Until what hour can you order a cappuccino in Italy? Without passing for a total tourist? What do you mean, what does the time have to do with enjoying a delicious Cappuccino? A lot, actually. Because in Italy, it’s common and more than common to enjoy a quick coffee only at the counter of a bar. The espresso, that tiny amount of coffee, brewed fresh and strong. You don’t have to sit down for an espresso, you can enjoy it quickly standing up. Still, standing and enjoying, not running off somewhere in a paper cup. You can’t enjoy it that way. But what about the Cappuccino?
In Italy, you can drink a cappuccino up to this time of day
A Cappuccino is a hot drink made from hot milk foam with an espresso. Cappuccino is often served in a thick porcelain cup. Sometimes with a little cocoa powder and a little sugar, depending on taste. A nutritious as well as energy-giving drink, simply delicious.
But did you know that there is a time of day after which it is a no-go to order a Cappuccino? By the way, this rule applies not only to cappuccino, but also to caffe latte and the like, because milk-based coffee specialities are typically only consumed at breakfast in Italy. As the first meal of the day, Italians often have a cappuccino with a cornetto/brioche, i.e. a coffee/espresso with foamed milk and a croissant or pastry. These are often filled with apricot jam, vanilla or pistachio crema or chocolate. Italians like to start their day nutritiously (milk) and sweetly (filled brioche croissant).
Therefore, if you order a Cappuccino in the afternoon, you are outed as a tourist. An espresso is more classic here, and offers you the same amount of caffeine as an energy kick.
Overview of typical coffee specialities in Italy
Here below is a small overview of typical coffee specialities in Italy so that you know what to order the next time you visit a café bar. It is interesting for you to know that “con Panna” means with (whipped) cream, and macchiato means “frothed milk”.
Espresso – a small amount of freshly brewed coffee.
Corretto/Caffè Corretto/Espresso Corretto – like an espresso, but even less water and practically just one tiny sip of coffee
Espresso Macchiato – an espresso with a cap of milk foam (so you can, almost, save the sugar for the espresso)
Espresso con Panna – an espresso with a cap of whipped cream
Cappuccino – Espresso topped with frothed milk
The picture has been taken of my breakfast Cappuccino at Ditta Artigianale Firenze.