Savour a rich Italian coffee at home with our 12 serving suggestions!
Do you know your caffe macchiato from your ristretto? Your shakerato from your marocchino? We all know that it’s hard to find a bad cup of Italian coffee but did you know how many different ways there are in Italy of drinking this delicious drink? Stand at any Italian bar in the morning it’s most likely that you won’t hear two customers ordering coffee served in the same way! Here are some of our favourite Italian coffee creations that you can make at home!
1) Caffè (espresso): The original – strong and thick and the basis for most coffee drinks in Italy. Caffè in Italy means an espresso and is usually served in a small porcelain cup au naturel or with sugar. Make it at home the traditional (and in our opinion, the best) way with a stove top moka pot or using an espresso maker. We love the moka pot for the ritual and the wonderful gurgling noises involved! Finely ground coffee (such as our own Caffè Haiti from Rome) is perfect for stove top coffee.
2) Caffè in vetro: Just in case you don’t enjoy drinking your espresso from a porcelain cup, you can also serve it in a very small glass. This is a really popular way to drink your coffee in Italian bars and those who prefer a glass will always specify that their coffee (of any type – not just espresso) should be ‘in vetro’. Experiment with both and see which you prefer!
3) Caffè ristretto: This is a ‘restricted’ Italian coffee! Ristretto is traditionally a short shot of espresso coffee made with the normal amount of coffee but with about half of the amount of water of an espresso. It is intense in flavour, very dark, but not actually any stronger (caffeine wise).
4) Caffè corretto: Need a kick with your coffee? Why not ‘correct it’? A dash of Grappa, Sambuca, Amaretto or the tipple of your choice in your espresso should do the trick!
5) Caffè macchiato: Make this by adding a ‘stain’ (macchia) of milk to your espresso.
6) Cappuccino: According to unwritten Italian rules, Cappuccino should only be drunk in the morning! Made with Espresso topped up with hot, foamed milk, this ever-popular drink was named after the Cappuccini or Capuchin monks because of the colour of their hoods. Naturally there are many varieties of Cappuccino – you may choose a ‘Cappuccino chiaro’ – with additional milk. ‘scuro’ – dark with less milk, ‘tiepido’ – just warm, ‘bollente’ – boiling hot! Easy to make if you have an espresso machine with a built in steaming wand, but can also be recreated at home by whisking some hot milk in a glass until very frothy, swirling and tapping it a few times to burst the bigger bubbles and then easing out the foam to top the coffee! Serve in a large porcelain cup and sprinkle with cocoa if desired!
7) Caffè latte: Note that if you order a latte in Italy you will be served a glass of milk! If you love milky Italian coffee a ‘caffe latte’ is the perfect choice, simply pour warm milk into an espresso shot in a tall glass.
8) Latte macchiato: If you like just a hint of coffee, this one could be for you – a glass of frothy, whisked, hot milk just ‘stained’ with a dash of espresso.
9) Caffè Americano: Simply add hot water to an espresso in a large cup. You can vary the strength with the number of shots of espresso and the amount of water added. Drink black or with hot milk.
10) Marocchino This is a popular and fun drink served in many different ways across Italy. Just coat the inside of a small glass cup with cocoa, add an espresso, some whisked frothy milk (or squirty cream) and top with another layer of cocoa.
11) Caffè shakerato In warmer weather combine 2 long shots of espresso with sugar to taste, add 8 to 10 ice cubes (crushed a little if very large) in a cocktail shaker, close it and shake the mixture vigorously until the jar feels cold. Strain it into two glasses (no ice). If there’s lots of foam spoon it off, pour the drinks first, then divide the foam between each serving.
12) Affogato al caffè Serve a scoop or two of well frozen vanilla ice cream drenched with a shot of hot espresso!