Coffee. It’s the simple pleasure in life most of us can’t live without. I know I can’t. Well…I’m sure I could but why bother?

I knew from my previous trips to Paris that the experience of drinking coffee wasn’t something to be trifled with – and I’d read numerous articles on the art of ordering coffee in Italy but the idea really scared me. Yes, I’ll admit it – the idea of ordering coffee here scared me.

Cappuccino. Cup of Cappuccino Coffee

At home, I used to drink a double/double (or 2 cream, 2 sugar). But I’ve been slowly weaning myself down to only 1 cream and getting used to espressos more than before.

In London, when you order a coffee, you go to Cafe Nero and get a latte or cappuccino or a coffee with cream to go.

In Paris, you order a latte only in the morning. Anything after lunch is Americano (I’m simplifying but you get the picture). Oh…what is Americano…just strong black coffee.

In Italy, you get a cappuccino or latte for breakfast and then americano the rest of the day. You can order the ‘creamy’ stuff if you want but be warned, you do get the ‘look’. And to go coffee…unless you’re at a gas station or they specifically have a sign that says “American go cups”, you’re hooped.

This is the part that scared me. You order and drink your coffee (in espresso cups) at the bar. Yep. At the bar. You order, get your receipt and then wave the small slip of paper at the person behind the bar hoping they notice you amongst the crowd of others pushing their way in and shoving their own paper forward.

Since I’m a nice Canadian girl, I don’t shove, push, thrust my slips of paper ever…so it took me some getting used to.

Remember how I said I was down to one cream? Well here, I’m managing to drink my Americano black. (shudder). I add a little sugar to help but it goes down quite smoothy. See…Italian coffee just seems to taste better. Go figure.

I’m sure when I get back home, standing in line or driving thru the drive-thru to order my coffee will feel weird. But until then…