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The coffee conundrum

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1. The Italian bar

The conundrum of what and how to order in a bar is typical Italian. Mainly because a bar is not what is seems. Sure you may order a coffee and receive one. But that is much like order food in a restaurant.

A bar is an institution, governed by unwritten rules. So to get the most out of a visit, prepare yourself for the mission. Consider it an anthropological enterprise, a trip to the core.

bar etiquette, some rules to follow

2. Coffee conundrum

the Italian coffee conundrum

The coffee conundrum is an interesting phenomenon. A result of Italian ingenuity, of proper inventiveness. It is paying the right attention to details other don’t even notice.

The joy of personalizing a drink requires a certain acquaintance. And we happily supply you with some basic rules. 

3. Cup and quantity

Coffee comes in a cup. Right. The cup can be normal or big. And normal or hot. Some of the cups are kept on top of the coffee machine. Under a towel. Such cups are scorching hot. One little advice: beware.

Single coffee stands for quality. A double coffee is similar to a double alcoholic drink. Something you order because you think one would not satisfy. When adding hot water, coffee becomes Americano.

the cup conundrum

4. The milk conundrum

the milk conundrum, with a cappuccino

First of all: milk is added to coffee for breakfast. Later in the day it is highly unusual. Ordering cappuccino in the afternoon screams you’re a tourist.

Adding milk to coffee results in ‘macchiato’, stained coffee. Coffee added to milk has several outcomes. The ubiquitous cappuccino or caffè latte.

Foamed milk instead gives birth to caffè schiumato. And to keep the conundrum alive, you should choose between a cup and a glass. And whether you want cacao or not. 

5. Free advice

There are plenty more choses. A decaf for a late afternoon coffee. A ginseng for health reasons. A caffè corretto for the irreducible drinkers. 

Whatever your choice may be, make the visit short. Drink standing and leave a small tip for the barman. Leave it before he or she takes your order. That guarantees a certain regard. 

leave a tip for the bartender

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