Fast Coffee in Italy – Quick, Cheap and Delicious

by Erica Berman
Written By

Erica Berman

Erica Berman grew up in Lexington, Mass. After graduating from Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Journalism and an intensive summer at Middlebury College (Vermont), Erica went to Paris with hopes of submerging herself in French culture and perfecting her French -- and she stayed 20 years. Erica is the founder of the HiP Paris Blog and Haven In her former company. She now splits her time between Paris (Montmartre) and Maine (Midcoast). She recently started a non-profit growing organic produce for the food insecure in Maine called Veggies to Table. In her all-too-rare free time, Erica likes to travel off the beaten track, explore Paris and Maine, read, take photos, cook, kayak, hike and enjoy long Sunday brunches with her friends. View Erica Berman's Website

13 comments on “Fast Coffee in Italy – Quick, Cheap and Delicious

I DO adore your photos, and i DO adore italy, cuisine, different regions, people, little towns/villages just as i LOVE and ADORE France, but when it comes to enjoying my latte macchiato with some home made biscotti/scones/cookies with sea salt… or perfect made croissants then i just could not do it like you described!

Latte macchiato, sweets, good company and at least 1-2 hours of talking and drinking ONE latte macchiato and enjoying every single sip of it and bite of my scones.
That’s something that i value the most.

In my opinion the best coffee I’ve ever drank in summer was during my holiday in Cyprus, it was famous frappe-iced coffee!

Hi Kiki. Thanks for sharing your experience. I realized that I did once get a “dai dai” in a small beach town called Albenga in Liguria. I thought that the guy was just being nice and giving me a treat. It WAS delicious. And I do love the way they remember you, so unlike the Parisian experience where they forget you on purpose!

Great article! I can’t wait to try coffee in Paris someday! I have a passion for coffee and want to try it all! Thanks for sharing this post!

Carrie A Groff

I think this post has a charm that explains the character of Italians and their enjoyment of their coffee. I like the extra touches that come automatically, as well as the cheery conversation.

Erica; I had my coffee in Italy EXACTLY the way you described it – quick, short, hot, standing at the bar, in and out (after a quick chat as of the 2nd day of staying) in less than 5 minutes – and MOLTO BUONO, BUONISSIMO!!
When I stayed 3 wks in Florence for a language course, the barristo asked me the 1st day if I wanted (surely!) an Americano – I looked deeply into his dark eyes, told him in Italian to have a good look at me and if he would ask the same question again tomorrow we would look for another bar – I wanted the real, only one, black, short, hot, strong coffee and no nonsense…. (sorry to ‘insult’ the Americans) – He laughed loudly and hey presto, every morning my friend and I went in, and he was ready with two freshly pressed orange juices, an espresso and a cappuccino for my friend, one glass of water for myself and then we picked some dolce – and were set to handle another few hours of learning parlare Italiano come loro. Wonderful times – and a lovely post.
Mille grazie, baci, Kiki

PS: We also got tiny black chocs at some places we have been staying – but the dai dai is new to me too…

Your wonderful images make me want to be there! I am having my coffee right now with vanilla soy milk!

Love to also meet friends at Dean & Deluca or The Roasterie.


Art by Karena

Italian espresso is the best!! (also the only one, maybe 😉

In Genoa and Liguria they always give you bottled water. And charge you (a very small amount). They seem to think the, perfectly drinkable, tap water is not ok. If you ask for tap water they they you are really really strange!

Charged for the water? I’ve never paid for it. In Sicily (Messina), you can enter a bar ask for water, say grazie and walk away without paying.

Hi S’Notes! Grazie mille per il tuo messagio. Non ho mai visto the ‘dai dai’ adesso cerco questo. Thanks for letting me know about it. A presto! – Erica

Great post: you’ve captured the real essence of the caffè espresso (in all senses) for us in Italy!! I would add that sometimes they serve you also a small dark choccolate or (very rarely) the “dai dai” which is a small icecream…great taste when it is mixed with coffee!

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