Culture Club: Why Italians Never Drink Cappuccino After 11:00 am

I used to be able to drink espresso before bed and still enjoy a full and restful night of sleep, but as I’ve weened myself away from caffeine more and more, I have to switch to decaf after 4:00 pm, or I’ll be up all night long. I recognize that might not be the norm. Still, I’m not the only one drinking espresso or coffee late in the day or evening… so why do Italians have a strict ‘no cappuccino’ policy after 11:00 am?!

As it turns out, the reason for the late morning cut-off has nothing to do with the caffeine; it has everything to do with lactose intolerance. The diet of a typical Italian leaves a large portion of the culture at least slightly lactose intolerant (or, as the video below rightfully refers to it, they have an issue with lactose malabsorption). Not that Italy is an exception; people worldwide experience lactose malabsorption issues, but I know I certainly do.

Because a cappuccino is made from espresso, milk, and a thick layer of foam, many Italians will only drink it in the morning. If only we were all so clever!

To find out more about why cappuccinos are best before 11:00 am, watch the fascinating video below:

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