I took my very last moments in Europe, with my mother, to set foot in Torino, a place in Italy. I went there solely for two reasons: 1) Juventus, a football club, is based in Turin and 2) there wasn’t anyone, aside from football fans, knew where Turin is.
My impression after this Eatalian trip: “That’s Malaysia, but in Europe!” How so? Let me explain.
Food means everything to the Italians. Pizza, pasta, gelato, coffee, bread. Same as us, we brag about our food to guai lou so much because their food is sub-par to ours, and that’s the only one thing they can never conquer in.
Heard of Lavazza, the coffee brand? Torino is its birthplace, and it’s a coffee paradise. It makes you constipated because of drinking too many shots. Not tequila, coffee!
Every corner of the city has at least one coffee bar. Walk up to the bar and order a cuppa for a Euro whenever you want. When I say a bar, it’s literally a bar, there’s hardly a menu for you to scan through, and so you need to know what you want.
Even if you had a menu, you wouldn’t know how to read it. I was playing with odds, trying my luck most of the time. “Un café con leche!”. Didn’t know what that was, but with the spontaneity, it allowed me to try loads of types.
To be a smart consumer, unlike me, here’s a basic guide on how to order your coffee.
The purest form of coffee. It’s the foundation for every coffee I’m about to explain. One shot is all you need, because this is where they tell you, “A little goes a long way.”
You know Iced Caramel Macchiato? Scrap that from your mind, those are syrup water, not coffee. Macchiato is basically an espresso with milk foam garnished on top to offset the strong flavour of coffee. A mix of white and black brings the balance to the cup.
You have every right to be confused. Why is there two different names for the same drink?! Remember this, “Americano: Espresso First, Water Later; Long Black: Water First, Espresso Later.” Or better yet, just tell the barista you want black coffee.
Latte vs Cappuccino vs Flat White
I know how it feels like when you’re trying to choose between these three because you only know coffee is black.
Latte has more milk than cappuccino, and so it’s less strong. Cappuccino has more foam, less milk. Its strong, but not overwhelming, with a dash of cocoa powder for garnish.
While Flat White skips all the bulls**t and give you equal parts espresso and milk. No tulip or swan on top.
This is cappuccino shrink into a smaller cup. The taste would be very much stronger because of the size of the cup.
Mocha is espresso with chocolate powder and milk to give the distinctive taste of bitter sweet. You don’t need to go to café to get this. The kopitiam near you should have it. Tell them kopi o and Milo with no condensed milk. Milo itself is already sweet, and the Hainan coffee counters with the sweetness. Pure joy. This is, for me, the best way to drink Milo.
Anything with ice cream should be considered as dessert. Its espresso poured on top of the scoops of vanilla ice cream. Like the mocha, the espresso counter balances the sweetness of ice cream, and here you go, coffee ice cream.
So which is your most often order?!