Never Order a Latte in Italy

Italy is the home of coffee, and the classic pizza and pasta, so it’s no surprise that the country is top of the list for the vast majority of New Zealanders making their way around the world. But everyone knows that you don’t order a latte in the Boot of Europe, lest you end up with a glass of cold milk – so what do you order?

It Italy, caffè means coffee, but specifically means what we know as espresso. If you walk into a coffee shop in Italy and order a caffè, you’ll get espresso. Sometimes you’ll get a jug of hot water, but opinion is divided on whether it is to cleanse the palate before drinking or to refresh your palate afterwards.

Cappuccino is basically the same, espresso with a bit of steamed milk. Pro tip – Italians only ever drink this at breakfast, so don’t order one in the afternoon unless you want to look like a fool. A Caffè Americano is also the same as what we know – espresso diluted with hot water in a bigger cup. While you might stumble across it in an Italian bar – a café – Italians don’t order Americano. As the name suggests, it was made for Americans, and Americans drink it.

And then there’s the big one. If you’re foolish enough to order a latte, don’t be surprised when you get a glass of milk. Latte means milk. Nothing more, nothing less. But, if you’re not willing to try espresso in the home of espresso and the most refined coffee culture on the planet, you’ll get exactly what you deserve.