Cappuccino, espresso, Americano — I’m sure you’ve heard of these Italian coffee drinks, but guest blogger Anna Kay, editor of MedCruiseGuide.com, shares in this post five Italian coffees with which you may not be familiar. Plus, this post contains an infographic about the cultural rules around drinking coffee in Italy. So, grab a cup of joe, and let’s learn a bit more about the coffee culture in Italy!
Disclosure: This guide to Italian coffee contains some affiliate links. When you click on or make a purchase from one of these links, we may earn a small commission. Of course, this is at no extra cost to you.
Five Italian Coffees You’ve Probably Never Heard Of
Espresso, cafe latte, and cappuccino aren’t new terms for coffee drinkers around the world. But you might not have heard of a few Italian coffees. Order one of these in Italy, and you’ll look like a true coffee connoisseur.
HAG is originally the name of a brand of decaffeinated coffee from Germany, but it is now commonly used to order decaf coffee in Italy. In fact, you can add the tag to any of your favorite coffees, e.g. an espresso hag or a cappuccino hag. Pretty cool!
The literal meaning of the word “lungo” is “long”. When you order a lungo, you are basically asking for a drink where once the espresso is poured in the cup, water is passed through the coffee grounds used for making the drink. This means that additional hot water is not added later and what you get is a longer and slightly weaker form of espresso.
Now, this is a very interesting name, isn’t it? If you’re curious to know what a “shakerato” is, it is essentially an iced coffee beverage. It features freshly ground coffee beans shaken with ice before being decanted in a stylish martini glass. When you’re sweating it out on a hot day in Italy, this is the drink you need to get your hands on!
Looking for the perfect post-dinner coffee? Well, you will probably love the corretto. This coffee is a variation of the espresso, but it has a dash of liquor, typically Sambuca, Baileys or grappa. But don’t worry, you can get any sort of alcohol added to your corretto (no rules apply here!).
Here is an espresso topped with a sprinkling of pure cocoa powder and a layer of hot milk. A marocchino is a spicy and creamy form of espresso. It’s ideal for drinking on winter mornings.
10 Italian Coffee Drinking Rules
Now that you’ve learned about these five types of Italian coffee, you can explore the infographic created by Med Cruise Guide below and learn the unwritten rules of how and when Italians enjoy their favorite drink!
About the Guest Blogger
Anna Kay is an avid traveler, photographer, and editor at MedCruiseGuide.com. She loves exploring and island-hopping across the Mediterranean and enjoying local food specialties.
Planning to travel to Italy?
If you will be visiting Italy, below are some helpful resources for planning your trip. I’ve thoughtfully selected travel guidebooks, tours, and booking services for you — all of which I would use myself.
Starting to plan your trip? I like to browse guidebooks for handy tips as I plan my trips, and I often reach for Lonely Planet. For Italy, Lonely Planet offers guidebooks covering the country as well as individual cities and regions.
You’ll find Lonely Planet guidebooks for the following destinations:
- Florence and Tuscany
- Southern Italy
- Venice and the Veneto
- Naples, Pompeii, & the Amalfi Coast
Read More Posts Like This
- Unique Coffee Shops in Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Coffee Lover’s Gift Guide: 20+ Gifts to Impress Coffee Snobs
- How to Choose the Perfect Coffee Beans
Save this post to your Italy travel or coffee Pinterest board(s) to reference later!
Oh wow, I didn’t know about most of these! I’ve only had a Marocchino before and it’s delicious. Thank you for all the tips 🙂
You’re welcome, Carmen! Perhaps you’ll get to try another of these Italian coffee drinks someday soon. I know I’m hoping to try a shakerato!
This was so informative, I’ll have to try a shakerato out! I never knew that hag was a decaff either
I also am interested in trying a shakerato the next time I visit Italy, Susan. I’m also glad you found the post so informative and hope this information comes in handy someday!
We learned the rule about standing vs sitting the hard way in Italy. We were shocked at how much more it cost to eat a meal or even a gelato while sitting at a table!
As a fellow American who travels abroad, I totally understand that shock, Tami. I didn’t realize there was an up-charge for sitting at gelato shops though. I only ever got gelato to go. 😉
Love this post even if I don’t drink coffee. My husband is a coffee connoisseur though and I have shared this post with him. Thanks lots!
I’m glad you enjoyed the post and shared it with your coffee-loving husband, Carol!
It takes me at least a month after I return from a trip to Italy to get the beautiful taste of Italian Espresso out of my mind and return to drink American Coffee. On my last trip to Italy I brought back coffee beans from Lecce and this helped ease my transition from Italian Coffee. Though even with beans, my machine didn’t make the same caffeinated nectar as I enjoyed in all over Italy. I’ll be buying an Italian Espresso Machine on my next visit.
Thanks for education in coffee.
I bet! I wasn’t much of a coffee drinker when I visited Italy at age 20, but now I’d love to drink espresso in Italy. Having an Italian-made espresso machine at home would certainly be a treat, Jerome!
Shannon | Shannie Chic
I LOVE coffee and I didn’t know any of this! Thanks for the knowledge share!
You’re welcome! I hope you get to put this knowledge to use in Italy someday, Shannon!
You just blew my mind! So much I didn’t know about italian coffee. I think this is my new guide!
Even though I had traveled to Italy, much of this information was new to me too! I guess I wasn’t much of a coffee drinker at age 20, but trust me, this will also be my go-to guide for my next visit. #coffeeaddict
Wow such an awesome post! I didn’t know any of these. You can’t order a milky coffee after 11 am I don’t if I would like that haha
Right! It’s usually when I’m traveling that I want a mid-day latte, but when in Rome …
I would love to go to Italy someday! I always instantly think pasta but now I’ll be dreaming about the coffee too!!
I, as well, always think of pasta when I daydream of traveling to Italy again. But, pizza, wine, gelato, and coffee are also tasty reasons to visit someday!
Momma To Go
I LOVE ITaly the coffee and this post! We were introduced to marrochino last trip, it was awesome! PS They take this very seriously. The people will LITERALLY laugh at you if you order a cappucino after 11, maybe noon
I’ve made a mental note to only order my foamy coffee in the morning on my next trip to Italy!
Love this! We want to go to Italy someday and we do love coffee!! ☕️
I hope you get to travel to Italy someday to enjoy a coffee there, Courtney!
Love everything about this post! Just makes me want to go back to Italy for another shakerato now!
I’m also dreaming of the day I can return to Italy for these coffee drinks, Julie!