Secrets Behind the Popularity of Afternoon Espresso

Ah, the joys of a perfectly brewed cup of coffee! If you’re a coffee lover, you may have noticed that the rules seem to be changing when it comes to what you can enjoy in the afternoon. While sipping a rich espresso seems perfectly acceptable, a latte becomes a questionable choice. In this fascinating article, we delve into the fascinating world of coffee culture to understand why espresso steals the afternoon spotlight while latte takes a back seat. Get ready to explore the fascinating factors that influence our coffee choices and uncover the secrets behind this fascinating phenomenon.

The powerhouse of espresso

When it comes to afternoon coffee indulgence, the mighty espresso reigns supreme. But why is this concentrated shot of caffeine considered a better post-lunch pick-me-up than its milky counterparts? Let’s uncover the reasons behind this intriguing preference.

Ease of digestion

One of the key factors is the digestibility of espresso. The absence of milk in espresso allows for quicker digestion, making it a lighter and more invigorating choice for the afternoon. The concentrated nature of espresso ensures rapid absorption of caffeine, providing a quick energy boost without the heaviness that can accompany milk-based drinks. This makes it an ideal choice for those seeking a midday boost without the lingering feeling of fullness.

Cultural traditions

Coffee culture and traditions play an important role in shaping our preferences. In many coffee-loving countries, such as Italy and Spain, espresso is deeply rooted in the daily routine. It is considered a staple, especially after meals, to aid digestion and provide a flavorful jolt of energy. These cultural influences have permeated our perceptions of coffee choices, making espresso a natural choice for an afternoon caffeine fix.

The latte dilemma

While espresso thrives in the afternoon, lattes and cappuccinos often take a back seat. But why the difference? Let’s explore the factors that contribute to the latte dilemma.

Tradition and ritual

Many coffee-drinking cultures have long-standing traditions and rituals associated with latte. In Italy, for example, cappuccinos and other milk-based beverages are typically consumed in the morning or at breakfast. This tradition stems from the belief that the combination of milk and coffee can be heavy on the stomach and interfere with digestion later in the day. Thus, cultural norms have dictated that latte is best enjoyed in the morning or as a leisurely treat, rather than as a midday caffeine boost.

Taste and personal preference

Another aspect that influences our choice of coffee is personal taste and preference. Milk-based coffee drinks tend to have a creamier and milder flavor profile compared to the bold intensity of espresso. Some people may find the richness and sweetness of latte more appropriate for a relaxed morning or social setting, while others may prefer the strong, concentrated flavors of espresso to power them through the afternoon.

The bottom line

The distinction between enjoying espresso in the afternoon and reserving milk coffee for the morning is driven by a combination of factors. Digestibility, cultural traditions, rituals, and personal preferences all contribute to the choices we make when it comes to our coffee indulgences. So the next time you’re contemplating your afternoon coffee order, consider the fascinating dynamics at play and embrace the delightful world of espresso as your first choice for that midday caffeine kick. Cheers to the mysteries and wonders of coffee culture!


Why is drinking Espresso in the afternoon fine, while milk coffee is not?

Drinking espresso in the afternoon is often considered more appropriate than drinking milk coffee due to factors such as digestibility and cultural traditions. Espresso, without the addition of milk, is lighter and more digestible, providing a quick energy boost without the heaviness that can accompany milk-based drinks. This makes it an ideal choice for an afternoon pick-me-up. In addition, cultural norms, particularly in coffee-loving countries such as Italy, have established the tradition of enjoying milk-based coffee drinks such as cappuccinos and lattes in the morning or at breakfast. The belief is that the combination of milk and coffee can be heavy on the stomach and interfere with digestion later in the day. These cultural influences have shaped our perceptions and made espresso the preferred option for afternoon coffee consumption.

Can you drink espresso in the afternoon?

It is often drunk at the end of a meal as the strength of the caffeine in the espresso can help to overcome any sleepy feelings caused by heavy eating. Traditionally an espresso would be the preferred choice of coffee to drink in the afternoon or evening as it does not contain milk.

Why do Italians drink espresso after lunch?

Why do Italians drink coffee after dinner? “The espresso after dinner is ordered only if the meal was heavy, and they also ‘correct’ the espresso by adding grappa, known as ‘the corretto,’” Milos says. The habit might also have to do with the fact that Italians stay up later.

Can I drink a latte in the afternoon?


It’s often consumed at the end of a meal, as the strength of the caffeine in the espresso can help to overcome any sleepiness the meal brings on.

Can you drink espresso in the evening?

It is okay to drink espresso anytime, but never after breakfast. You can have an espresso at any time of the day.

Do you put milk in espresso coffee?

Espresso does not contain any milk. It is possible to add milk and milk foam to espresso but this will turn an espresso into a latte or cappuccino. Cappuccino and latte are made with espresso and milk but the combination goes by different names.

Is it bad to drink coffee in the afternoon?

Caffeine can disrupt your sleep up to six hours after consuming it, leading to an hour or more lost in rest, one study found. So if you want to start winding down and going to bed at 9 p.m., drinking coffee after 3 p.m. is a bad idea. Some health experts recommend people stop drinking coffee as early as 2 p.m.

Is espresso bad for digestion?

Improves Digestion

A cup of espresso can help your digestive cycle get moving alongside with you. If you have troubles with digestion, try adding espresso to your routine. Due to its anti-inflammatory qualities, espresso can keep you from feeling bloated and sick after a meal.

Why is cappuccino not an afternoon drink?

Italians have a thing about drinking cappuccino after noon. It’s just not done (some say it’s because the milk and foam makes it a replacement for a meal, and all that dairy upsets the digestion). And you’ll never see an Italian ordering a cappuccino after dinner.