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Italian coffee

As you travel in Italy, one of the best energy boosts, prior to tackling a major climb or last few kms of a hard ride, is to stop have a good expresso. In order to get your cafe fix  keep in mind that ordering a coffee in Italy is not quite the same as in the states.  The style and quality of the coffee is much different.  I have written a short guide to help you during your 'pit stop'.  Remember that at autostrada (highway) bars, and newer bars you must go to the cashier to order and pay, then you take your receipt to the bar to get your coffee.

Common methods of preparing caffe

Caffe - In Italy if you are ordering coffee the word "caffè" implies an espresso.·There is no need to specify “espresso” when ordering. You may get the question "lisco" which means plan espresso. You caffe will be served in a porcelain demitasse cup “Mazzini's” with its own saucer and little stirring spoon. Most Italians drink their caffe at the bar pay in a couple of sips and move on with their day. Caffe at the bar ranges from .80 cents to 1 euro, if the bar is asking more, I would move on along they are just ripping off the tourist.·If you sit at a table you might be asked to pay the "coperto", cover charge, most small bars will not charge this but be careful in the cities centers you may find yourself drinking a 5 to 10 euro caffe.·A true "caffe Oro".

Caffè Macchiato – ·In Italian, macchiare means to “stain” – and this espresso in a demitasse cup is stained with some hot milk, probably frothed, though no attention is placed on serving foam. This is not a mini-cappuccino.

Caffè Macchiato Freddo – An espresso served in a demitasse cup with cold or lukewarm milk on the side. It looks like a normal caffè next to a carafe of milk. It is! Many bars provide a communal container of milk on the bar, so often someone can just order a caffè and add the milk themselves. It’s best to order the caffè macchiato freddo and let the barman direct you. If you absolutely want to add the milk yourself, you can make sure to specify, “il latte a parte”

Cappuccino –Probably the most well-known coffee drink, it has a long history. Espresso and steamed, frothy milk added so that there is a clean layer of milk foam in a larger cup, a tazza. This is considered a morning drink for breakfast or mid morning snack.

Latte Macchiato – Milk “stained” with coffee, and served hot in a glass cup as shown or in a tall glass, larger than a cappuccino.

Caffè Corretto – An espresso with a “shot” of liquor of your choice. Mostly popular is additive is grappa, cognac, or rum.·This is an after meal drink to help your digestion, hence the name "corretto" correction.

Other variations of ordering Caffe:

These drinks are further variations on the coffee itself. Most of these drinks can have milk added to them but the important thing about ordering these drinks is specifying how it is brewed – doubled, water added, chilled, reduced!

  • Caffè Doppio – Two shots of espresso, served in a larger cup (tazza).
  • Caffè Americano – A shot of espresso with hot water added and served in the larger “tazza.”
  • Caffè Lungo – A setting on most espresso machines, more water is being run through the filter, resulting in a “longer” coffee. The consistency and strength is not the same as an espresso
  • Caffè d’Orzo – Espresso made from barley is a popular alternative to traditional espresso. It can be ordered as a single, doppio (double) or macchiato like a normal caffè. You can see this macchiato has some bubbles because the caffè d’orzo is not as thick as a regular ca
  • Caffè Freddo – Espresso is left to raffreddare or get cool, or is sometimes refrigerated and served cold or lukewarm.
  • Caffe HAG – This the most popular brand of decaffeinated coffee in Italy, it can also be a way to indicate a decaffeinated coffee when ordering. It can be ordered as a single, double or macchiato like a normal caffè.·

Not all bars are the same and there are various influences on the quality of the caffe;·

  • Brand of the caffe: ·Brand of caffe being utilized will be on the bar's outdoor sign or on the cups and bean grinder. ·Illy, Segafreddo, Hag, are a few of the brands found.
  • The ability to use the caffe machine's: ·I have found that tend to stop more at the local and more rustic bar's rather than many of the newer places. ·If there are a few old guys sitting around playing cards you can usually find a good caffe.

Out hiking or biking we tend to stop at bars to use the restroom.  It is more polite to at least buy a caffe during your stop. ·

Did you know that Trieste has been a major port for coffee import for several decades?

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