Friday, April 17, 2009

Espresso, le Cafe, Campo S. Stefano, Venice

Ah, Venice. The first thing listed on the coffee menu was 'Cafe' and it was also the cheapest. I deduced from this that 'cafe' in Italy is what we know as espresso. In my best Italian accent (ie. not very good) I said "Cafe per favore".
The waiter started to walk off, then came back and said "Espresso?"
"Ci, espresso."
Does that mean you're actually supposed to order espresso? Or does that mean that cafe staff in Italy assume that tourists can't possibly really mean cafe (espresso)? Is it all tourists? Or have Americans caused this (and therefore, did this guy think I was American)? It would be quite easy to blame Americans since the second listing on any coffee menu is Americano.
Eventually an excellent looking espresso arrived, on a little silver tray, complete with a glass, a jug of water, a caramel biscuit, and a tiny bowl of whipped cream topped with two coffee beans. Most of which I left behind.
The coffee: good crema, and thick enough to almost be classed as a solid. And the taste: that excellent nuttiness.


  1. i used to order a shot by asking for "uno normale" or "espresso normale" that way you avoid all the touristic paraphernalia

    and order at the bar, unless you plan to sit down for a few hours.

    whatever you say, enjoy it, as much as you can, cos coffee back here will never ever be the same.

  2. I have a feeling that cafe just means coffee in italian and thus the the extra inquisition into what coffee you may have wanted. Alternatively you could just work this a tourist lucky dip if you felt in a particularly risky tourist mood. However this has shown to result in a less that brilliant coffee experience on the whole.