How they drink coffee in Italy

Posted on Oct 23, 2022      31

Italy has a coffee drinking culture not found anywhere else. Pasta, pizza and olive oil take a back seat to the aromatic, invigorating drink. The number of cups of espresso drunk is several times higher than in other countries, and the producers are delighting the consumers with new variations of original blends every year.

What’s behind the term “Italian coffee”?

Popular brands that produce blends for preparing a stimulating drink are in Italy. A well-known fact served as the basis for the myth that the best beans are produced only. Because of unsuitable climatic conditions, coffee is not grown in Italy, but the state is world famous for its innovative production and a variety of blends (blends of different varieties).

The product has become a symbol of impeccable quality, a rich bouquet of flavors and inimitable taste. For the mono sort and blends, only high quality raw materials are delivered to Italy and re-inspected and graded before being roasted. The secret of preserving the flavor and aromatic properties of the beans lies in the separate processing of each type of bean without mixing.

Roasting nuances

Italian coffee is unique thanks to the unique heat treatment. The beans are roasted at the highest temperature of 245 ° C, which gives them a bittersweet and sour taste. Every region has its own way of processing coffee:

1. The inhabitants of the hot South know how to roast their coffee, because this is where the highest roasting is practiced. The temperature causes the beans to caramelize, taking on an almost black color and a pleasant, intense aroma. The essential oils evaporate, revealing other flavors.

2. The central regions of Italy are characterized by moderation in the processing of coffee - roasted to a medium degree. Beans turn dark brown with oil droplets on the surface, which give the finished drink a sweetish hint and a mild burnt flavor.

3. In Northern Italy, they prefer to change the natural properties of coffee. The color of the beans is a beautiful chocolate or terracotta. The beans keep all the shades of flavor. There is practically no bitterness, but the sourness that is characteristic of light roasting is present.

The longer they are cooked, the richer they become. Sour notes disappear, and the bitterness becomes apparent. It is important to maintain a perfect balance at this stage - and Italians are great masters in this matter.

Coffee brands and drinks

Companies maintain their own reputation, so they do not disclose the roasting technology and the composition of the blend - the secrets of production are kept in the strictest confidence. Italians drink coffee several times a day and have identified one favorite on the market:

1. Lavazza. The dynasty was the first to discover the world with the balance of strength and mildness in the blend.

2. Italica. The products are represented in the mid-price segment, which does not affect the taste of the beverage. This coffee has a light bitterness with pleasant sour notes.

3. Caffe Italia. Middle roasting gives the drink a rich flavor with spicy notes and a long chocolate aftertaste.

4. Musetti. Only innovative equipment and the best raw materials from leading coffee suppliers are used in production. The brand is known for a variety of blends and years of experience.

5. Kimbo. The amazing tandem of Robusta and Arabica creates a veritable symphony of flavor and an incredible fruity-citrus aroma.

6. Turati. This premium coffee comes in a wide variety of flavors, from delicate vanilla motifs to citrus bouquet and velvety cocoa notes.

7. Illy. The company with almost a century-old history has won the hearts of gourmets around the world not only because of the perfect chocolate flavor, grains and balanced taste. The company’s founder is the inventor of the classic espresso machine.

In Italy, people drink only natural coffee - it is not customary to serve or order instant coffee. The traditional espresso with a velvety, dense crema of a golden hue is called “normale”. This is a regular espresso that forms the basis of other drinks:

  • The ristretto, a single sip;
  • Lungo - diluted to twice the volume of classic coffee;
  • cappuccino - tandem of a drink and milk foam;
  • espresso Romano - lemon juice is the flavor highlight;
  • latte - coffee with milk;
  • mochaccino - espresso with milk, hot chocolate and whipped cream;
  • coretto - coffee with alcohol;
  • macchiato - a small amount of milk is added to the base.

Americano, for which up to 170 ml of water is added to an espresso, is not popular in Italy. Locals do not understand the diluted consistency, preferring the classic version.

Coffee traditions in Italy

The choice of variety depends on the time of day, not the personal preferences of the individual. Coffee with milk is served before noon, an exception is allowed only for tourists. Italians brew and drink coffee many times a day, but in moderation. Residents drop in for a cup of espresso and it’s not because they are in a hurry or overly busy. The cost of coffee drunk behind the bar is much lower than a similar portion served at the table.

Italy is the birthplace of espresso, but this word is not pronounced in local cafes - only caffe. The classic variant is the basis of all coffee drinks, so to the name would have to add a listing of other ingredients. Each recipe has its own temperature, but in all cases, it remains as comfortable as possible so as not to burn yourself on the first sip.

Coffee is brewed in a geyser or coffee machine according to established rules, which allow the taste and aroma of natural beans to unfold fully. Only cold and pure water is used for brewing, as it determines the quality of the Italian espresso.