How to buy take out coffee in Italy

Italy’s take out coffee: espresso on a tray delivered by a man in a white coat

A photo posted by Hayley Prins (@hayleyprins) on

Take out coffee in Italy: it does exist.

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to get a take out coffee in Italy. But it isn’t what you would think. Workplaces, locally owned shops mostly, are the recipient of this spectacle: tiny porcelain espresso cups and saucers on a tray, delivered to your work place by a man in a white coat. Talk about dignified. And low waste.

It doesn’t happen in every country or society that such a small act can be raised to such a level of dignity and elegance. I love the white coat. Though whether it marks his barista trade or if he is, in fact, actually a pharmacist, I didn’t follow him to find out.

Italy, I applaud your style. Even if your citizens sometimes do questionable things with moka coffee pots.

Other recent coffee news in Italy was the announcement of a Starbucks chain in Milan. In the international press, many articles quickly followed predicting both the success and decline of the chain. Those tall white take-out cups of flavoured foam will of course find a market. Outside of Italy, Starbucks cups are practically a fashion accessory. Teens and instagrammers like that. And if McDonald’s poor excuse for a meal can survive and thrive here, overpriced coffee can, too.

But as for me, I’ll keep drinking unsweetened tea.

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