7 Creative Coffee Drinks to Try in Puglia

Updated: Sep 27, 2020

Ever heard of an espressino? Didn’t think so. Puglia has a coffee culture all its own and it’s worth learning about- then experiencing yourself.

It’s no secret that coffee and Italy go together- like really, really well. From a foamy cappuccino in the morning to a double shot of espresso (caffe doppio) in the afternoon, caffeine seems to be pulsing through the veins of this expressive and lively society.

What you might not realize is that caffeine flows in a variety of more creative forms outside of the typical espresso that usually comes to mind. Although you won’t find the fancy “frappuccinos” and “caramel iced soy lattes” of Starbucks (which, yes, has recently opened in Italy), you will be surprised by the variety of specialties to discover!

#1 – Espressino

Starting with a specialty from the southern region of Puglia specifically, an espressino, called un marocchino in the rest of Italy, is espresso topped with a layer of cocoa then foamed milk on top. Think of it as a tiny and proportionately concentrated cappuccino.

Pro tip: Italians never drink coffee with milk after around noon.

They consider warm milk to be upsetting for digestion.

However a gelato is perfectly fine, go figure!

#2 – Caffè Leccese, also known as Caffè alla Salentina

This sharply sweet and refreshing drink originates in Lecce, the Baroque capital in the southern Italy. It lovingly combines the locals’ love for coffee with one of the region’s main products: almonds— specifically, almond syrup or latte di mandorle. The nonni and nonne will sometimes call it a San Nicola because the Festa di San Nicola in nearby Bari celebrates the season of almond syrup.

The drink arrives with a shot of espresso in one glass and ice and almond syrup in another. Gently pour the espresso over the ice and as the black espresso swirls into the white syrup, prepare your taste buds for a real Pugliese treat!