Coffee for beginners



I am NOT a coffee drinker, in fact, I dislike coffee. I am more a tea and hot-chocolate person. Me and my friend went to buy coffee yesterday, and her order sounded like some kind of spell used in Hogwarts. As an Italian, I am ashamed of myself for not knowing what exactly a cappuccino is, I mean I know it’s coffee… But… What the ingredients are, I have no idea (until now!! 🙂 )

Even if you are, like me, a non-coffee drinker, knowing your coffee (or that of someone else) is essential (okay maybe not THAT essential) for life and touristing in Italy (and beyond).

Coffee beans are actually not really beans, but seeds of a red fruit growing on 10 feet tall trees. They aren’t brown when you take them out of the fruit, they are green, they first have to be roasted until they pop and double in size and have their brown colour.

In 1675, the king of England banished all coffee houses, as he thought they were places where conspirers against him came to meet.

Knowing coffee is like learning a new language (a little more simple though, but you get the idea), coffee has a lot of varieties, in fact so many, that it isn’t even possible for me to write them all down. That’s the reason why there are two sections in this post, the well-known (you will probably know these by name) and the lesser known.

Let’s begin with the basic of the basics: an espresso, the base for nearly all coffees;


Lots of coffee beans and not so much water, result: strong, thick coffee. Espresso is made by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee beans.


Better known coffees


“Latte” in Italian means: milk. A Latte is then also just espresso with milk added to it. Milk/coffee ratio: 1:3 or 1: 5



Sounds great no?

Mocha is like a Latte, except it is a chocolate-latte (added: chocolate powder, syrup or other chocolates)



Espresso, hot milk and a layer of foam.




A coffee with nearly no caffeine in it.


Espresso and hot water

Iced: (aka the Frappuccino)

Any coffee type above, but then with ice in it.


Made with skim or no-fat milk.


Half regular coffee, half decaffeinated coffee.


Think Irish whiskey, sugar and whipped cream.


Coffee with soy milk.


Two shots of espresso in the same volume as one espresso.


An espresso with more water, (not an Americano yet though) it is bitter and weak.

Caffé ristretto: 

A coffee in which the stream of coffee is stopped before the normal amount.

Caffé corretto: 

Coffee with some liquor in it (mostly cognac or grappa)

Chai Latte: 

A latte in which the espresso is replaced by spiced tea.

Lesser known coffee’s:

Caffé Bonbon:

This type of coffee was especially popular in Valencia and parts of Asia such as: Malaysia. The European version uses a 1:1 sweetened condensed milk and espresso ratio. Distinguish this coffee by it’s white bottom layer.

Caffé Medici: 

A doppio poured over chocolate syrup with an orange peel and topped with whipped cream.

Caffé Miel: 

One espresso + steamed milk + cinnamon + honey


I hope this post was interesting, do you have any suggestions? Tell me in the comments.

Now go like and share this post and share the knowledge.




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