Getting to know the different types of Italian Coffee Drinks

Coffee was introduced in the 1500s. Since then, Italy has boarded the train by taking the beverage and putting its own authentic and classic spin on it by creating their own unique blend of Italian Coffee Drinks.

Read on and get to know the different types of Italian coffee-related beverages.

The Rules of Drinking Italian Coffee

Ciao! The typical Italian’s day is rife with coffee drinking observances from breakfast to dinner time, and everything in between. Breakfast typically involves drinking Cappuccino. Lunchtimes see an indulgent cup of Caffè Macchiato, and a shot of Espresso follows dinner.


Enjoy a cup of steaming Cappuccino, Caffè Latte, or Latte Macchiato. These milky-based drinks are only consumed before 11 am, and never later. The drinks are accompanied by a delicious Italian pastry.

Coffee and pastry, Getting to know the different types of Italian Coffee Drinks - The Proud Italian


Grab a coffee with a friend while you enjoy a selection of Italian desserts and pastries. Typical coffee drinks consumed during the day and at lunchtime includes; Caffè Macchiato, Caffè Corretto, Caffè Americano, and Caffè Lungo. 

An interesting fact is that Italians are not fond of takeaway coffee in cups.


There are several popular Espresso drinks. Some of these include Ristretto (a single shot of Espresso) and Red Eye (a coffee with a shot of Espresso on top).

A few other rules to know when you are visiting Italy:

  • The word “bar” refers to a coffee shop in Italian terms.
  • Italian coffee bars require payment before making your order. Typically you would pay at the counter and then take your proof of payment to the Barista counter to make your beverage.
  • There are two different price ranges when ordering coffee. Al tavolo is the price you pay when you drink coffee at a table. Al banco is the price you are charged if you are planning to drink your coffee by standing at the counter.
  • In Italy, there is no such thing as a size of coffee, in comparison to its American counterparts. You will have to be surprised to see which size of coffee you are awarded when on your request. Therefore, be nice!
  • Every coffee comes with a complimentary glass of water; however, you need to request this from the Barista.

Coffee on the counter at bar, Getting to know the different types of Italian Coffee Drinks - The Proud Italian

The Different Types of Italian Coffee Drink

There many different types of Italian coffee drinks. Exploring them, we find the following:

Caffè (Espresso, Caffè Normale)

Pronounced: kahf-FEH

The word for coffee in Italian is caffè. Coffee is a big part of the daily Italian culture, and it is essential to know the difference to ensure that you get the order that you desire, especially when visiting Italy.

This particular naming convention suggests a single shot of Espresso.

Caffè Ristretto (Caffè Stretto)

Pronounced: ree-STREHT-to

A drink very similar to the Caffè Normale, with the exception that it has a lessor water concentration. The word ristretto means restricted. Time-restricted, that is! It can literally be consumed by taking a single sip.

Caffè Lungo 

Pronounced: LOON-goh

The word lungo means “long.” But this is not a long drink per se. It is the in-between to Caffè Normale and a traditionally brewed coffee.  This beverage can be consumed bitter or with added zucchero.

Caffè Shakerato 

Pronounced: shay-keh-RAH-toh

A beautifully presented beverage! This creation is made by combining ice and coffee in a cocktail shaker and shaking it well. It is then strained into a waiting Martini glass. This beverage is customarily drunk in the summer months. The Barista will ask you beforehand if you prefer sugar in your drink. It is delicious with or without sugar!

Shakerato, Getting to know the different types of Italian Coffee Drinks - The Proud Italian

Crema Di Caffee

Pronounced: KRAY-maa dee kahf-FEH

This is the culmination of two of Italy’s best-loved treats. Coffee and gelato. It’s created by taking espresso, gelato, and cream and then blending it together. When it is poured into the glass for the cliente to enjoy, the consistency resembles slightly melted ice cream.


Pronounced: Kahp-poo-CHEE-noh

After the Caffè, this is Italy’s second most-beloved drink. It is a three-parter, consisting of ⅓ espresso, ⅓ foam, and ⅓ frothy milk. The word cappucino is derived from the Caphuchin Monks and refers to the brown color of the beverage once it has been prepared.


Pronounced: Mah-kee-YAH-toh

This drink is a blend between the classic cappuccino and a caffè. This beverage contains milk and is therefore not usually consumed after breakfast time.

Caffè Marocchino

Pronounced: Mah-rohk-KEE-noh

This beverage is a proud product of the Piedmont region. It is created by combining espresso, cocoa powder, frothy milk, and then some more cocoa. Some coffee bars in Italy spoils you by spreading Nutella or Gianduja on the rim of the glass.

Marocchino, Getting to know the different types of Italian Coffee Drinks - The Proud Italian

Caffè Ginseng

Pronounced: Jin-sing

Italy’s version of the classic Chai tea latte. This drink is available for consumers to enjoy right through the year. It has the same spice and nut aromas as its classic counterpart. The only difference here is that it is typically served in a smaller glass. This drink has properties to heal with indigestion.


Pronounced: Or-tzoh

This drink was developed with the purpose of serving as a substitute for those who preferred to have a decaf option. It can be consumed right throughout the year.

Caffè Corretto

Pronounced: Kohr-REHT-toh

Corretto means “correct coffee.” It is an espresso-based beverage served with a shot of alcohol. It is a very popular night-cap choice. It also helps with indigestion. Generally, this drink is only consumed after 5 pm.

Caffè Doppio

Pronounced: dop-pee-oh

This beverage refers to a double shot of espresso. Having said that, it means that it’s very bitter on the palette. This can be mitigated by pairing it with a slice of panettone. The spicy orange and raisin undertones serve as a perfect contrast against the full-bodied flavor of the coffee.

Caffè Doppio and Panettone, Getting to know the different types of Italian Coffee Drinks - The Proud Italian

The Top 5 Rated Italian Coffee Brands

The Top 5 rated Italian coffee brands currently in the world are:

  • Lavazza
  • Illy
  • Vergnano
  • Segafredo
  • Kimbo

Prendiamo un caffeè!