Michelangelo’s Favorite Italian Coffee Drinks

Michelangelo’s Favorite Italian Coffee Drinks

Michelangelo once confessed he could have never painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel without drinking espresso throughout the day. Ci Credo! I believe it.

Espresso: Originating in Italy, this numero uno of coffee is about 1 oz, typically served black, and has a light layer of crema on top from the oils, all due to the ingenious Italian invention and brewing method where a small amount of near boiling water is forced under pressure through finely-ground coffee beans.

Espresso is the base for a multitude of Italian coffee drinks. In Italy, don’t ask for an espresso at a coffee bar. Simply say "un caffe", and you’ll get an espresso. Coffee and espresso are synonymous in Italy.


Caffè Americano: A single shot of espresso, topped with added hot water.

Caffè Affogato: A scoop, or two of gelato with a shot of espresso on top. A delicious coffee / dessert.


Caffè Anisette: Espresso blended with Italian anise-flavored liqueur. A delicious evening nightcap.

Caffè Con Panna: A traditional espresso served with whipped cream on top. Panna is Italian for whipped cream.

Caffè Corretto: A shot of espresso mixed with a shot of liquor. Caffè Corretto means corrected coffee in English. Typically, sambuca or grappa liquor is used.

Caffè Cortado: Traditionally made as an espresso with an equal amount of steamed milk added to it. The milk cuts the acidity of the espresso while keeping its flavor. This drink gets its name from the Spanish word Cortado “to cut”.

Caffè Doppio: A double shot of espresso, about 2 ounces of black coffee. Doppio means double in Italian.

Caffè Latte: Very popular worldwide, made with one part espresso, two parts hot milk, then milk foam on top. A nice drink to show off your artistry.  In Italy, like a cappuccino, this milk laden drink is for the morning, never in afternoon or evening.

Caffè Lungo: An espresso made using a longer extraction time and more water, which produces a flavor that’s not as strong as a regular espresso.

Caffè Macchiato: An espresso base, topped with a dollop of steamed frothed milk, forming a layer on top with the crema all around. The name comes from an Italian word meaning spotted or stained. In Italia, order your caffè macchiato with hot milk (caffè macchiato caldo) or cold milk (caffè macchiato freddo).


Caffè Marocchino: An espresso mixed with cocoa powder, topped with milk which is whipped into a cream (very similar to a hot chocolate). Often served in a small glass and dusted with extra cocoa powder. 

Caffè Mochaccino: Similar to Caffè Mocha, made with a cappuccino, mixed with whipped cream, chocolate, and sprinkled with cocoa powder.

Caffè Shakerato: An espresso mixed with ice in a cocktail shaker, and poured into a high glass. Shaking results in a thick froth and makes it very smooth to drink.  Often requested with whipped cream panna on top. A summertime favorite. 


Cappuccino: Perhaps the most famous, this worldwide favorite is made with espresso on bottom, then steamed milk, and milk foam on top. In Italy, largely consumed in morning as part of the breakfast meal (as it contains much milk), and never in afternoon or evening.

Crema al Caffè: Made with frozen cream and coffee, machine mixed, yielding a slushy creamy delight. After a dusting of cocoa powder, this refreshing summertime drink is the marriage of coffee & dessert.


Caffè Ristretto: An espresso made with less water and a finer grind of coffee, making a strong cup. Sometimes said to be pulled short because of the shorter extraction time, ristretto means restrained in English.

Enjoy this useful menu of Michelangelo’s Favorite Italian Coffee Drinks, and fancy your next cup of Saravella like a true masterpiece. Ciao!

Back to blog