In Italy, there are some “coffee rules” that people may want to be aware of. Whether –most often- jokingly or not, people may point some of those things out in the birthplace of espresso that you would wish you would have known before.
This is our first article in this new section and we have decided to start it a bit jokingly, yet we are going to enumerate a few things that are rather interesting. Most of the Italian people may know of them, but they may actually not know the reasons behind them! They simply know, and they are proud of it.
Here are some of those coffee rules:
- Not drinking cappuccino in the afternoon: this is one of the most common rules -that I do not really respect…- and it actually makes sense. Milk has a lot of calories and people shouldn’t get that many too late during the day. Then again, there are now several options to overcome this “problem” – with almond or coconut milk for example.
- No need to say espresso. When asking for one, just simply ask for a coffee. In Italy it’s implied that what you are asking for is an espresso. Unless you want something else, then there will be no need to say it.
- In a small café, avoid asking for extravagant drinks. There are usually set coffee drinks and – believe it or not – there may be misunderstanding if you ask for a iced-coconut-vanilla flavoured-decaf-flat white in a place where usually people would go for the two main options: espresso and cappuccino (with a few variations)
- Double coffee: just ask yourself. Why take one super strong coffee when you can have several ones and simply making your coffee breaks longer?
- Pay after you had your order: in most places, it’s very common to pay after you had your coffee, drinks, food… with the exception of tourist places or airports, where you may be required to do it beforehand
- This last “rule” is anchored in Italian customs. Drinking your coffee while standing at the bar and not having a drink that is too hot. People are used to get their coffee, drink it straight away and leave. As much as they may enjoy their coffee break, when going to work or university it’s nice to be able to still go to a coffee shop and get a nice coffee before heading out again. Without wasting any time.
Those were some of the coffee rules you may want to know before going to Italy. Don’t worry though, nobody would judge you if you make things differently!