Espresso (caffè italiano)

brian

Senior Member
AmE (New Orleans)
Ciao,

I work as a barista in an American coffee shop. I'm sure our drinks are much different from the authentic Italian espresso drinks, but here is a short list of what we serve:

Cafe latte = 1-3 shots of espresso with the rest of the cup filled with steamed milk and a bit of froth/foam

Cappucino = 1-3 shots of espresso with some steamed milk and at least 1/3 (sometimes close to 1/2) the cup filled with froth

Espresso macchiato = 1-3 shots of espresso with a "spot" (touch) of froth on top

Espresso con panna = 1-3 shots of espresso with a touch of whipped cream on top


I have two questions. 1) I've never heard any Italian speakers in New Orleans before (other than the few phrases my Italian family still knows), but I served a man the other day who I think was speaking Italian. He only said three words, which I'm pretty sure were, "Solo...con panna." I definitely knew that "con panna" meant "with (whipped) cream," and I surmised that "solo" meant "single shot (of espresso)." In Italy, do Italians order by the number of shots, and if so, do you not say "uno," "due," etc.? Do you not say "singolo"? Is "solo" common? Maybe he wasn't Italian and was just making stuff up!

2) Are these drinks popular in Italy and are they made similarly? Or are these "Americanized"? How do they differ? What's YOUR preference??

I look forward to hearing your responses!


Brian
 
  • Elisa68

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Solo is not the way we order an espresso in Italy. I think it is the way Starbucks named its one-shot espresso. You are right about the con panna part.

    In Italy we simply order: un caffè (corto, lungo, macchiato, corretto) without saying the number of shots.

    Caffelatte (one word in Italian) is pretty the same (without foam)
    Cappuccino is like the American Caffè Latte.
     

    brian

    Senior Member
    AmE (New Orleans)
    Elisa68 said:
    Solo is not the way we order an espresso in Italy. I think it is the way Starbucks named its one-shot espresso. You are right about the con panna part.

    In Italy we simply order: un caffè (corto, lungo, macchiato, corretto) without saying the number of shots.

    Caffelatte (one word in Italian) is pretty the same (without foam)
    Cappuccino is like the American Caffè Latte.

    Interessante. Cos'è un caffè corto/lungo/corretto? E quanti "shots" sono in un caffè?


    Brian
     

    Elisa68

    Senior Member
    Italian
    brian8733 said:
    Interessante. Cos'è un caffè corto/lungo/corretto? E quanti "shots" sono in un caffè?
    Usually, one shot (5,6 grams of coffee).
    Corto/ristretto = short/strong
    Lungo= long/weak
    Corretto= laced with liquor
     

    BURRITO

    Senior Member
    ITALIAN, Brescia
    ciao brian!
    esiste anche il caffè "liscio" che è una via di mezzo tra l'espresso e il lungo come intensità ed è liscio perchè non ha niente aggiunto (latte, liquori ecc.). il caffè con panna si beve ma non è molto comune...forse il tuo cliente era latino, visto che in spagnolo il caffè liscio è "un café solo"...jeje

    ciao ciao
    cri
     

    Saoul

    Senior Member
    Italian
    In Milan, and I don't know if anywhere else, we have also "marocchino" which basically is a small "cappuccino".
    People asking a coffee here are quite funny. Conversation are composed by one or two words.
     

    emma1968

    Senior Member
    ITALY-italian
    Adesso dalle mie parti va di moda il "mocacino" . Non sono neanche tanto sicura che si scriva così. Dovrebbe essere una sorta di cappuccino con cioccolata!
     

    shamblesuk

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Come si chiede di un caffelatte 'forte' (cioè fatto con un espresso doppio)?

    Al di qua non la fanno basta forte, è sempre troppo debole.

    Basta dire 'Prendo un caffelatte corto/ristretto, per favore'?

    Lee
     

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    emma1968 said:
    Bravo Charles!
    Si vede che non l'ho mai bevuto eh????
    Ne ho solo sentito parlare!
    I sometimes put a tablespoon of Nutella into the coffee. It gives a lovely hazelnut flavour.
    Is there one made with coffee that has no milk in it, or is it just made with cappuccino?
     

    emma1968

    Senior Member
    ITALY-italian
    Charles Costante said:
    I sometimes put a tablespoon of Nutella into the coffee. It gives a lovely hazelnut flavour.
    Is there one made with coffee that has no milk in it, or is it just made with a cappuccino?

    I think there is only the one made with cappuccino.Anyway when you order a coffee they usually give you a "cioccolatino" as well . You could put it into the coffee in order to obtain the one you described:D
     

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    emma1968 said:
    I think there is only the one made with cappuccino.Anyway when you order a coffee they usually give you a "cioccolatino" as well . You could put it into the coffee in order to obtain the one you described:D
    Thanks Emma.

    BTW your English is getting better by the minute!
     

    brian

    Senior Member
    AmE (New Orleans)
    Questo thread è molto interessante. Un'altra domanda. (I don't really know the scope of this thread, but hopefully mods won't get too upset about it being all over the place :)) In Italia, si prepara mai un caffè espresso a casa? O lo si beve solo al bar? C'è una differenza nel sapore?


    Brian
     

    emma1968

    Senior Member
    ITALY-italian
    brian8733 said:
    Questo thread è molto interessante. Un'altra domanda. (I don't really know the scope of this thread, but hopefully mods won't get too upset about it being all over the place :)) In Italia, si prepara mai un caffè espresso a casa? O lo si beve solo al bar? C'è una differenza nel sapore?


    Brian

    Molte famiglie hanno in casa la macchina per fare il caffè espresso. Naturalmente non viene come quello del bar.
     

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    emma1968 said:
    Molte famiglie hanno in casa la macchina per fare il caffè espresso. Naturalmente non viene come quello del bar.
    If you have a decent espresso coffee machine you can get coffee that is exactly the same as the one you get in a bar. Obviously a caffettiera doesn't make coffee like that.
     

    emma1968

    Senior Member
    ITALY-italian
    Charles Costante said:
    If you have a decent espresso coffee machine you can get coffee that is exactly the same as the one you get in a bar. Obviously a caffettiera doesn't make coffee like that.

    Indeed, you are right. It definitely depends from what kind of machine you have. If you have a good one you surely will be able to make an espresso coffee as good as the one you get in a bar.

    Regarding the "caffettiera" I can say that with it you taste another kind of coffee, with a different flavour!
     

    primo_cerchio

    Senior Member
    Italian Italy
    plabrocca said:
    It used to be hard to find. For a long time you could only find instant decaf, but that was a while ago.

    Thanks for the corrections.

    Pat
    In Italy you can find decaf in bars since 30 years.

    In France it was like that.
     

    Saoul

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Charles Costante said:
    If you have a decent espresso coffee machine you can get coffee that is exactly the same as the one you get in a bar. Obviously a caffettiera doesn't make coffee like that.

    No way Charles! Emma's right. Even the best of home coffee machines cannot make a coffee as good as the one you can have in a coffee shop.
    It's not only a matter of pressure, but of use.
    Coffee shops very early in the morning make very poor coffees, because the pressure in the machine is still not sufficient, and new machines don't make perfect coffees, so both the daily use, and the frequency are involved.

    But this is really a coffee-addict problem.
    I like the one from the moka, too!

    EDIT: EMMA! Non ti piegare all'Aussie che non ne sa niente di caffè!:D I love you Charles, you know it, don't you?
     

    lsp

    Senior Member
    NY
    US, English
    emma1968 said:
    Indeed, you are right. It definitely depends from what kind of machine you have. If you have a good one you surely will be able to make an espresso coffee as good as the one you get in a bar.
    It'll be close, but not the same. The pressure is what makes the difference, and the pressure in the machines at the bar is difficult to find in the most common machines made for the home. Some of the very expensive ones approximate it.

    EDIT: Hi, Saoul.. didn't see you there before....:)
     

    emma1968

    Senior Member
    ITALY-italian
    Saoul said:
    No way Charles! Emma's right. Even the best of home coffee machines cannot make a coffee as good as the one you can have in a coffee shop.
    It's not only a matter of pressure, but of use.
    Coffee shops very early in the morning make very poor coffees, because the pressure in the machine is still not sufficient, and new machines don't make perfect coffees, so both the daily use, and the frequency are involved.

    But this is really a coffee-addict problem.
    I like the one from the moka, too!

    EDIT: EMMA! Non ti piegare all'Aussie che non ne sa niente di caffè!:D I love you Charles, you know it, don't you?
    Saoul, non è questione di piegarsi all'Aussie:D I guess it's a subjective point of view!
    Maybe a coffeeholic could notice the difference !! And I'm not a coffeeholic!!
     

    Wolverine

    Senior Member
    I think that the machines for making coffee are very different between Italy and Usa (for example).

    In Italy we use the classical espresso mechine. With 5-6 grams of Coffee powder, you obtain a little cup of coffee in 30 seconds. It's so fast and we call espresso. It's not important the concept of shot. A regular coffee is 5-6 grams of powder. If you put a double quantity of powder you obtain a doppio coffee (double), it the machine goes less than 30 second you obtain a ristretto coffee (short), if the machine goes more than 30 seconds you obtain a lungo coffee (long).

    These are the types of coffee.
    Then you can make a lot of variations putting milk or cream ol chocolate or whatever...

    I think also that coffee in Usa (for example) has a lot of coffee powder and a very big quantity of water.. For example the Starbucks coffee..

    Spero di non avere detto troppe cose sbagliate.

    Ciao
     

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    Saoul said:
    No way Charles! Emma's right. Even the best of home coffee machines cannot make a coffee as good as the one you can have in a coffee shop.
    It's not only a matter of pressure, but of use.
    Coffee shops very early in the morning make very poor coffees, because the pressure in the machine is still not sufficient, and new machines don't make perfect coffees, so both the daily use, and the frequency are involved.

    But this is really a coffee-addict problem.
    I like the one from the moka, too!

    EDIT: EMMA! Non ti piegare all'Aussie che non ne sa niente di caffè!:D I love you Charles, you know it, don't you?
    It depends on the coffee machine. I only have one coffee a day so I use a caffettiera, but my brother has one, and it makes coffee exactly the way you would get it in a bar. I must admit that some machines aren't that good. Maybe we make much better coffee machines in Australia, Saoul? :D
     

    Saoul

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Charles Costante said:
    It depends on the coffee machine. I only have one coffee a day so I use a caffettiera, but my brother has one, and it makes coffee exactly the way you would get it in a bar. I must admit that some machines aren't that good. Maybe we make much better coffee machines in Australia, Saoul? :D

    Maybe :rolleyes:
    Irony is absolutely attached.
     

    emma1968

    Senior Member
    ITALY-italian
    Charles Costante said:
    It depends on the coffee machine. I only have one coffee a day so I use a caffettiera, but my brother has one, and it makes coffee exactly the way you would get it in a bar. I must admit that some machines aren't that good. Maybe we make much better coffee machines in Australia, Saoul? :D
    Or maybe italian bar make espresso coffee better than Aussie ones!!!:D
     

    zagroMod

    New Member
    Italia - Italiano
    The most common ways (that I know, probably there are others) to drink coffee in Italy are:

    - "caffè espresso": 1 shot, normally we call it simply "caffè". We have a lot of subcategories.
    - "caffè normale": the common way, fill the typical italian coffee cup to the middle of the handle. Again we refer to it simply as "caffè".
    - "caffè corto" or "ristretto": short, fill to the bottom end of the handle; is the purest part of the coffee so is more strong.
    - "caffe lungo": longer, fill to the upper end of the handle; contain more water so is more weak.
    - "caffè corretto": laced with some sort of booze, often with grappa, brandy or sambuca; fill as for the common way and nearly to the top with booze.
    - "caffè doppio": 2 shoots, you can use the normal cup filled nearly to the top but is common the use of the "cappuccino"'s cup.
    - "caffè triplo": 3 shoots, you must use the "cappuccino"'s cup. If you ask it the barman will look you like you are complety nuts (the italian coffy is strong and 3 shoots are often too much). :pPP
    - "decaffeinato": coffee without caffeine, served as any other "espresso". We often call it "deca" or "Hag" (if a trade but is so commond that became a synonym).
    - "macchiato": with some milk in it, it can be "macchiato freddo" (with cold milk) or "macchiato caldo (with hot milk). Normaly you prapare a normal "espresso" and then give the milk to the customer (so he chose the quantity of milk)
    - "marocchino": is an expresso served in a glass (similar to that used for superalchoolic but with a metallic handle) with some froth on it.
    - "mochaccino": is a "marocchino with a lot of choccolate powder on it.
    -" cappuccino": served in a larger cup is an "espresso" with a thick layer of froth (you must make it with vapor at the time, if you prepare a large amount of froth for too much customers your bar will become empty in few days).
    - "latte macchiato": a glass of hot milk with some coffee in it.
    - "moka": is the coffee that you can make at home without machine. It contain a large amount of water so is very weak. It have a completly different taste from the "espresso". Normally you can't find it at bars. Moka, for the precision, is the name of the pot used for make it.
    - "solubile": is coffee to melt in hot water, the most famous trademark in Italy is Nescafé. You can prepare it nearly everywhere. Some bars have it but is very rare (normally only a stranger, used to drink very weak coffee, can ask for it).
    - "caffè dell'universitario"; you prepare the coffee with the moka... then reopen the part that contain the water and fill it with the coffee you just prepared and add some water (or some booze!!!)... then you prepare a coffee; the result is VERY strong and is used often by students before some difficult test.
    - "grolla" of "caffè alla valdostana"; is a very peculiar coffee prepared in Valle d'Aosta (you can find it in other regions but is VERY rare). Is too complicated to explain in few words.
    - "caffè napoletano"; another peculiar manner to prepare the coffee. Again is a little complicated...
     

    nickditoro

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    lsp said:
    It'll be close, but not the same. The pressure is what makes the difference, and the pressure in the machines at the bar is difficult to find in the most common machines made for the home. Some of the very expensive ones approximate it.

    EDIT: Hi, Saoul.. didn't see you there before....:)
    Lsp, we are in complete agreement on this point. I have been buying espresso machines for years, beginning with a wonderful Swiss-made machine whose successor now costs in the neighborhood of $2,500 U.S.! My current machine is a more modest affair, though made in Italy. Nevertheless, regardless of how much care I put into making coffee, these machines simply can't produce the same consistency of crema that the professional machines make. The crema is the sine qua non of great espresso in my opinion. However, and this is important, even the greatest machine can produce terrible espresso if the barista doesn't know how to draw the shot. That's not to mention the selection/mixture of the beans, and of course roasting. I've noticed that American roasts labelled "espresso" are far darker than one gets from imported Italian beans.

    EDIT: Removed any reference to brand names. (Thanks, Saoul!)
     

    nickditoro

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    Wolverine said:
    Another thing that I think is that is probably impossible obtaining a coffee like the "espresso" in the bar with a caffettiera (which is this http://www.lifeinitaly.com/food/img/caffettiera-300.jpg).

    If for caffettiera you means a machine electrical..

    ..welll..
    ..maybe in a great lucky day you can obtain the espresso coffee..
    Isn't the machine pictured in this link called a "moka"? I notice that in Italian movies, Italians make their coffee at home only with these and not with the electric machines (with automatic or mechanical pumps).
     

    Saoul

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Bex78 said:
    Scusate se mi intrometto, ma avete dimenticato il fattore 'umidità'!!! E' molto importante!

    This is what I call GENIUS!

    Guys, you all know this will be absolutly blamed by every single mod on this planet?

    Nick great commercial, btw, and that thing about the moka was back in the 70s... I add up to Bex and say... we didn't talk about the water. Its taste is different, and it is very important in this all.
     

    emma1968

    Senior Member
    ITALY-italian
    nickditoro said:
    Isn't the machine pictured in this link called a "moka"? I notice that in Italian movies, Italians make their coffee at home only with these and not with the electric machines (with automatic or mechanical pumps).
    Yes, it's a moka !!!

    I personally use it!
    Il problema è che in casa lo bevo solo io e solo una volta al giorno, la moka da una tazza ne fa almeno due, quindi devo sempre buttarne via la metà!
     

    Wolverine

    Senior Member
    nickditoro said:
    Isn't the machine pictured in this link called a "moka"? I notice that in Italian movies, Italians make their coffee at home only with these and not with the electric machines (with automatic or mechanical pumps).


    You're right It's a moka.

    We usual use this for making coffee at home, but someone has electrical or mechanical machines.

    We usual say caffettiera=moka= the image i linked

    Macchinetta per il caffè (properly a little machine for a coffee but means every kind of machine except the moka).
     
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