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Italian Coffee Culture & Most Popular Expressions

For Italians, coffee is not just a drink. Coffee is art, it’s culture.

Vurchio Daniela
Vurchio Daniela
Book lesson

For Italians, coffee is not just a drink. Coffee is art, it’s culture. You can have the same coffee machine, but each time the aroma will be different and depends not only on the blend or the water but above all on the art of the “barista.” Coffee is the first thing they ask you when you go to someone’s house. It’s a nice break at work or at home.  It’s an opportunity to socialize, to get to know someone in a very casual way. In short, it’s always a good time for a good coffee!

It’s not just about coffee, with or without sugar, the cup is also important: a large cup for cappuccino, a small cup for espresso or espresso macchiato, and sometimes even a glass cup, it seems to have an even different taste! On top of almost all bars, coffee is served to you along with a glass of water.

According to connoisseurs, coffee seems to be hot and strictly bitter.

By the way ... an Italian never asks for espresso, or for espresso macchiato, because coffee and espresso are the same things! Just say: “un caffè per favore!”

Coffee fanatics, on the other hand, have imposed a fundamental rule: never drink cappuccino after 11 am!

Here are some common expressions you may come across when it comes to coffee

When you invite someone to the bar:

“Posso offrirti un caffè?”


“Ti va un caffè?”


“Prendiamo un caffè?”

And you just reply:

Certo (sure), grazie!!

And then you find yourself in front of different types of coffee!

No panic!  With a little practice, everything will be easier!

Coffee Ristretto
Coffee corretto
Coffee Macchiato Caldo
Coffee Macchiato Freddo
Language Learning

Vurchio Daniela

Hi! I am an Italian native speaker. I have been teaching Italian to adults and children for several years. I like teaching the language in all its aspects, not only linguistic but also cultural.

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