Everything you need to know about Italian coffee.

“Good coffee must be black as night, hot as love and as sweet or bitter as life itself” (Arabic proverb)

The history of coffee is ancient and its legend has several versions. It has been the protagonist of books, movies and songs … Some people literally can’t do without, while some other people find it disgusting. Anyway, the point is that coffee is today one of the most popular beverages in the world – it is said to be the most popular drink after water!

Ethiopia is considered the native country of coffee

A goatherd named Kaidi was the first who noticed the strange energy of his goats after they had eaten a particular wild berry. He decided to try himself and got surprised in experiencing the extraordinary properties of the red berry. He shared his discovery with some monks living nearby, who managed to prepare a kind of infusion to drink during the long prayer nights, because of its stimulating effect.

While in Italy… At the time of its arrival in Italy, the Church even declared it devil’s brew and condemned the habit of going to the “Cafès”, considered“places of perdition”, until the Pope Clement VIII decided to try the beverage. He really appreciated it and decided to bless it as a Christian drink.

Coffee has been introduced in Italy through Venice: the first European Coffee house opened in Venice in 1645. The Italian coffee, worldwide known as Espresso, was invented in Turin only in 1884. This concentrated beverage has become one of the symbols of Italian culture in the world.

For Italians, coffee is much more than just a beverage: it is part of their lifestyle and it is linked with conviviality.

Coffee in suspence

Many years ago, in the Neapolitan society, you could order a Caffè sospeso, literally a “coffee in suspense”. Curiously, reach customers used to drink a coffee but often paied for two of them. What happened was that when a homeless or less fortunate walked into a café he could enjoy a coffee as a courtesy of the first customer. Today the custom of Caffè sospeso is well-known but not used as in the past. Luciano de Crescenzo, an Italian writer, has written a book titled “Il caffè sospeso ” as a symbol of wisdom philosophy of life.

Coffee killer

The Ammazzacaffè is a funny way to indicate any liquor drunk after coffee. The name is due to the will of eliminate the savour of coffee with a starker taste. Generally drunk after dinner or lunch, it is usually sipped – and necessary!! to digest after a rich meal, above all during Festivities.

Caffe’ Mulassano & Caffe’ al Bicerin

Located in Turin, they are historical and exquisite buildings date back to nineteenth century where the extreme passion for coffee and t raditional décor are still alive. Caffè Mulassano is, not only the realm of coffee, but also the place where tramezzini (sandwiches) were invented! The member of the House of Savoy used to pop in the bar to drink their espresso in privacy while Caffè al Bicerin was the favourite one of the musician Puccini, the philosopher Nietzsche, the minister Cavour, the poet Gozzano and the writers Calvino, just to name a few.

 

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