EspressoItalians often drink very strong coffee with lots of milk at home with their breakfast, the so-called caffelatte. If you want to drink a cup of coffee outside the door, you enter a bar (not a café) and order one espresso. When you are served a real cup of Italian espresso for the first time, you will find that this espresso gives you a real boost of caffeine. There is indeed a difference between Italian espresso and the 'extra strong cup' that we often call espresso here in the Netherlands. If you do not trust such a strong cup, simply order one caffe.
There are many different types of espresso. Such is one caffe macchiato an espresso with just a few drops of warm milk through it for a slightly milder taste. This variant also exists in a version with cold milk, namely the caffe macchiato freddo. If you do not like very strong coffee, you can opt for the caffe lungo. But if you just need a caffeine boost, you need the caffe ristretto to have. In some bars you can even choose whether you want that coffee in a cup or in a glass. When the coffee is poured into a glass, this is called caffe al vetro. If you want to order a caffeine-free coffee variant, then ask for decaffeinato.
CappuccinoThe cappuccino is not yet included in all these coffee varieties. Many Dutch people like to drink a cup of cappuccino after dinner. This is something an Italian would never do. Cappuccino should be drunk just in the morning. Even when you want to order a cappuccino, you have a wide choice. A cappuccino without milk is called senza schiuma. A cup with a lot of whipped milk is one chiaro. If you prefer a slightly stronger cappuccino, so with less milk, you can have one oscuro to order. Of course there is also a caffeine-free variant.
If you are not that brave when it comes to trying coffee, it might be wise to stick with a coffee variety that most closely resembles our quick filter grind from the supermarket. Then order one caffe americano, this is usually Nescafe.