Italian Espresso and Neapolitan Espresso: The 5 Differences

Espresso holds a special place in Italian coffee culture, but within Italy itself, there are regional variations that add unique flavors and brewing traditions. One such distinction is between Italian Espresso and Neapolitan Espresso.

Understanding the differences between these two styles can enhance your appreciation of the rich and diverse world of Italian coffee. Let's explore the five key contrasts between Italian Espresso and Neapolitan Espresso.

Coffee blends with a unique flavor

Discover Nurri Blends



Roasting Profile

Italian Espresso is known for its medium to dark roast profile. The beans are roasted until they reach a deep, chocolatey brown color, resulting in a robust flavor with hints of bitterness. Neapolitan Espresso, on the other hand, embraces a darker roast profile

The beans are roasted for a longer duration, producing a rich, intense flavor with smoky undertones.

Brewing Method

Italian Espresso is typically brewed using modern espresso machines, which use pressure to force hot water through the finely ground coffee. This method extracts the flavors quickly, resulting in a concentrated and velvety espresso shot. In contrast, Neapolitan Espresso has a more traditional brewing approach. 

It is prepared using a stovetop coffee maker known as a "Moka pot." This method creates a slightly milder espresso with a delicate aroma and a distinctive crema.


The crema, a layer of foam on top of the espresso shot, is highly valued in Italian coffee culture. Italian Espresso is renowned for its rich and creamy crema, which is golden-brown in color. Neapolitan Espresso, while also producing a crema, tends to have a lighter and thinner layer compared to its Italian counterpart

This variance in crema thickness contributes to the differences in texture and mouthfeel between the two styles.

Serving Size

Another notable distinction lies in the serving size. Italian Espresso is typically served in smaller, concentrated shots, ranging from 25 to 30 milliliters. This allows the intense flavors to be savored in a quick and satisfying dose.

 Neapolitan Espresso, on the other hand, is often served in larger cups, known as "tazzulella 'e cafè," ranging from 60 to 90 milliliters. This provides a more extended and relaxed coffee-drinking experience.

Cultural Significance

Both Italian Espresso and Neapolitan Espresso hold significant cultural importance in their respective regions. Italian Espresso represents the art of coffee craftsmanship and is associated with the bustling city life, where time is of the essence. 

Neapolitan Espresso, on the other hand, carries a deeper cultural connection with the city of Naples. It is deeply ingrained in Neapolitan traditions, symbolizing conviviality, hospitality, and the pleasure of sipping coffee while engaging in lively conversations.

Italian Espresso vs Neapolitan Espresso: a delightful taste

In conclusion, while both Italian Espresso and Neapolitan Espresso are expressions of Italian coffee excellence, they offer distinct experiences. Italian Espresso impresses with its robust flavor, medium roast, and creamy crema, while Neapolitan Espresso captivates with its intense dark roast, delicate crema, and cultural heritage.

 Whichever style you choose to indulge in, both are delightful representations of Italy's rich coffee heritage and are sure to transport your taste buds on a delightful journey through Italian coffee culture.

Neapolitan Espresso: a distinctive flavour

Neapolitan Espresso offers a distinct and captivating flavor that sets it apart from other espresso varieties. With its dark roast profile and longer brewing process, Neapolitan Espresso boasts a unique and intense flavor profile. It embodies deep notes of dark chocolate and caramel, intertwined with hints of smokiness and a subtle touch of bitterness.

This combination creates a bold and robust taste that lingers on the palate, leaving a satisfying and memorable experience. Neapolitan Espresso's flavor is a testament to the rich coffee traditions of Naples, capturing the essence of the city's vibrant culture and passion for coffee.

Nurri, always attentive to innovations but also to full respect for tradition, creates coffee blends with a unique and inimitable flavor, to allow you to take full advantage of its incredible espresso coffee machines and create professional-level coffees.

Do you want to know more about espresso machines?

Contact us