13 Types of Coffee in Italy

Do you know the difference between macchiato and marocchino? Is Cappuccino the same as caffé latte? In this article you’ll learn all about the 13 types of coffee in Italy!

types of coffee in Italy

When you order coffee in Italy, don’t just say “un caffé, per favore”There are too many types! 

First off, take a look at the menu and specify the type of coffee you want to have. Surely you will find the classic Espresso, macchiato and cappuccino.

But there are more!

Here you will find all Italian coffee types explained, so get familiar with them before sitting in a coffee shop in Italy.

How much is coffee in Italy?

As there are many types of coffee, there are also different prices.

The cost of Italian coffee varies: about € 0.50 at coffee machines (not the best quality though), € 1 al banco (standing) in a cafeteria and € 1.20 if you’re sitting.

Of course prices are much higher in touristy places such as Milan, Venice, Rome.

Also, if you wish to add any ingredients like gelato or grappa to your coffee, this may cost a bit more than the usual espresso.

13 Types of Coffee in Italy

1. Caffé Espresso

The classic Italian coffee. Ideal after a traditional Italian meal – tagliatelle with ragù, lasagne, tortellini, just to name a few – to digest all the carbos.

Should I sweeten Espresso?”

I’m often asked this question! According to Italian Coffee Drinking Etiquette, you shouldn’t add any sugar. However, there are other ways you can make your coffee less bitter without spoiling its taste!

italian coffee drinking etiquette

2. Caffé Doppio

You know when you wake up but your brain is still not working properly and you only feel like going back to bed?

In this case, all you need is a caffé doppio, a double shot of Espresso in one single cup. It will wake you up instantly!

Caffé Doppio Double Shot Black Coffee
Caffé Doppio (Double Shot)

3. Caffé Ristretto

Either with moka or professional coffee machines, it works the same. Water slowly filters through the grounded coffee and there you have a cup of caffé ristretto: a slightly reduced quantity of Espresso but with a more intense taste. Great after meals as it helps digestion.

4. Caffé Lungo

Not to be confused with caffé Americano (see paragraph 5), caffé lungo is made the same way as a regular Espresso but the brewing time, instead of being 15-20 secs, is about 30-40 secs. You’ll get a slightly longer coffee than Espresso but great taste at the same time.

Does Caffé Lungo contain more caffeine than Espresso? Yes, it does! One shot of Espresso has about 20 cc of caffeine, whereas a shot of caffé lungo has about 50 cc!

caffé lungo
Caffé Lungo

5. Caffé Americano

Caffé Americano is made with a shot of espresso with added hot water.

When you order “Americano” be specific and say “caffé americano“: more than once it has occurred to me that I was brought the Americano cocktail, a drink similar to Negroni!

American Coffee Caffé Americano
Caffé Americano

Is Caffé Americano stronger than Espresso?

People think that Caffé Americano is stronger than Espresso. But is it true? The answer is NO.

Italian coffee is stronger than American coffee. In fact, comparing the same quantity of these two types of coffee, Espresso contains more caffeine than brewed coffee. You might have the opposite perception just because American coffee comes in a large cup while Espresso is so small..but be careful!

5. Caffé Macchiato

Some Italians don’t like the idea of sweetening coffee with sugar, so they go for milk instead. If you fall into this category, order a Caffé Macchiato (pron “kaf’fé mak.’kia.to”) which is Espresso with just a bit of milk foam in it. You don’t have to ask for milk, macchiato always comes with it.

There are two types of caffé macchiato: macchiato caldo (espresso with hot milk) and macchiato freddo (espresso with cold milk).

If you choose it “caldo” your coffee will be served with hot milk foam in it, whereas if you pick it “freddo” it will come with a small cold milk jar aside.

Caffé Macchiato Freddo
Caffé Macchiato Freddo

You can choose to have dairy milk (they’ll bring you this if you don’t specify) or dairy-free milk. 

Mind you, macchiato is not cappuccino!

Macchiato’s size is like Espresso as it comes in the small cup, whereas cappuccino has much more milk in it and comes in the larger cup (not huge though, let’s say medium size).

13 types of coffee in Italy
Caffé Macchiato

6. Caffé Marocchino

Another variation of Espresso with milk is Caffé Marocchino. It has its origins in Piedmont and it’s made of one Espresso shot with cocoa and milk froth on top. Sometimes you can even find some chocolate at the bottom of Marocchino.

Caffé Marocchino
Caffé Marocchino

7. Caffélatte

Not to be confused with “Latte“, the coffee drink particularly popular in North America.

So, how do you make caffélatte? Take a glass, pour a shot espresso and then hot milk which must have very little foam.

Caffélatte is similar to cappuccino but the texture is different – more liquid – and it has way less foam. Also, it’s not served in a cup but in a tall glass.

> > Visit my article Italian Food You Won’t Find in Italy to know more about latte VS cappuccino.


8. Cappuccino

Cappuccino is served in a larger cup than espresso as milk and foam are added to the coffee.

If you want to have dairy-free milk tell the waiter as soon as you order: you can get cappuccino with soy milk and any other vegetable drink they have at their disposal.

It’s amazing to see that in some coffee shops they get cretive and make some fantastic latte art!


9. Caffé corretto

In some northern regions like Trentino, Veneto and Lombardy, you can find caffé corretto, which means a shot of Espresso with liqueur. Usually people ask for grappa, but it really depends on regions. Sometimes even sambuca, brandy or cognac are preferred. A popular choice of football supporters at stadiums is caffé Borghetti, an Espresso shot with Borghetti liqueur.

Caffé Corretto with Grappa
Caffé Corretto with Grappa

10. Moka Caffé

The moka is an indispensable accessory in Italian households. Coffee made with moka tastes differently from Espresso in coffee shops: depending on the amount of ground coffee you put in the moka you can get a stronger or lighter coffee.

Italians' favorite moka
Italians' favorite moka

12. Affogato al Caffé

Espresso with vanilla ice cream is called “Affogato al caffé” (literally “drown in coffee”), but this is more like a dessert than just coffee. Italians don’t have it in the morning for breakfast, it would be odd. Yet, it’s perfect to enjoy with friends in the afternoon at 4 or 5 pm.

Affogato al caffè coffee with ice cream
Affogato al caffè

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Stracciatella Ice Cream from Bergamo

13. Decaffeinato

Caffé decaffeinato (“deca” for friends) is a shot of espresso without caffeine. If you just had a huge dinner, no worries! Take a deca and you won’t have any troubles sleeping.

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Images credits: affogato al caffé by Deryck Chan // CC by SA4.0

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