America for Italian Dummies #3


C like… Coffee!

Dear fellow italian countrymen,

please don’t blame American coffee, I know it’s hard to accept for you, but trust me, it is not so bad as you expect, in fact it has il suo perché.

Dear American friends,

don’t be surprised to see the perplex faces that any Italian has in front of an American cup of coffee. It happens for a variety of reasons.

Let’s start with the cup. This is the big sister of the Italian tazzina (lit. little cup, or mini mug as someone say). For an Italian it’s always hard to conceive a coffee that is not in a tazzina. Remember that in Italia caffè ‘coffe’ and espresso are synonymous.

Next coffe machine. Ok, now a days american coffee machines are becoming more and more popular, but typically an Italian don’t have any idea about the way in which that kind of machine works. The proof? 4 years in the U.S. and I cannot make a coffee (if not with the moka)

Third. Coffee during meal. Raise your hand you will never ever ever will be able to convince an Italian to accept this. Expect a disgusted face if you do. If you want to become the best friend of an Italian fellow, bring him/her a coffee after a meal.

And if you wonder why, again, in Italy coffee = espresso, not something that you could sip during an entire meal, but you quickly drink after it. Maybe standing at the counter.

And this lead as to the next point: coffee to go.

unconceivable in Italy.

Having a coffee while walking? Whaaat?

working or studying with a coffee cup on your desk? What’s that?

And Coffee shop. Well, believe this or not, the Italians will be absolutely ecstatic about them.

Don’t be surprise if they order a coffee expecting to be served. They don’t do that because they are aristocratic used to servant wearing livery and white gloves, it’s just because no drink is self-service (nor free refill) in Italy.

And sitting in a coffee store for hours reading, chatting, or working without the obligation to order something after a while will be heaven for them!


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