Wednesday, 7 May 2008

What to Order in an Italian Coffee Bar

Ordering a coffee in an Italian coffee bar can be intimidating. Below is a list of types of Italian coffee which you can find at any coffee bar in Italy.

A small, strong cup of coffee, or “espresso”.

Caffè Macchiato
A “stained” espresso, meaning an espresso with a few drops of milk. You can order a caffè macchiato “con latte freddo”, with cold milk, or “con latte caldo”, with steamed milk.

Caffè Doppio
A double espresso.

Caffè Lungo
An espresso made with double the amount of water, thereby making it weaker.

Caffè Stretto
An espresso made with less water – very strong!

Caffè Hag
A decaffeinated espresso

Caffè Americano
A strong American-style coffee served in a cup that is larger than an espresso cup but not as large as what you would get in America.

Caffeè Corretto
An espresso with a shot of cognac, grappa, amaro, baileys or other liquers.

Caffè Freddo
A cold espresso, normally served in a small, glass cup. You can also order a “caffè freddo con panna”, with whipped cream.

Caffè Latte
Normally served at breakfast, a caffè latte is a shot of espresso with an abundant amount of milk, served in a large glass.

An espresso made with steamed milk, served in a cappuccino cup. Normally served at breakfast.

Cappuccino Freddo
A cold espresso with cold milk, normally served in a mid-sized glass.

Caffè Marocchino
An espresso with a splash of steamed milk and cocoa powder.

Granita di Caffè
A slushy beverage made with iced espresso, separated by one or two layers of fresh whipped cream.

Caffè Shakerato
An espresso shaken with ice and cane sugar, often served in a martini glass. This is normally only consumed during the summer months.

Crema di Caffè (left photo)
An cold espresso blended with cream, topped with cocoa powder, served in a martini glass.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Sunset at the Singita

Twenty-five minutes outside of Rome, there is a popular stretch of beach, called "Fregene". In terms of beauty, it does not compare to the wild, pristine beaches of Sardegna. Rather, it’s proximity to Rome makes Fregene conducive to over-crowding and somewhat murky waters. But what it lacks in beauty, it makes up for with its selection of trendy beach bars.
My favourite Fregene beach bar is the “Singita”. The Singita is known for two reasons. First, they created a new drink, appropriately called the "Singita". It is like a mojito with fresh strawberries and sugar cane, made with vodka rather than rum. It’s a bomb because of the insane amount of vodka that they use, yet somehow it tastes light and refreshing.
Second, trendy lounge music, comfortable garden furniture and large white sheets placed in the sand create a relaxing, cosy atmosphere – a build up to the main event: Sunset. Like New Year’s Eve, everyone makes sure they are ready for the big moment. As the sun begins to set, friends come together to enjoy a drink and complimentary appetizers. When the sun finally sets, everyone takes a moment to watch as the light disappear and then clap when sun disappears into the horizon. At this point, candles and torches are lit and the evening continues under the starlit sky. Sunset at the Singita always feels like the perfect end to the perfect day.