How To Order Coffee In Italy? The Italian Coffee Guide

how to order coffee in italy? a picture about lake garda

Italian coffee culture is absolutely incredible! If you’re lucky enough to be in Italy, you must experience it for yourself. When you walk into a café, you’ll be transported to a world where coffee isn’t just a drink but an integral part of daily life. 

Locals take a cherished tradition very seriously, and you’ll want to order your coffee like an authentic Italian to immerse yourself in the experience fully. Don’t be afraid to jump in and try something new – you won’t regret it! So, how to order coffee in Italy?

Italian Coffee Types

Italian coffee offerings are diverse and steeped in tradition. To order confidently, familiarize yourself with these common choices:”


The espresso is a strong, concentrated shot of coffee, the foundation of Italian coffee culture.


The cappuccino contains equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. I typically enjoy it in the morning.

Caffè Latte: 

It’s similar to a cappuccino but with more milk and less foam.


Espresso “stained” with a small amount of milk.


 Espresso “corrected” with a splash of grappa, brandy, or another spirit.

Caffè Freddo: 

Chilled espresso. It’s perfect for a refreshing break.

Caffè Lungo: 

Caffé Lungo is a “long” espresso made with more water for a milder taste.


Marocchino is an espresso with cocoa powder and milk foam. It’s often served in a glass.


When you walk into an Italian café, greet the barista with a big smile and a friendly “Buongiorno” (good morning) or “Buonasera” (good evening), depending on the time of day. 

Unlike in some cultures, tipping is not obligatory, though leaving a small gratuity for exceptional service is a thoughtful gesture.

To place your order, request your desired coffee using the appropriate name from the options provided earlier. For example, you might say, “Un Caffè Macchiato, per favore” (A Macchiato, please).  A straightforward “Un Caffè” will suffice if you prefer black coffee.

Take Your Time Before Ordering in Italy

When in Italy, don’t rush your coffee experience! Take the time to enjoy every moment and engage with those around you. Stand at the bar and soak in the lively atmosphere to fully embrace the Italian coffee culture. It’s a wonderful way to connect with new acquaintances and old friends alike!

Italian Coffee with a Delightful Treat:

When drinking coffee in Italy, enjoying a tasty pastry alongside it is common. You can choose from a variety of delicious treats like 

  • flaky cornetti, 
  • biscotti, 
  • tiramisu, 
  • and cannoli, 

which all enhance your coffee experience.

In Italy, they call this tradition “il dolce” which means “the sweet”. By enjoying coffee and pastries together, you’ll experience a delightful combination of flavors that harmonize perfectly.


Coffee in Italy is not merely a beverage; it’s a cultural ritual. The café, or ‘caffè’ in Italian, is a cornerstone of Italian social life. 

Whether wandering through the bustling streets of Rome or discovering a charming village, you’ll encounter countless cafés with bustling bar counters, encouraging you to stand, chat, and enjoy your coffee. 

Italian Coffee Dictionary for Coffee Lovers

How to order coffee in Italy like a pro? Use these words.

Caffè – Coffee

Caffè Nero – Black Coffee

Caffè Macchiato – Coffee “Stained” with a Dash of Milk

Caffè Latte – Coffee with Milk (similar to a latte)

Caffè Latte Macchiato – Milk “Stained” with a Dash of Coffee

Caffè Lungo – Long Black Coffee (espresso with added hot water)

Caffè Corto – Short Espresso

Doppio Espresso – Double Espresso

Decaffeinato – Decaffeinated Coffee

Caffè Americano – Americano (espresso with added hot water)

Caffè Viennese – Viennese Coffee (coffee with whipped cream)

Caffè Viennese Panna – Viennese Coffee with Whipped Cream

Caffè Viennese Freddo – Iced Viennese Coffee

Caffè Affogato – Coffee “Drowned” with Ice Cream

Cappuccino – Cappuccino

Latte – Latte

Macchiato – Macchiato

Cioccolata Calda – Hot Chocolate

Cioccolata Viennese – Viennese Hot Chocolate

Cioccolata Affogata – Hot Chocolate “Drowned” with Ice Cream

Tè – Tea

Tè al Limone – Lemon Tea

Tè alla Menta – Mint Tea

Tè Caldo – Hot Tea

Tè Freddo – Iced Tea

Zucchero – Sugar

Zucchero di Canna – Brown Sugar

Zucchero Bianco – White Sugar

Dolcificante – Sweetener

Latte – Milk

Latte Intero – Whole Milk

Latte Scremato – Skimmed Milk

Latte di Soia – Soy Milk

Latte di Mandorla – Almond Milk

Latte di Nocciola – Hazelnut Milk

Panna – Cream

Panna Montata – Whipped Cream

Schiuma di Latte – Milk Froth

Cacao in Polvere – Cocoa Powder

Cannella – Cinnamon

Caramello – Caramel

Vaniglia – Vanilla

Bicchiere – Glass

Tazza – Cup

Tazzina – Small Cup

Tazzone – Large Cup

Tazza da Latte – Mug

Bicchiere da Asporto – Takeaway Cup

Useful Phrases For Ordering Coffee:

Per favore – Please

Vorrei ordinare – I’d like to order

Grazie – Thank you

Un caffè, per favore – A coffee, please

Grazie mille – Thank you very much

Un caffè nero, per favore – A black coffee, please

Un caffè macchiato, per favore – A coffee with a dash of milk, please

Con dello zucchero, per favore – With sugar, please

Senza zucchero, per favore – Without sugar, please

Con del latte, per favore – With milk, please

Senza latte, per favore – Without milk, please

Un cappuccino, per favore – A cappuccino, please

Un altro caffè, per favore – Another coffee, please

Un latte, per favore – A latte, please

Una cioccolata calda, per favore – A hot chocolate, please

È delizioso, grazie – It’s delicious, thank you

È perfetto, grazie – It’s perfect, thank you

Il conto, per favore – The bill, please

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