Italians and Coffee: Unveiling the “Culto del Caffè” – A Guide to Italian Coffee Culture

Italians did not invent coffee, yet their passion for it makes many believe they did. Coffee first made its debut around 1680 in Venice due to trade relations with eastern countries.

Initial cost made coffee an exclusive beverage; but since plantations has proliferated, coffee has become accessible to all and quickly become a favorite beverage not just in Italy but across the world. Alongside pizza and pasta, coffee has become part of Italy’s national culture and an iconic beverage known worldwide. Many strive to duplicate Italy’s “espresso”, yet none can quite replicate the exact taste that defines an espresso.

Such an “occulto” must include certain customs. One such tradition in Naples, for instance, involves following certain rules when drinking coffee from ‘na Tazzutella ‘e Caffe. Coffee must be enjoyed strictly “comfortable”, “hot” and “strong”. Furthermore, “Il Caffe Sospeso”, an old tradition called that sees patrons pay for two cups at any one bar they visit – usually strangers in need – usually on equal terms – although not as common these days; some do still pay this gesture!

Italian coffee ritual is truly remarkable and defines enjoyment beyond words. Italians enjoy coffee for its energy-boosting, relaxing and convivial qualities as much as its delicious taste – it is often their go-to drink when beginning their day, recovering energy or simply unwinding after work or other daily activities. Additionally, offering it to guests as part of an experience is often seen as valuable; sharing an espresso together makes a relaxing break all the more pleasurable! Italians don’t only appreciate its aroma or its color as much as its taste!

Italians have created many variations of coffee over the centuries. Some examples include Espresso as the classic form and Caffe macchiato which adds foamed milk for an aesthetically pleasing experience. Caffe Ristretto is a shorter and stronger variation on espresso made with less water, while Caffe Americano differs by being more watery yet still strong and delicious. Caffe Corretto is an espresso with the addition of liquor such as grappa or sambuca to add an extra kick. Cappuccino, made of coffee combined with steamed milk, is generally consumed during breakfast – often served alongside brioche – but no later than 11am. Contrary to popular belief, Caffe Doppio or double espresso drinking does not exist as an Italian tradition – Italians simply do not drink such large volumes at one time!

Are you curious as to why Italians love coffee so much? While it has many health benefits, coffee drinking also can have numerous other advantages for Italians. First and foremost, coffee helps prevent disease; secondly it influences brain activity which in turn enhances concentration and productivity at work; finally it can contribute to longer lives by helping keep our organism healthier; however most Italians don’t pay any mind to these theoretical gains – they drink coffee simply because it makes them feel Italian! Of course there’s nothing quite as fulfilling than being Italian!

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