Order Coffee Like an Italian

Asking for a “latte” won’t get you want you want

Forget about finding a Starbucks-style latte. Instead, enjoy an Italian capuccino.
(photo by Kaitlin McKinney)

“It’s a way of life,” says Giovanni Garbugli, co-owner of Urbino’s Sugar Café, as he explains why coffee in Italy is the best in the world. Want to order coffee like a native? Here are a few tips on what to drink and how to order it, Italian-style.

  • In the U.S., a “macchiato” is likely to come with caramel flavoring. But in Italy, a macchiato is very different. “Macchiato” literally means “marked” or “spotted.” And in Italy, that is just how the people like it: A shot of espresso spotted with just a little bit of milk is a “caffé macchiato.” A “latte macchiato,” on the other hand, is a cup of warm milk spotted with espresso. The more common form is the caffé macchiato.
  • Anywhere in the States, a “latte” is well known to be a mix of milk and espresso. In Italy, asking for a latte will get you a glass of milk. Why not order like a true Italian and get a cappuccino? A cappuccino is mostly espresso with some milk, often served in a ceramic cup to keep the drink warm.
  • When you want to experience a novelty coffee found only in Urbino, the Sugar Café, located at the corner of Via N. Pellipario and Giro dei Debitori, is the place to go. Their specialty, Di Zucchero Café Stile Estivo, which means “sugar coffee summer style,” is a unique blend of espresso, Nutella cream plus secret ingredients, and light whipped cream to top it off.

And if you want to really blend in, you will never go wrong by ordering a simple shot of espresso.

Sugar Café
Via Giro dei Debitori, 24
61029 Urbino, Italy
0722 350 464

Open Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Saturday, 6 a.m to 3 p.m. Closed Sunday and holidays.

This article is from Urbino Now magazine’s Go Native section, a collection of tips and info to help you feel like a local. Please view more magazine articles or order a complete printed copy of Urbino Now.