coffee menu

caffè menu

un caffè

I confess, I’m confused. I have been corrupted by Starbuck’s overloaded coffee terminology and can barely get my mouth around the 10-word drink options; I don’t even have the ability to order a “tall” when “small” seems so okay.

In Italy, coffee terms are more manageable (sort of). Although different places write their coffee menu in different ways (sometimes), as far as I can tell, when ordering coffee in Italy, the following will get you what you want (maybe).


Un caffè: a strong as sin, electric jolt espresso. (This is the basic coffee in Italy.)

 Caffè doppio: a double espresso.

 Caffè macchiato:  an espresso “stained” with a tiny amount of foamy milk.

 Latte macchiato: steamed milk “stained” with a small amount of coffee.

 Caffè marocchino: espresso with a little hot milk and a sprinkling of cocoa powder.

 Caffè e latte: steamed milk mixed with espresso.

 Cappuccino: espresso served in a large cup with a head of steamed frothy milk (said to be named because its color resembled a Capuchin friar’s habit—or the hood of the habit resembled the hood of the drink or…well, you get the picture).

 Caffè corretto: espresso “corrected” with a shot of liquor (grappa, Sambuca, Cognac, etc.).

 Caffè lungo: espresso made with more water run through the machine.

 Caffè ristretto: espresso made with less water run through the machine (WOW!).

 Caffè freddo: Chilled coffee (don’t expect ice).

 Caffè con panna: espresso with whipped cream.

 Americano: espresso diluted with hot water.

 Caffè con zucchero: espresso with sugar (sensa zucchero without sugar)