Food
Fact Checked

What is Italian Coffee?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Italian coffee could mean certain types of coffee roasts, ways in which some roasts will be prepared as most traditionally Italian, or it could have other meanings. These each deserve some consideration in turn, and there can be disagreements among the most passionate coffee drinkers about what they mean.

Anyone who is visited Italy and is a java fan is likely to view Italian coffee through the lens of the way it may be prepared and drunk most commonly in Italy. Typically, coffee bars, restaurants and homes may have small or large espresso machines, and the coffee brewed is made of espresso beans. Thick small shots of coffee may be unadorned, have a little sugar, or be covered in foam, as is the cappuccino. Coffee can be a little watered down if people order it Americano, or have a dollop of whipped cream. Unlike the American penchant for milk in the coffee, it isn’t quite native to order cappuccinos after the morning.

A cappuccino made with Italian coffee.
A cappuccino made with Italian coffee.

Essentially, to many, Italian coffee is a shot of espresso, making this coffee quite widely available elsewhere, though lovers of the original insist Italy makes it better. Yet it is quite possible to drink coffee in the Italian way, even by visiting some of the better-known coffee chains. The difference tends to lie in the relative simplicity of many coffee drinks in Italy as opposed to those produced by coffee sellers, especially large chain ones.

Coffee and Italian coffee beans.
Coffee and Italian coffee beans.

Some people think of Italian coffee as a type of roast, and there are plenty of Italian roasts to sample for those who enjoy this style. Italian roast is one of the darkest roast coffees, falling just below French roast. Most commercial roasts tend to have strong flavor with a mellow finish that is quite unlike the French roast style. The darker roasted beans mean that strength is not overwhelmed by caffeine content. In fact, darker roasts are usually slightly lower in caffeine though they taste like stronger coffee. People might adjust brewing by adding more or less beans to compensate for this.

Espresso, a type of Italian coffee, typically includes a small amount of sugar.
Espresso, a type of Italian coffee, typically includes a small amount of sugar.

Just as with authentic Italian coffee, Italian roast coffees tend to brewed strong, and might or might not be accompanied with some milk. It is possible to make a passing espresso by finely grinding whole beans, and in some stores people will find coffees called Italian roast espressos, which may be either used in drip coffee or espresso machines. These can frequently be found in mainstream grocery stores, and are sold in cans pre-ground.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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Discussion Comments

Rundocuri

@raynbow- In my opinion, there is nothing like basic sweet cream in Italian espresso coffee. While it tones down the robust flavor of this strong coffee, it also doesn't interfere with its awesome coffee aroma and taste.

Ocelot60

@raynbow- I love coffee creamer that has an amaretto flavor in Italian espresso coffee. It adds a nice, sweet flavor to it while keeping the Italian coffee flavor ethnically authentic.

Amaretto coffee creamers are usually easy to find, and can be located in the dairy section of your favorite grocery store. You can also find a powdered version in the coffee isle. If you are drinking espresso in a restaurant, most places that serve it also offer this type of creamer.

Raynbow

I love strong coffee, and Italian espresso coffee is on of my favorites. However, I can't drink it without some type of milk or cream, though I like to keep the flavor authentic. What are the best creamers to use in this type of coffee?

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    • A cappuccino made with Italian coffee.
      A cappuccino made with Italian coffee.
    • Coffee and Italian coffee beans.
      By: magkrepa
      Coffee and Italian coffee beans.
    • Espresso, a type of Italian coffee, typically includes a small amount of sugar.
      By: bit24
      Espresso, a type of Italian coffee, typically includes a small amount of sugar.
    • Espresso powder allows people to make Italian coffee at home or in the office without needing an espresso machine.
      By: pressmaster
      Espresso powder allows people to make Italian coffee at home or in the office without needing an espresso machine.