Coffee in Italy
Notes about coffee encountered in Italy
Overall assessment – Most coffee encountered was of good, consistent quality. Coffee in Venice seemed stronger than elsewhere. Coffee was (almost) universally cheap. The cheapest I encountered was EUR0.70, but usually maxing out at EUR2.50 (when sitting at a tavolo). Had I tried hard I could have paid a lot for a coffee (EUR 5 sitting on the tavolos (tavoli?) out the front at a restaurant on Piazza del Popolo or, I am told, even worse at Piazza San Marco) but didn’t.
Cappuccino – this term seems to have different meanings in different cities, and at different places within the same city. Some places dust the top with cacao (- ie the solids which are combined with sugar and other stuff to make what most people know as chocolate) not chocolate, while others don’t. Cappuccino froth was usually not as thick (ie it had much larger bubbles) as Australian cappuccino.
Americano – My guess is that this is an espresso engineered to taste like brewed coffee. Tried it once, am not going back.
Espresso – Milder than what I remembered from Australia, except in Venice, where it was stronger. Not as watery as Parisian espresso. Very nice with a teaspoon of sugar, although my friend Carlo tells me this a form of sacrilege.
Caffe correto – is it wrong? This is an espresso ruined by adding a shot of alcohol (my choice, grappa, for instance, is a particularly poor (although, I understand, common) one).
Caffe maroccino – apparently an espresso served in a small glass, with chocolate (or cacao??) melted around the base of the glass, a shot of espresso, milk froth and sprinkled with cacao – not quite as described by Wikipedia. Nice enough, but life is too short to spend on maroccini.
Caffe Latte – didn’t actually have one, but saw a few… and visually they looked the same as what I’d expect…
Affogato – I had only one EUR7 concoction under this name – served in a tall glass filled with gelato, this was effectively a milkshake with a shot of espresso mixed in. Given that what I’ve received in Sydney asking for an affogato is different depending on who you ask, I can’t hold this against the Italians. More preferable was une picolo coppa gelato e caffe espresso (sp??). Not only is this option substantially cheaper, it allows one to mix and match espresso with gelato at one’s leisure.
Babycino – we were utterly unable to find anywhere which did anything remotely resembling a babycino. Indeed, we were unable to even communicate the concept. Although we did end up with some hot milk on a number of occasions.
Cioccolato Calda – (ie hot chocolate) thick and creamy. Watched it being made using exactly the same sachets you can buy in Haberfield. Disproportionately expensive.