A Coffee Guide to Rome

a woman stands on a cobbled street in front of the colloseum taking a photo of the person who is photographing her

Coffee has been an essential part of Italian culture since the 16th Century in Venice, and its grip on the Italian soul has only intensified since. Italian Coffee is some of my favourite in the world, but I admit I may be a little Biased. Rome was where I first tried coffee ( Thank you Roma!) and I have been dreaming about Italian coffee ever since.

With strict customs and protocol that are almost religious, Italian Cafe’s can be a stressful experience for a first time visitor. Use my coffee guide to help you enjoy all the delicious coffee you can without feeling like a tourist.

Here’s how to order coffee in Rome:

What to Order

Espresso — This is the standard in Italy and what you’ll recieve if you just ask for a coffee. It’s very strong, but delicious! This is what the local’s drink standing at the bar any time throughout the day.

Caffè lungo —Two shots of espresso

Caffè corto— If you need a real caffeinecaffine boost, try this. A small amount of super concentrated caffine.

Caffè Americano— The closest you’ll find to normal drip coffee, although quite watery here. I’d skip this in favour of something else if possible.

Cappuccino — Shot of espresso with foamed milk. This is my absolute favourite and the best cappuccino’s I’ve ever had have been in Italy. They use a higher milk % which tastes like absolute heaven!

Caffè macchiato — a shot of espresso with a splash of milk and foam. Not as thick or foamy as the Cappucino.

Caffè latte — espresso mixed with warm milk.

How to Order

Keep it Simple. “Un cafe per favore” ( Oon ca-fay pair fav-aw- ray). Replace Café with whatever order you’d like.

Things to Know

  • Locals don’t usually order milk-based drinks after 11 AM as their milk is not often refrigerated ( it’s still fine to drink as the preservation process is different!)
  • The word bar does not mean the same thing as it does in North America. This can be interchangeable with a cafe style establishment
  • A cafe/ coffee bar is a place where locals congregate any time of day.
  • There aren’t usually sizes, coffee is served in a standard size ( usually small)

Inspired to visit? Plan your trip using my Travel Girl’s Guide to Rome

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