Experiences Local Aromas

A Fun Guide to Ordering Coffee Like a Local!

When in Rome: A Fun Guide to Ordering Coffee Like a Local!

Welcome to Rome! Knowing your way around a coffee menu is crucial if you’re venturing into this caffeinated paradise. Don’t just stumble upon a bar and order a latte (spoiler: you might just end up with a glass of milk!). Here’s your fun guide to ordering coffee in Rome like a seasoned local, complete with all the tasty varieties you might encounter.

Know Your Coffee Bar Etiquette

First things first: in Rome, a bar is essentially a coffee shop, so don’t be surprised if that’s what your friendly local recommends when you ask for a good place to get coffee. Here, coffee is usually enjoyed standing at the counter, which is cheaper than sitting at a table. Yes, standing! You’ll pay, order at the bar, and drink your coffee quickly before heading on your way. It’s a fast-paced ritual that matches the bustling energy of the city.

Espresso: The Heart of Italian Coffee Culture

Start simple. When in Rome, an espresso is just ‘un caffè’. This is the default coffee in Italy, served strong and quick. It’s a small shot of pure energy that Italians gulp down standing at the bar, often accompanied by a glass of water to cleanse the palate before the coffee hit. And remember, it’s cheaper consumed at the bar than seated!

Cappuccino: A Breakfast Thing

In Rome, a cappuccino is strictly a morning affair. It’s frowned upon (by those in the know) to order it after 11 AM because milk and a full stomach are considered a no-go. Frothy, warm, and comforting, a cappuccino is espresso topped with steamed milk foam, perfect with a cornetto (Italian croissant) to start your day.

Macchiato: The Lighter Touch

Can’t handle the intensity of a straight espresso? Opt for a caffè macchiato, which means stained coffee. This drink consists of an espresso with a drop of milk or foam added, just enough to stain it without overwhelming the robust coffee flavor. It’s ideal for a mid-morning or afternoon pick-me-up.

Latte Macchiato: Stained Milk

This is where it gets fun. A latte macchiato is steamed milk stained with a shot of espresso. This is a milder coffee, and while it’s more milk than coffee, it’s a delightful afternoon treat, especially if you’re easing into Italian coffee culture.

Marocchino: The Chocolatey Delight

For something a bit more decadent, try a marocchino, named after the Moroccan leather for its color. This is a shot of espresso, a layer of frothy milk, and a dusting of cocoa powder, served in a small glass. It’s a beautiful, luxurious little brew, perfect for when you need a sweet boost.

Americano: For When You Miss Home

If what you’re really craving is something closer to your cup of coffee back home, go for a caffè Americano, which is an espresso shot diluted with hot water. It’s a longer drink, somewhat resembling the familiar American-style coffee but with a distinctly Italian flavor profile.

Caffè Corretto: Coffee With a Twist

Caffè corretto literally means corrected coffee in English. And by corrected we mean that a dash of grappa or sambuca (anise-flavored liqueur) is added to your coffee. It is usually consumed as an after-dinner drink or as a way to warm up on a cold day (a habit that mainly belongs to farmers or people working in the various markets who need a little something more than coffee to warm up and wake up in the morning)

Ordering coffee in Rome is as much about the experience as it is about the beverage. It’s about quick, friendly exchanges at the bar, the clink of spoons against ceramic, the hiss of the espresso machine, and the rhythmic shaking of sugar packets.