How to Make Authentic Italian Coffee

Visit any Italian household and the morning will inevitably start with a ritual that involves a traditional aluminum pot, hot water and some fresh ground coffee. And then comes the aroma and the sputtering that sends everyone rushing to the kitchen to pour a cup of fresh coffee!

Did you know that freshly brewed early morning cups of this favorite beverage are considered to be a part of good Italian hospitality? Regardless of the time you visit an Italian home, you will always be offered a steaming cup of homemade caffè. To put it simply, Italians and coffee are inseparable.

The natives of Italy claim that what makes their coffee uniquely special is the quality of the added water. For example, if you’re lucky enough to find yourself in Naples (by some opinions the ultimate espresso destination of Italy) you might enjoy a cup that is absolutely on-point. But don’t be disheartened, you can still enjoy authentic Italian coffee if you use bottled water instead of regular tap water for brewing.

In order to prepare a good cup of Italian coffee, you first need to purchase a ‘moka’ or an aluminum pot. Introduced by a man named Alfonso Bialetti in 1933, the unique moka pot comprises three key elements: a boiler (or bottom chamber), a funnel cup and a top chamber. Fresh coffee grounds are placed in the funnel that sits atop the boiler, holding the water. These moka pots are available in a variety of different sizes.

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Italians never fill water up to the brim when pouring it into the boiler. The small faucet is the level that indicates optimum water quantity. Too much water could make very watery espresso.

As far as the coffee is concerned, aim for medium ground when using stovetop percolators. Finely ground coffee can make the drink quite bitter!

However, once you made your Italian-style cup of coffee, the unwritten rules of coffee consumption come into play. Learn more about the art of Italian coffee making and drinking through this infographic created by Med Cruise Guide –  you don’t want to be caught looking like a tourist. Enjoy the coffee like the Italians do!

This is a guest post by Anna Kay of



Anna Kay

Anna Kay is an avid traveler, photographer and editor at She loves exploring and island-hopping across the Mediterranean and enjoying local food specialties.