A latte macchiato, cappuccino, espresso or americano… Luckily, these types of coffees have been well-established in the Netherlands and are available in virtually every coffee shop. The menu is continuously supplemented with more coffee types. In Italy, the number of types is beyond counting, as well as the way of drinking the coffee. Italians are not only known for drinking espresso, but also for the various ways they like them.
After water, coffee is the most popular drink in Italy. The city of Venice was the first place where coffee was served. Italian coffee, known worldwide as the espresso, originates from Torino (Turin) and was first made in 1865. Since then, espresso has grown to be a symbol for Italian culture. For Italians, drinking coffee is a way of life.
In cafés, Italians enjoy their coffee served in countless different ways, completely dependent on personal taste: in a cup or a mug, with warm or cold water, doppio or ristretto... It's with good reason that Italian 'baristi' have the reputation of being the most patient people in the world.
A coffee break is for Italians much more than just drinking a cup of coffee. As they are having the coffee, they chat with friends and take the time to relax a little, truly a taking a moment for themselves. You're not supposed to gulp down the entire espresso at once, but really experience the flavour and wind down. If a cup of bad coffee is served, this immediately impacts the Italian's mood. If they get a cup of good coffee, it can sustain them all day long.
If you ever have the chance, take a look around when you're in an Italian bar or café. You will notice the amount of different ways that coffee is served. A couple of the most popular ways are:
- Al ginseng
- Macchiato chiaro
- Macchiato freddomarocchino
- Alla turcadoppio lungo
- Doppio ristretto
Any Italian can brew a good espresso, they don't necessarily have to be a professional barista. The thing that Italians naturally add to their cup of coffee, is:
Passione (passion) - Italians are genuine epicureans, and enjoying good food and drinks is self-evident to them. Drinking a proper cup of coffee every day is essential. Whether this is done standing in the local bar, or just 'a casa'.