In the mother country, you won’t find a single frothy white moustache dotted with chocolate powder at coffee time.
Interestingly, the leisurely soup-bowl-sized latte or foaming pint of mocha with extra-sweet syrup is an American take on a very natural Italian habit.
No, in Italy they take it short, sweet and quick – and most often standing at the bar.
While here we might drink a single coffee at 11am, munching on a super-sized cookie and chatting with friends, according to research, Italians might have five tiny espressos during the course of a day. And the nature of the teensy, dark beverage leaves them very little time to talk.
To linger a little longer, they might add a crunchy almond Doria Amaretti biscuit. It sits virtuously on the tiny espresso saucer and can be consumed in super quick time to provide a sugary, caffeine punch.
Espresso literally means ‘express’ or ‘fast’, and because of the nature of coffee, it must be made directly for you, it can’t be prepared earlier. So hurry up!
If you were to walk into an Italian bar and order a latte – be prepared to be offered a glass of frothing, hot milk. In Italy a latte macchiato most resembles what we think of as a latte – but it will be served in a much smaller measure. So you may want another.
The basic clue here is that each Italian concoction is based on the espresso. If it’s served with a tiny amount of hot milk, it’s a Caffé macchiato. If it’s an espresso with a lot of hot, foamed milk, it’s a cappuccino. If it’s a lot of flat milk and tiny spot of coffee, it’s a latte macchiato. Caffé Americano most resembles what we would call filter coffee. But it’s really an espresso with hot water added.
And finally a Caffé lungo is an espresso measure of ground coffee beans with more water pushed through it at the barista machine, so it’s a little different to the Americano – but only a little.
One of the greatest pleasures on earth is a Doria After Dark Cocktail. It combines espresso, Amaretto, cognac and double cream to produce a sophisticated drink that delivers a heady, potent draft that will bring you to your senses. Serve with Doria Amaretti for added style.