For those Italian coffee lovers out there, this is a crazy question. They believe that everything is special about Italian coffee, true Italian coffee, that is. It is important to note that what is considered a regular cup of coffee in Italy is drastically different than what it is in the US. When ordering coffee from Nini & Deluca, be sure you know what you are ordering.
Typically in Italy, a cup of coffee is espresso. This means fast and that is exactly what it is, a fast way to get coffee. Most common in the US when one asks for a cup of coffee is filtered coffee. One of the major differences is the coffee grind. When coffee is ground for espresso, it is more powder-like and the coffee is thick, more like syrup. When coffee is ground to be filtered, it is coarser. This allows the water to filter through the grounds much slower and the coffee is thinner, more like water. The water temperature for espresso is steaming hot, which is how it brews much faster. Filtered coffee happens at a much lower temperature and a much slower brewing process.
In Italy, a coffee is an espresso. In the US and many other countries, coffee drinks are made with espresso missed with other things, but most of us do not drink espresso in the same way as they do in Italy. Drip, or filtered coffee, is not a common way to brew coffee in Italy. Instead, they drink what we think of in the US as an espresso shot. The water that is used in this process is close to boiling. It has more acid and a thicker consistency. In Italy, it is common to drink espresso all day long.
A latte, also known as a caffe latte, is a shot of espresso mixed with water. There is a certain technique used for pouring the milk into the espresso that is used in Italy, which is different than that used in the US. Believe it, or not, this makes a difference in the taste of the latte. This is a popular breakfast drink in Italy and not commonly found after 11 in the morning.
Cappuccino is another common breakfast drink. You will not find this after the morning. This includes coffee, steamed milk, and milk foam. The foam is frothed to a perfect top layer. This drink requires a delicate hand because the pouring technique is important. This is a layered drink and served in a large cup that looks like a bowl. This is usually a drink that goes with sweeter foods.