How to Drink Coffee in Italy Like A Local

Back in the 15th-century coffee started entering Italy’s traditions slowly but steadily……

How to Drink Coffee in Italy Like A Local

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December 6 2019 / Dining Contributor
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Back in the 15th-century coffee started entering Italy’s traditions slowly but steadily…

Today, coffee isn’t a simple tradition in Italy. It’s much more, it’s a ritual. Italians, especially Sicilians, have taken coffee exceptionally close to their hearts. So if you aren’t familiar with those rituals and traditions, you might look quite awkward when heading to the cafe.

In Italy, as well as in Sicily people tend to have their habits of drinking coffee in the morning and the afternoon. So if you would like to blend in with the crowd and not be labelled as a tourist, we’ll take a look at Sicily natives’ habits and the typical coffee they order to get a boost of energy.

For people in Sicily, the morning always begins with a delicious breakfast and a milky coffee.

Some of the coffees you can order when you find yourself in a coffee shop in Sicily are a cappuccino, caffe latte, and latte macchiato.

The latte is the same as the cappuccino. Yet, it comes with increased quantities of steamed milk and decreased foamed milk.

Beware ordering a milk-based coffee after 11 am. Sicilian typically don’t drink milk coffee after 11 am or after a meal. You’ll be instantly labelled as a tourist.
During the day, you can order a pure espresso. Typically, it’s a smaller coffee but darker and stronger. It provides you with the necessary energy to keep you going throughout the day exactly as you started it in the morning.


Throughout the years, Sicilians, and Italians, in general, have made a significant amount of alterations to the coffees they usually drink.

The Caffe macchiato is on the softer end of the espresso. It’s typically prepared with more frothy milk, and unlike breakfast-coffee, it can be consumed during any time of the day.

The Caffe corretto, which means “corrected coffee,” comes with a splash of alcohol. It’s perfect for those who want to get some real energy throughout the day.

The Caffe americano, as the name suggests, is made explicitly for American tourists so they can taste and recall how the coffee was back home. It typically represents an espresso diluted with hot water.

And finally, the Caffe lungo. Like the Caffe Americano, it’s an espresso combined with hot water, yet it’s quite stronger than the americano.

Those rituals typically are valid for all parts of Italy, especially in Sicily. Yet, each region has its tweaks. So if you plan to visit other areas rather than Sicily, make sure you get yourself educated on the natives’ traditions and rituals.

For example, in northern Le Marche, you can enjoy a Caffe anisette for an anise-flavoured espresso.

And finally, in Italy, the coffee is typically enjoyed al Blanco, with friends, or at a bar. The rituals will compel you and make you feel like you are a part of the community.


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