Italian philosophy of life in contrasts (p. 7): Pausa caffè

«Questo caffè è perfetto: forte come l’amore, amaro come la vita e caldo come la passione…»

“This coffee is perfect: strong as love, bitter as life, and hot as passion…



Living each day deliberately without haste, in harmony with oneself; savoring every moment, you still notice how the routine of everyday life sometimes tightens its grip… The moment comes to pause and recharge, to take a coffee break – pausa caffè.

Do you know the difference in the Italian concept of ‘recharge’?

They won’t wait for emotional burnout, an irreversible boiling point that forces them to take a vacation for weeks to recover. At any time of the day, they have pausa caffè what is called a coffee break, rescuing them from any stress.

The unique coffee culture of Italy involves a variety of types of coffee and their purposes. Some of them are part of every Italian’s day:

  • Cappuccino

Aromatic coffee with frothed milk to a thick foam. The name comes from the Capuchin monks (frati cappuccini). The color of their robes strongly resembled the color of the drink. There is an important rule to drink it strictly before 12:00 PM. Cappuccino is part of the morning ritual, as it is believed that milk is less digestible in the afternoon and evening.

The aesthetic Italian breakfast is complemented by a cornetto (croissant) without filling or with jam, chocolate, honey, or cream.

  • Espresso

A strong, small-volume coffee (30-40 ml). Locals drink several cups at any time of the day to energize themselves. It is often consumed standing at the bar, so-called “al volo” (on the fly). It is served with a small glass of water to cleanse the palate before the “tasting” and to feel the true taste of freshly brewed coffee beans.

  • Ristretto

In Italian, ristretto means restricted, narrow. The drink is similar to espresso, but even less water is added, about 15 ml, making it the most intense and bitter type of coffee in Italy.

  • Lungo

Translated as ‘long’ from Italian. In this variant, a large amount of water, about 100 ml, is passed through ground coffee, making it similar to an Americano.

  • Caffè corretto (coffee with liqueur)

Italians know the importance of correction! “Corrected” coffee is a stronger espresso thanks to the addition of strong alcohol, such as whiskey, grappa, or liqueur.

Culture is expressed not only in mesmerizing architectural monuments, religion, nature, language, but also in everyday details that have become traditions. Italian coffee culture teaches the importance of finding time for daily breaks, harmony with oneself, and restoring strength between routine tasks. It is not just a tradition; it is the aesthetics of gastronomy and self-love.

Let’s go ‘from tourism to lifestyle.'”

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