As you can easily understand from my articles Italians have special rituals related to coffee consumption. One of these routines is involves breakfast. Of course you can have breakfast at home with eggs, milk and granola, yogurt and fruit and so on. But believe me once you say “shall we go to the bar for breakfast?”, the only possible combo is this: croissant + cappuccino (or espresso).
When I was a little girl, breakfast at the bar would be only for special occasion like birthday, lazy Sunday stroll in the city with dad (or let’s be honest after blood test, when mum promised you a chocolate croissant if you wouldn’t cry in front of the nurse). During week days breakfast was at home usually having milk and granola or bread and jam or like now something salty as I am addicted to eggs.
When you grow up, I don’t know exactly when but perhaps when you start working or going at university – basically when you start being in a constant hurry mood – you will start having breakfast almost everyday at the same bar. It becomes your routine. One day, suddenly, you will enter a bar or a cafè, you will order a cappuccino and from that day on it will become your spot. Everyday you will enter the place, say “Hi” to the barista, read the sport newspaper and talk about the last match. In the meantime the barista, that soon will become your friend, will be preparing your coffee. He won’t even ask you because he knows better than you which coffee and how you would drink it. “Il solito”. “The usual”, because everyday you will order the same exact coffee, you will put the same amount of sugar in it, you don’t even need to ask for a glass of water or for some cold milk. The barista knows.
Italians usually choose a place where they feel comfortable, they will exchange some nice words with the barista and then go to the office. They will stay at the bar eating their croissant without even searching for a table to sit, they don’t have time. So they will quickly drink their espresso shot while eating a cream croissant. They will sit only if: they are students (so they have a lot of time, sitting probably there using wi-fi to study), it’s week end and they’re having breakfast with their family (or brunch as the trend shows here too), they have a meeting and so they will get a coffee with a potential customer or a job interview.
Plus, they will probably order a croissant too. When you hear the world “brioche” it’s usually someone from the north of Italy – or croissant, if they want to seems more classy. If you hear someone calling it “cornetto”, for sure they are from the central or south part of Italy.
What is really funny for me – as a customer, not a barista in this case – is sitting in a corner and looking at the people shouting at the bar to get the barista attention while I am just having my coffee relaxing at a table. It’s incredible how bars and coffee shops are becoming our micro cosmo where we just replicate our daily routine day after day.
In the next weeks I will show you how in Italy, in different parts of the country we order an espresso.
And you, where do you prefer to have your breakfast?