Preparing For A New And Caffeinated Adventure

October 27, 2014

Many moments of my every day life involve a good cup of coffee: The beginnings of each day, the quick drive to work, swinging downstairs to JJ’s Coffee for an afternoon pick-me-up, a get-together with a friend, a coffee shop date by my lonesome or with my husband, a late and productive evening. The list goes on. I truly adore coffee for its wondrous taste, moments made and the variety of ways it can be enjoyed.

I believe that a day is truly better with a good cup of coffee.

In just a few days, I will embark on a long-awaited trip to Italy. Of course, I’m looking forward to the endless sight-seeing, museums, dining and connecting with friends and family. I’m also going to check off a long-held dream: exploring the world of Italian coffee and espresso. My love of cappuccinos has only been teased here in the Twin Cities, and while in Rome, I look forward to expanding my coffee horizons.  Many nights I have been digging into where and how to find my way to many glorious cups of Italian-made coffee.


My first concern was language: What will I need to know to order what I’d like? Are there different terms? How do I navigate a menu? Will I need to learn a few words and references?

A few evenings of searching and studying gave me great tips that I look forward to putting into practice. Just like walking into a Starbucks here in town, where you’re faced with what seems like hundreds of options for your order – daily brew, espresso, decaf, soy, skim, vanilla, etc. – Italian coffee culture is no different. Many speak of it as an art.

While there are few Italian ways to adhere to –  drinking quickly while standing up and not ordering a cappuccino after lunch or dinner, just to name a few –  I think I’ll fit right into the Italian, caffeinated lifestyle where the persistent aroma of coffee beans envelops the city from morning till after dinner. (Those who know me are aware that my coffee intake doesn’t cease in the morning.)

Here are a few notes that I will be packing away:

How to Order Coffee Like an Italian

1. Keep an eye out for coffee bars rather than coffee shops. In Italy, the bar is where the magic happens.

2. How to order just the right cup
– Un Caffe = Espresso
Un Caffe Macchiato = Espresso with just a drop of milk
– Un Cappuccino =  Can you guess?
– Un Latte Macchiato = Latte
– Gran Caffe = Espresso with cream
– Marocchino = Espressio with a sprinkling of cacao and foam

3. Know your terms for milk
– Latte = Milk
– Latte Caldo = Hot milk
– Latte Freddo = Cold milk

4. Cream or Sugar?
Zucchero = White sugar
Panna = Cream

5. If you’re looking for something to cool you down
Caffe freddo = Cold espresso
Caffe Latte Freddo = Cold latte
Cappuccino Freddo = Cold cappuccino

6. If you’re looking for a ‘stronger’ kick to your day
– Caffe Corretto = Espresso with liquor
– Caffe Shakerato = Blended espresso with ice and vanilla liquor

Enjoy – And don’t forget a grazie!

My search will commence in just three days for some of the below Italian favorites. There are many more but here are a few bars that I hope to visit during my stay:

The famous Caffe Greco – Oldest café in Rome and founded in 1760.

The Best Coffee Bars In Rome
– Caffé Greco
– Sant’ Eustachio
– Tazza d’oro
– Castroni
– Pasticerria Barberini
– Checco der Carettiere

I look forward to reporting back on my Italian coffee experience and more. Any more caffeinated tips for this excited traveler?