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Drinking espresso coffee at the bar - La banda degli onesti - Totò
La banda degli onesti – 1956

Coffee is the Italian beverage of choice as made obvious by the daily ritual performed faithfully by Italians.
What are the 8 signs, not so obvious to the untrained eye, that distinguish an Italian at the bar?

  1. An Italian walks into a bar: 8 out of 10 times it’s for enjoying a coffee.
  2. The best way to start the day? Coffee + newspaper = BUONGIORNO!
  3. “Let’s go for a coffee” this is the excuse most used by Italians to have a chat or a “pick up”.
  4. An espresso must be express as it’s prepared quickly and just as quickly consumed while standing at the bar, of course!
  5. When is the coffee hour? Coffee has no time constraints in Italy! You can request it any time of day or night.
  6. In Italy, if you say “caffè”, you say “espresso”! You will never say “un espresso” but simply “un caffè”.
  7. The allowed variations? Lungo or ristretto, macchiato caldo or macchiato freddo, corretto, marocchino.
  8. Cappuccino? Never after 10:00 a.m.!
    If the table behind yours is served cappuccinos and it’s 2:00 p.m., then you’ve found the group of tourists as Italians will never do this!
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