7 Coffee-based Drinks from Europe

Coffee is one of my passions, and just like every coffee lovers out there, I have my favourite coffee drinks. Coffee is a much more versatile element than we normally think of, and it can be the central ingredient of so many luxurious concoctions.

Let’s explore some of my favourite coffee-based drinks. It’s almost a reminder to myself: I need to go beyond that same old double espresso!

1. Bicerin

Bicerin (ph. Bicerin.it)

It’s a traditional coffee drink from Turin, North-West of Italy, and literally means small glass in Piedmontese dialect. The exact recipe is a closely guarded secret, and originated from the Caffè al Bicerin, a historic coffeehouse of Turin that serves it since the 18th century, but you can get a decent one pretty much everywhere in the rest of the city.

It’s made of espresso, drinking chocolate, and whole milk served layered in a rounded glass.

Where to find one

Everywhere in Turin, but if you want the original one, go to Caffè al Bicerin, where it was invented.

Address: Piazza della Consolata 5, 10122 Turin, Italy
Opening hours: 8:30am – 7:30pm, Wednesday closed
Online: bicerin.it

2. Cortado

Cortado (ph. Singletrack Magazine)

It’s a Spanish beverage consisting of espresso mixed with a roughly equal amount of milk, usually warm. Consider it a sort of a Spanish version of the macchiato.

3. Galão



If your favourite coffee-based drink is a latte and you happen to be in Portugal, “um galão” is what you have to order. It has 3/4 milk and 1/4 coffee, and is usually served in a tall glass. If you’d like it even milkier, try “um galão clarinho”.

Where to find one

If you’re in Porto, I’d recommend Majestic Café, the oldest café in town.

Address: R. Sta. Catarina 112, 4000-442 Porto, Portugal
Opening hours: Mon–Sat, 9am – 11:30pm
Online: cafemajestic.com

4. Espressino


Espressino (ph. ButtaLaPasta)

It’s essentially a small cappuccino, served in a short glass, with an espresso shot, foamy milk, and some cocoa powder on top.

Where to find one

Pretty much every bar / coffee shop in Apulia, South-East of Italy.

5. Café au lait

Café au lait

Café au lait

French for “Coffee with milk”, it’s coffee with hot milk added, served in a white porcelain cup or bowl. A popular variation in the French-speaking areas of Switzerland is the café renversé (reverse coffee), with hot milk as a base and espresso added afterwards.

Where to find one

It’s quite popular all over Northern Europe.

6. Caffè shakerato

Caffé shakerato

Caffé shakerato (ph. Finnish Food Girl)

Iced shaken espresso with sugar, in a nutshell. To make it, simply pour freshly made espresso, a bit of sugar, and ice into a shaker, then shake vigorously and pour in a Martini glass or a champagne flute. You’ll notice a pleasant froth on the top.

7. Caffè corretto

Caffè corretto, with liqueur on a side.

Caffè corretto, with liqueur on a side.

It’s an Italian beverage, consisting of a shot of espresso with a small amount of liquor. The liquor of choice changes according to personal taste or region, the most popular being both international liquors—whisk(e)y, brandy, rum—and Italian traditional liqueurs (i.e. sambuca or grappa).

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