How to Order Coffee in Italian






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When it comes to coffee culture, Italy is known for its iconic espresso and cappuccino. But if you’re planning to order a cup of coffee in Italy, do you know how to say it in Italian? Coffee, or caffè in Italian, is an important part of daily life in Italy. Italians are proud of their coffee traditions and there are many different ways to enjoy this beloved beverage. Whether you prefer a strong espresso or a creamy cappuccino, knowing how to order it correctly is key to experiencing the true flavors of Italian coffee. In this article, we will explore the different ways to say coffee in Italian and how to order your favorite coffee like a local. So grab a cup of caffè and let’s get started.

Introduction: The Significance of Coffee in Italian Culture

Coffee plays a significant role in Italian culture. Italians are coffee lovers, and they take their coffee seriously. A cup of coffee is more than just a drink; it is an experience that brings people together. Coffee shops, or “bar” as they are referred to in Italy, serve as social hubs where friends and colleagues meet to catch up over a quick espresso or cappuccino.

History of Coffee in Italy

Italy’s relationship with coffee dates back to the 16th century when Venetian merchants brought the first bags of coffee from the Middle East into Europe. However, it wasn’t until the late 17th century when Italy’s first-ever café opened its doors in Venice.

From then on, Italians started embracing this new beverage wholeheartedly and soon developed their unique style of roasting beans that produced dark-colored espresso with a thick crema layer.

The Art of Drinking Espresso

Italians drink their espresso differently from most people around the world. They consume it quickly while standing at the bar—this allows them to enjoy it at its best temperature and flavor while also keeping busy schedules on track.

The art of drinking espresso is not only about consuming caffeine but also about taking time out for oneself during a busy day – something that all Italians value greatly!

Importance Of Ordering Coffee In Italian

When visiting an Italian bar for your daily dose of caffeine, ordering like an Italian can enhance your experience by making you feel like one among them! Not only does learning how to order coffee boost your language skills, but it also helps you connect with locals on another level.

Moreover, ordering correctly can save you from getting confused since many bars offer different types and sizes of coffees!

Knowing how to order will make sure that you get exactly what you want without any surprises or confusion – whether it’s an Americano or Caffè macchiato!

The Different Types of Coffee in Italy

When it comes to coffee, Italians have a diverse range of options available to them. Each type of coffee has its unique taste and texture, making it essential to know which one you prefer before ordering.

Coffee is an important part of Italian culture, and knowing how to order it correctly can enhance your experience and help you connect with locals. Italians have a diverse range of coffee options, and each type of coffee has its unique taste and texture. Basic phrases like “un caffè per favore” and “un cappuccino” can be used to order coffee, while advanced phrases like “un caffè lungo” and “con panna” can be used to customize your drink. Coffee is often consumed alongside pastries, biscuits, and even cheese, so take your time and savor the experience like a true Italian.

### Espresso

Espresso is the quintessential Italian coffee that most people associate with Italy. It’s a strong black coffee made by forcing hot water through finely ground dark-roasted beans under high pressure.

Italians typically drink espresso quickly, while standing at the bar, as they believe that this is the best way to appreciate its bold flavor and aroma.

Caffè Americano

If you’re looking for something milder than an espresso but still want a caffeine kick, then caffè Americano might be your go-to. It’s essentially an espresso shot diluted with hot water – similar to drip coffee in America.

Although not as popular among Italians as other types of coffee, caffè Americano can be found in most bars across the country.


Cappuccino is perhaps one of the most famous Italian coffees worldwide. Made from equal parts espresso and steamed milk topped with frothed milk foam – it’s often served with cocoa powder or cinnamon sprinkled on top for added flavor!

In Italy, cappuccinos are only consumed during breakfast hours since locals believe that drinking milk after noon could interfere with digestion!

Latte Macchiato

Latte macchiato is another popular milk-based drink in Italy. Unlike cappuccino, latte macchiato has more milk than espresso – making it less strong but creamier!

The name “latte macchiato” means “stained milk,” referring to how a small amount of espresso ‘stains’ the white color of the steamed milk when poured over it.

Caffè Latte

Caffè latte is similar to latte macchiato in terms of ingredients. However, it has a higher concentration of espresso – making it a stronger and bolder option than latte macchiato.

Italians usually consume caffè latte during breakfast hours, accompanied by some pastries or biscuits.

Caffè Mocha

Caffè mocha is an Italian variation of the classic chocolate-flavored coffee originating from America. It’s made from two parts espresso, one part steamed milk and one part hot chocolate – topped with whipped cream and cocoa powder!

Although not as popular as other types of coffee in Italy, caffè mocha can be found in most bars across the country.

Basic Phrases to Order Coffee in Italian

If you’re planning a trip to Italy and want to order coffee like a local, it’s essential to know some basic phrases. Ordering coffee is an art form in Italy, and knowing how to do it can enhance your experience while also impressing the barista!

Coffee is an essential part of Italian culture, with a diverse range of options available. Knowing how to order coffee correctly in Italian can enhance the overall experience and connect with locals. Traditional Italian coffee is consumed quickly, while standing at the bar, and paired with pastries, biscuits or chocolate. Understanding the different types of coffee and basic phrases for ordering is essential for coffee lovers visiting Italy.

### “Un caffè per favore” (One coffee please)

This phrase is the most basic way of ordering coffee in Italy. It’s simple, easy-to-remember and works for most types of coffees except for cappuccino.

“Un espresso” (An espresso)

Suppose you’re looking for a quick caffeine boost without any added milk or sugar. In that case, ordering an espresso might be your go-to option!

Simply say “un espresso,” and the barista will know exactly what you want.

“Un cappuccino” (A cappuccino)

If you’re looking for something creamier than an espresso with added milk foam – then order a cappuccino!

Italians typically consume this drink only during breakfast hours – before 11 am since they believe that drinking milk after noon could interfere with digestion!

“Un caffè macchiato” (A stained coffee)

Caffè macchiato translates literally into ‘stained’ coffee. It’s made by adding just a small amount of steamed milk or foam atop of an espresso shot – giving it its ‘stained’ appearance.

This drink is ideal if you prefer your coffee slightly milder but still want the bold taste of an Italian espresso!

“Una tazza di latte caldo/freddo” (A cup of hot/cold milk)

If none of the above options sound appealing- why not try ordering a cup of hot or cold plain milk? Italians often consume this drink alongside their pastries or biscuits during breakfast hours.

Alternatively, you can also ask for a “latte macchiato,” which is similar but with more milk than an espresso!

Other useful phrases

Apart from the above, here are some additional helpful phrases that you might find useful while ordering coffee in Italy:

  • “Senza zucchero” (Without sugar): If you prefer your coffee without any added sugar.
  • “Con zucchero” (With sugar): If you prefer your coffee with added sugar.
  • “Da asporto” (To go): Suppose you’re in a hurry and want to take your coffee on the go. In that case, use this phrase to let the barista know!
  • “Posso avere un bicchiere d’acqua?” (Can I have a glass of water?): Italians typically drink water alongside their coffees – so don’t forget to ask for one!

Advanced Phrases for Coffee Lovers in Italian

If you’re a coffee lover and want to take your Italian barista skills to the next level, here are some advanced phrases that you might find useful!

Italy’s coffee culture is deeply ingrained in everyday life and has a significant role in Italian culture. Whether you prefer a traditional espresso, a creamy cappuccino, or a sweet caffè mocha, knowing how to order correctly can enhance your experience and help you connect with locals. Italian coffee is often paired with sweet treats such as pastries and biscuits, providing a leisurely experience to savor and enjoy.

### “Un caffè lungo” (A long coffee)

This phrase is ideal if you prefer a milder version of an espresso. A caffè lungo is made by running more water through the same amount of ground coffee as an espresso – resulting in a longer drink with less intensity.

“Un ristretto” (A restricted coffee)

On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you want something stronger than an espresso – then order a ristretto!

It’s made by using less water than usual while brewing the same amount of ground coffee as an espresso – resulting in a small but strong drink with intense flavor.

“Un doppio” (A double)

Suppose one shot of espresso isn’t enough for your caffeine fix. In that case, ordering a doppio might be just what you need!

It’s essentially two shots of espresso served together in one cup- making it twice as strong and bold!

“Con panna” (With cream)

If you’re looking for something sweet and creamy, then try ordering your cappuccino or latte macchiato with cream on top!

Simply add ‘con panna’ at the end of your order, and the barista will know exactly what to do.

“Con schiuma di latte freddo/calda” (With cold/hot milk foam)

Another way to customize your milk-based drinks is by asking for hot or cold milk foam instead of just steamed milk. This method results in denser foam that provides texture to any drink.

Just say ‘con schiuma di latte calda’ or ‘con schiuma di latte fredda’ depending on your preference!

“Con cioccolato” (With chocolate)

If you have a sweet tooth and want to add some chocolate flavor to your coffee, then try ordering it ‘con cioccolato.’ It’s typically added as cocoa powder or syrup atop of your favorite coffee-based drink!

Coffee and Food Pairings in Italy

Italians have a long-standing tradition of pairing coffee with food. Whether it’s a quick breakfast or a leisurely afternoon snack, coffee is often consumed alongside pastries, biscuits and other sweet treats.

### Pastries

One of the most popular food pairings with coffee in Italy is pastries. Italians love their sweet indulgences- and there’s no better way to enjoy them than with a cup of hot espresso!

Some popular pastry options include:

  • Cornetto: Similar to croissants but usually smaller and sweeter.
  • Sfogliatella: A shell-shaped pastry filled with sweet ricotta cheese or almond paste.
  • Brioche: A soft buttery bun that pairs well with cappuccino.


Biscuits are another common accompaniment to Italian coffee. They’re typically dry, crunchy and perfect for dipping into your drink!

Some popular biscuit options include:

  • Amaretti: Small almond-flavored biscuits that go well with an espresso shot.
  • Cantucci: Hard almond biscuits that are often served alongside Vin Santo – an Italian dessert wine.
  • Lingue di gatto (Cat’s tongues): Thin buttery cookies that melt in your mouth.


If you’re looking for something rich, creamy and indulgent – then pairing your coffee with chocolate might be just what you need! Italians love their chocolate – whether it’s dark, milk or white.

Here are some ways to enjoy chocolate alongside your Italian coffee:

  • Cioccolata calda (Hot chocolate): A thick, rich drink made from melted chocolate mixed together with hot milk – perfect for those cold winter days!


Although not as common as pastries or biscuits, cheese is also sometimes paired with Italian coffees! The saltiness of the cheese can complement the bitterness of the drink perfectly!

Some popular cheese options include:

  • Gorgonzola: A creamy blue cheese that pairs well with a strong espresso.
  • Mascarpone: A soft, buttery cheese that goes well with cappuccino or latte macchiato.

### Take Your Time and Savor the Experience

Italians take their time when it comes to coffee – whether it’s standing at the bar


What is the Italian word for coffee?

The Italian word for coffee is “caffè”. It is a daily staple in Italian life and is enjoyed in a range of different forms, including espresso, cappuccino, latte, macchiato, and more.

Is the pronunciation of the Italian word for coffee difficult?

The pronunciation of “caffè” is not particularly difficult for English speakers. It is pronounced as “KAH-feh” or “KAH-fey”, with the emphasis on the first syllable.

Are there any regional differences in the way coffee is called in Italy?

While the word “caffè” is commonly used throughout Italy, there are a number of regional names for coffee as well. For example, in Naples, coffee is often called “tazzulella ‘e cafè”, which means “little cup of coffee” in local dialect.

What are some common phrases related to coffee in Italian culture?

In Italian culture, coffee is not just a drink but a cornerstone of daily life. There are a number of common phrases and expressions related to coffee, including “fare un caffè” (to make a coffee), “prendere un caffè” (to have a coffee), and “il caffè è pronto” (the coffee is ready).

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