Forget about large and red-eye and all the other specifications that have currency in American coffee shops. These are some words you can add to your basic order of un caffè to obtain slight variations:
- ristretto: concentrates the espresso so the cup is no more than half-full and the flavor more intense
- doppio: double-shot
- lungo: adds a small amount of hot water so the cup is almost full
- macchiato: adds a small amount of hot milk; a small pitcher with cold milk is usually available on the counter and customers are free to help themselves
- corretto: adds a small amount of liqueur, which needs to be specified (e.g. corretto col cognac)
- con panna: adds a dollop of whipped cream on top
- freddo: iced
- al vetro: served in a glass cup; I have heard this expression in Rome, where it is actually pronounced ar vetro
- americano: adds more hot water than in the case of lungo; the shot of espresso is served in a cappuccino cup together with a small pitcher of hot water so the customer has control on the level of dilution. The request for an americano usually elicits an expression of sadness in the face of the barista, who has to witness the debasement of his/her creation.
Click on the button to hear me pronounce the Italian words mentioned in the post:
or launch the variazioni sul tema 'un caffè' audio file [mp3].
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