ALL types of coffee in ITALY: names, features and prices!

In this video we’ll be talking about a very interesting topic, which i’m sure will interest many of you: I’ll tell you all you need to know about coffee and show you the difference between the several types of coffee you can find in Italy: espresso, cappuccino, marocchino, espressino, macchiato, corto, lungo, ristretto and so on!


Coffee is, as you know, un piezz’ e core, meaning “a piece of heart”, as a neapolitan would say. When we talk about coffee, to be fair, we are talking about the well-known drink obtained from grinding coffee beans, it came from Ethiopia and Yemen, but is popular in the whole world. In Italy coffee started spreading in 1570, especially in Venice. However shortly after many cities were full of “botteghe del caffè” (coffee shops) and this legendary drink, coming from the east, pierced through the heart of all Italians, who turned it into a symbol of conviviality and family. Even nowdays “prendersi un caffè” (having a coffee) is the perfect reason (and excuse) to have a friendly chat and escape from the stress of daily life. If you have ever paid a visit to somone in Italy, you’ve noticed that all of them have a coffee machine or a moka, because coffee is almost considered a ritual, usually practiced after a meal, or as a break from work during the day.

Of course there’s not just one type coffee, there are truly a lot, with just as many ways to make them.


Obviously the result mainly depends on the quality of the coffee you’ll decide to use: when you want to have a good coffee you should spare no expense.

So here is a list of the best Italian coffee brands:

1 – Caffè Borbone:

2 – Caffè Lavazza:

3 – Caffè Illy:

4 –  Caffè Motta:

5 – Caffè Toraldo:

6 –  Caffè Vergnano:

7 –  Caffè Pellini:

All of them are excellent, so picking one or the other is a matter of personal taste. I left you the Amazon affiliate links to buy and try them out. tell me in the comments which one is your favourite!

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But it’s now time to show you all the possible types of coffee you can find in Italy and their praparations:

  1. The first way to make it, the one that’s considered “normal” coffee in Italy, is caffè espresso (sometimes called “corto” meaning short). If you walk into a bar in Italy and ask for a coffee, this one is what you’ll get. It has a very strong and intense flavour, since there’s a high concentration of coffee compared to the amount of water. Overall a caffè espresso is about 30-40ml and its average price in Italian bars and restaurants is about 1€.

However, it must be said that there are two types of caffè espresso:

  1. Ristretto, which is charachterised by a lower amount of coffee compared to the normal espresso (so less than 30ml) and a higher concentration of flavours.
  2. Lungo, which is charachterised by a higher amount of coffee (up to 150ml) due to a higher amount of water compared to the concentration of coffee. Thus the taste will be more “gentle”.


  1. The second type of coffee is the decaffeinato (decaffeinated): it’s simply a product processed to remove caffeine, an exciting substance that can be also found in tea. In general, those who love the taste of coffee but can’t drink it due to health issues, will take a decaffeinato. You can find it in all bars en reastaurants, but also in powder and pods for coffee machines in supermarkets.


There are then many types of coffee that differ for different proportions between coffee and milk:

  1. The caffè macchiato is made with the tried and true espresso of  30-40ml of coffee plus 20ml of  whipped milk, also called frothed milk foam;
  1. The cappuccino: beware of quantity and proportions, because they are everything, especially in this drink! A cappuccino must have a total volume of 150-180ml, of which 25-30ml must be of coffe (the good old espresso, just so you know) and the rest must be half milk and half frothed milk foam. It is often served with a sprinkle of dark cocoa on the surface.
  1. The latte macchiato containing about 30-40ml of coffee (yes, it’s still the same base: the espresso) and 180-200ml of whole milk. Frothed milk foam is often added on the surface.
  1. The caffelatte or caffellatte, on the other hand, contains about  25-30ml of coffee and 125ml of milk. It’s usually made for breakfast by adding a spoonful of powdered coffee to hot milk (there’s coffee powder or grains that you can simply mix with milk). Or a bit of coffee straight from the moka!
  1. The marocchino, then, is made with 1 espresso, about 30ml of milk and a sprinkle of powdered cocoa. Also, during christmas time, some bars add a sprinkle of cinnamon.


  1. In summer caffè shakerato (coffee shake) is quite popular, it’s made with 1 espresso, 1 or 2 spoons of sugar, sime ice cubes and sometimes a bit of milk. Coffee shakes have definitely a higher price than the other types of coffee: usually it’s around 2,50-3,00€.
  1. On the other hand, a summery and not as costly alternative to coffee shake is caffè al ghiaccio (iced coffee): you will simply be given an espresso with a glasswith ice on the side. The finishing touches, then, are up to you!  You’ll have to pour the espresso in the glass, mix a bit, let it cool off and… enjoy!
  1. Another popular summery alternative is the crema al caffè (coffee cream): it’s a very cold sorbet, made with fresh cream, coffee and sugar, sometimes with a sprinkle of cocoa or coffee beans on the surface. this time as well it’s quite pricey, about 2,50€… plus all the calories!! Alas… but it’s so good!


  1. In the last decades the caffè al ginseng (coffee with ginseng) became icreasingly popular in Italy. It’s a drink made with coffee, milk, sugar and ginseng root. Usually it’s made with pods for coffee machines or with products in powder. The price is around 1,50-1,80€, depending if it’s served in a big or small cup.


  1. In Italy it is also possibile to find caffè americano (American coffee): it’s a coffee made with 1 espresso that is then diluted with hot water and served in a rather large cup. Let’s just say that it’s not very popular in Italy, even if you can find it in pretty much any bar. Generally it’s considered “diry water”, especially by the strictest traditionalists. The taste is clearly much lighter, much gentler compared to that of espresso. At any rate de gustibus non est disputandum: no pint arguing over personal taste. Even in Italy some people drink caffè americano!


  1. Last on our list is caffè corretto (also known as espresso corretto), that is an espresso plus a small amount of liquor, usually grappa and sometimes sambuca or brandy. The price of this type of coffee is around €2.


And now… No, we didn’t forget, it’s the only one missing. The first, the one and only caffè della moka: the most traditional of them all! We are talking about a coffee with a completely different preparation, which happens through what’s called, in fact, “moka”. The texture (and the look) of coffe from a moka is completely different from that of espresso! But many people – especially the traditionalists we were talking about – prefer this one!

Ogni casa italiana che si rispetti ha almeno una moka, anche inutilizzata, tra il pentolame e gli attrezzi da cucina. La base della moka viene riempita di acqua, poi si inserisce il filtro, lo si riempie di caffè in polvere per la moka, si richiude la caffettiera e la si mette sul fuoco. Quando il caffè “sale” e fa il suo caratteristico rumorino, si spegne il fuoco e lo si serve nelle tazzine.

Qui l’intensità dipende sostanzialmente dal rapporto caffè / acqua che decidete di usare, e lo stesso vale per la quantità. Esistono caffettiere più piccole, con cui si ottengono circa 1 o 2 tazze, e altre con cui se ne possono preparare anche 18 contemporaneamente!

Vi lasciamo una lista delle migliori moka nel caso voleste acquistarne una per la vostra casa:

Bialetti Moka Express Italia Collection in Alluminium (3 cupl)

bialetti tricolore moka

Information about this article:

  • Since 1933, the undisputed symbol of made in Italy in the whole world.
  • Perfect to make true Italian coffee.
  • Exclusive security valve trademarked Bialetti, easy to check and clean.
  • Capacity: 3 cups

Bialetti Moka Express Alpina in Alluminium (3 cups)

bialetti verdi

Information about this article:

  • A glorious awakening: all the quality of the Bialetti tea pots in honour of the great Alpine corps.
  • The lid and the feather mimic the distinguishing features of the hat of the Alpini.
  • Max safety: trademarked security valve, easy to check and clean.
  • Suitable for all hobs, eccept induction hobbs.
  • Perfect to make true Italian coffee.
bottone Amazon

Barazzoni Caffettiera in Alluminium (3 cups)

barazzoni caffettiera moka

Information about this article:

  • Alluminium body with certified safety for cooking.
  • Silicone seal for longer life and easier cleaning.
  • Unsuited for the dishwasher.
  • Suitable for all heat sources (except for induction).
bottone Amazon

Monix Vitro Express in Alluminium (3 cups)

monix caffettiera moka

Information about this article:

  • Coffee pot with ergonomic, heat resistant bakelite handle for safer and easier grip.
  • Capacity for 3 cups of coffee – 150 ml.
  • Suitable for all hobbs, except induction. don’t put it in the dishwasher.
  • Refinement in alluminium with matt effect.
  • Ultra-resistant exterior with edgeless interiror for better cleaning.
bottone Amazon

If you wish to learn more about another part of Italian culture, meaning literature, waste no time and check our video in which we present you 7 great classics of Italian literature!

All Amazon links ( are affiliate. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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