so much so that citizens of almost every nation drink coffee on a daily basis. The ways in which different countries drink their coffee, though, is quite literally worlds apart. In Italy, for example, coffee is so much a part of the culture that there are unwritten rules about how, when, and with whom to drink it.
In the United States, on the other hand, we tend to take our caffeination whenever and wherever we can get it. There’s something to be said, however, for the way Italians drink their coffee. As you read this guide, you’ll learn more about Italy’s coffee culture and, hopefully, discover a few takeaways you can add to your everyday lifestyle.
–No milky coffees after breakfast – There are many Americans who exclusively drink cappuccinos or cafe lattes morning, noon, and night. In Italy, however, drinking any milky coffee after breakfast is simply not done. Italians can’t abide the thought of consuming hot milk on a full stomach and many never drink milk in their coffee at all.
–Don’t order an espresso – In the United States, asking for a shot or two of espresso (especially after a long night) is the norm. In Italy, though, espresso is the default. You’ll always receive espresso unless otherwise specified. Thus, ordering it is redundant and immediately marks you as a tourist.
–Drink your coffee quickly and often – In Italy, you’re unlikely to see anyone but an American tourist walking around with a 16-ounce coffee cup in their hands. Italians consider coffee something like a caffeinated vitamin, and they tend to drink their tiny cups of espresso in one fell swoop several times per day. They don’t sit and ruminate over their drinks for hours like we tend to in the United States. Drink up!
–Order loudly – Italian coffee shops and cafes can get a little crowded. Even if there’s a gaggle of people, don’t hesitate to yell your order out and pay later, once you get to the cash register. The orderly lines we’re used to in the United States don’t exist in Italian coffee culture, so don’t be afraid to be assertive.
At Caffe Strega, we aim to bring Bostonians an authentic Italian coffee experience each and every day. We do, however, make some concessions to Italy’s coffee culture; we love having our patrons sit and stay awhile or mingle with one another by our one-of-a-kind nitro-bar. We’ll also serve you milk in your coffee whenever you ask. We look forward to meeting you soon!