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Lungo or ristretto? Macchiato or corretto? You may already have found yourself losing your bearings among the various ways in which you can order coffee in an Italian bar.


Therefore, here are some tips: "caffè ristretto" or "basso" ("short") is an even more concentrated version of ordinary espresso with a very strong taste; its opposite is "caffè lungo" or "alto" ("long").
"Caffè macchiato" is espresso with a drop of either hot or cold milk, hence the two expressions "macchiato caldo" and "macchiato freddo".
"Caffè corretto" is usually drunk at the end of a meal, as a digestive: it is espresso with a shot of Grappa or other liqueur.
"Latte macchiato" instead is a glass of steamed foamy milk with a drop of coffee and it is different from "caffellate" in which the milk is not foamy. Some people prefer to have their coffee served "in a big cup" while others like it "in a small glass" so as to also enjoy the colour of the coffee.
"Caffè shakerato" ("coffee shake") is just perfect for the summer and it is made with coffee, ice and sugar: the result is a cold coffee froth served in a glass.

Having breakfast at the bar is a habit for many Italians who usually have cappuccino and a croissant. A cappuccino is prepared by adding foamy milk to a shot of espresso, though some people do not like it foamy and ask for a "cappuccino senza schiuma" ("without foam"), while others like a sprinkle of cocoa powder on theirs. Besides traditional espresso, the fashion of sweet-flavoured coffee has recently caught on: Hazelnut, Cocoa, Caramel, White Chocolate, and even Ginseng. A host of flavoured espressos for the greediest and the most curious which - luckily - have not succeeded in replacing espresso in the heart of Italian people.

Published: 7/5/2014

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