The World Record in Espresso Consumption

February 7, 2001 10:27 am EST

ROME (Reuters) - Cappuccino, espresso, latte -- the whole world knows the names by now, but Italians still know and love them best. A new survey released Wednesday showed that more than 70 million cups of espresso are gulped down in Italy's 110,000 coffee bars each day -- about 600 shots per person a year, or the highest espresso consumption in the world. Four out of five Italians say a morning trip to their local coffee bar is a necessity, the survey of 700 aficionados showed.

Men between 35 and 54 are the most dedicated drinkers. Of the various styles of coffee, most Italians (74 percent) prefer straight-up espresso, 10 percent opt for macchiato (with a hint of milk), and eight percent go for ristretto -- a very small, strong jolt of caffeine that is not for the fainthearted. Cappuccino, the default choice of wannabe-Italians the world over, hardly figures in its homeland where diehards don't even consider it a proper coffee.