Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ordering Coffee at a Bar

Almost all of the cafes I have been in so far have a very wide variety of different types of coffee. It can be overwhelming at times, and you don't want to be stuck getting the same thing every time because you don't know what it all is. So I will give you a short summary of the more popular kinds of coffee that you may want to consider trying if you ever travel to Rome.

The very first thing on all of the menus in the cafes is simply caffe. This is commonly mistake by American's as normal coffee. But really, caffe is what Americans would call espresso; simply a very small cup of strong coffee topped with a caramel colored foam called crema. To order this in decaf yo simply ask for "caffe hag" (hag being the largest producer of Italian decaf coffee). Caffe lungo, meaning "long coffee" is very close to an American cup of coffee. At the bar, they let the water pour from the machine until the coffee becomes weak and bitter. This type of coffee is sometimes expressed by Italians as acqua sporca, meaning "dirty water." Caffe con panna is simply espresso with sweet whipped cream. Caffe corretto (coffee corrected) is a cup of their coffee with a bit a liquor added, usually conac or grappa seems to be most popular.

Caffe latte in Italy is what we would call a latte in America. It is espresso with hot milk, the same thing as a cappuccino without the foam. This I was surprised to see was served in a tall glass, compared to everything else I've had so far which is served in a smaller mug. Cappuccino, my drink of choice, and only drank in the morning by Romans, is made with a shot of espresso in a mug larger than that of a caffe. In addition to the shot of espresso, milk and foam are added.

In addition to these, there are many other specialty drinks designated by area and also some places have a variety of iced coffee.

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