An Italian coffeebar where they sometimes enable you to buy a 12-coffees card
Coffeelovers is the second blogpost in a series of five on the difference between Dutch and Italian habits regarding food.

Around the 16th and 17th century, both Italy and the Netherlands were very active exploring new parts of the world. All kinds of new products were found and traded to the home countries of explorers like Marco Polo and Abel Tasman. Although not all activities were positive for seller and buyer this period introduced us to a product which most of us still enjoy daily; coffee.

Bars and chain stores are still popping up in a lot of Western countries selling different types of coffee – usually with EnglishItalian names like moccachino - sometimes for enormous high prices. Trends are passing by in high pace. It is changing from coffee made in an espresso machine to the so called slow filter coffee.

Where Dutch people drink their coffee to flush away their breakfast or to wake up behind the office desk, Italians reserve a moment to enjoy their first cup of the day. As a sort of breakfast they walk into a bar around ten or eleven in the morning to have a cappuccino or cafe latte (here is the milk which we need for our daily calcium) accompanied by a sweet pastry like a croissant of a muffin.

In relation to quantity and quality there is a big difference visible between the Dutch and the Italian coffee tradition. Dutch people just want a lot of the caffeine containing liquid not bothering whether it is made with freshly grinded beans in an espresso machine or that it comes from a powder machine, often seen in big offices and train and fuel stations. If you want it to get sweeter you add sugar, if you want it milder you add koffiemelk (evaporated milk) or, even worse, creamer (milk powder which solves in the coffee).

The Italians have more rules and traditions. You can have a cappuccino or a cafe latte only till 11 in the morning. After lunch or dinner you have an espresso or a café lungo. Coffee is made from freshly grinded beans in an espresso machine which is handled by the bartender or a barista who knows how to deal with it.

After the coffee break it’s just a short period until lunch which starts around 12.30u in both Italy and the Netherlands. Make sure you are hungry!