Introduced in the 1500s, coffee has developed its own culture in Italy. The day is defined by coffee rituals: a cappuccino with breakfast, a caffè macchiato – or two – as an afternoon pick-me-up, and espresso after dinner. And like any culture, that of Italian coffee comes with seemingly mysterious laws.
Coffee and Italy is a match made in heaven. After all, where would we all be today without its offspring – the energising and fragrant espresso?!
Here are some of the Most Popular Italian Coffees that you need to try soon!
Caffè moka is an Italian-style coffee that is made with a traditional moka pot—an electric or stove-top aluminium pot that was invented in 1933 by Alfonso Bialetti. It works similar to an espresso machine—the water is heated, and the steam is then pressurized through ground coffee.
The resulting coffee is full-bodied and strong with a more intense flavor profile than regular brewed coffee. The Moka pot was invented as an affordable and convenient way to brew coffee that would be comparable to the iconic Italian espresso. It is mostly used for home brewing, and it got its name after the Yemeni city of Mocha—once an important port for coffee trade.
Ristretto, which means restricted in Italian, is half of a single shot of espresso. It differs from a standard espresso not only in the amount of water used for its preparation but also in flavor, which is less bitter than regular espresso.
When prepared in an espresso machine, the regular amount of finely ground coffee is extracted with half the amount of water used for classic espresso. The result is a more concentrated beverage with a different balance of compounds than in standard espresso.
The color of ristretto is reminiscent of dark chocolate, while the crema is much lighter than in regular espresso. Ristretto is typically served straight in a demitasse cup.
Original Italian macchiato is a coffee variety that is made by pulling a shot of espresso and topping it with only one or two teaspoons of steamed milk. The milk is only added to enhance the flavor of coffee, and should never be overpowering.
The word translates as spotted or stained—referring to the small amount of milk that is meant only to stain the espresso. Unlike cappuccino that is mostly enjoyed in the morning, caffè macchiato was invented as an alternative to regular espresso, and Italians mainly enjoy it as an afternoon drink.
The drink should not be confused with latte macchiato—a beverage that is made with the opposite ratio of coffee and milk.
Espresso is both the name of a coffee beverage and the method of brewing coffee that originated in Italy. Nowadays it is prepared worldwide with the espresso machine - invented in Turin in 1884 by Angelo Moriondo - by forcing a small amount of hot water under high pressure through finely-ground coffee beans.
The coffee used for espresso is blended from several roasts and as a result of pressurized brewing, the flavors of the beverage are very concentrated, with a thick and almost syrupy texture. Consequently, espresso has more caffeine than other coffee beverages, so it is traditionally served as a shot.
On top of every well-made espresso is a frothy foam with a creamy consistency, known as crema. Besides the standardized shot, espresso can also be served as doppio, ristretto, and lungo. Furthermore, it can be mixed with milk or cream, so it is a base for many other coffee drinks such as caffè latte, caffè Americano, cappuccino or caffè macchiato.
This spiked Italian coffee pairs a shot of espresso and a splash of liquor, typically different varieties of grappa, brandy, rum, mistrà, or sambuca. The drink is supposed to have a dominant, rich coffee flavor and not to be overpowered by strong liquor.
Occasionally, the two drinks are served separately, allowing the guests to combine it according to their taste. In other countries, it occasionally goes under the name espresso corretto, while in Spain, a similar spiked espresso is known as carajillo.
Cappuccino is an Italian coffee made with espresso and steam-foamed milk. It is believed that it developed from kapuziner—a coffee-based beverage that was enjoyed in Austrian coffee houses in the 18th century. The first mention of the word cappuccino in Italy dates back to the 1930s, but at the time the drink was topped with whipped cream, and later it gained its current form with the invention of the espresso machine.
Traditional Italian cappuccino is always served in small cups, which are occasionally pre-heated, and it is prepared by pulling a single or a double shot of espresso which is then topped with a light and frothy steamed milk. The recommended ratio in Italy is to have more froth than liquid.
In Italy, coffee is an integral part of every Italian's daily routine, beginning with that first sip of rich, aromatic espresso…followed by a few more throughout the day. That’s why an Italian pantry always features coffee blends packets. You can get your hands on aromatic coffee blends from Caffe Trucillo on this link, and get up to 25% discount.
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Source(s): rossiwrites, tasteatlas, eataly