All you need to know about Italian Coffee
Italian coffee is not just a beverage but above all is a sacred ritual: every morning an Italian wakes up and coffee is the first thing he'll be doing. Coffee is also a synonym for taking a break: a lot of Italians use coffee as an excuse to go to the bar and chat with their friends or take a look at the newspaper while take some time off work or study. But why coffee is so popular in Italy? Coffee has its roots in Italy since the 16th century, when the Italian word “caffè” was coined and the new fashion of drinking espresso coffee took over, giving birth to plenty of coffee houses - today’s Italian bar. It’s since then that coffee slowly became an Italian symbol worldwide and started being associated with the Italian culture.
Italian coffee maker and the other methods
Italian coffee can be made using different methods and according to everyone’s singular taste. A lot of Italians often invest in an espresso machine to recreate their favorite's bar espresso coffee at home: by pushing pressurized water though a chamber of finely ground coffee beans this machine produces a thick, concentrated espresso coffee very similar to the bars' one. Other two great methods to make coffee loved by Italians are the pod and capsule coffee machines, both very handy for those who want to make a good espresso easily and quickly as you just need to insert the pod or the capsule into the machine and press the start button! Last but not least, the most traditional way for us to make a good coffee is using the Italian coffee maker, the three-piece Moka pot also called "caffettiera" or "macchinetta" that provides a quick coffee with a firm, strong flavor.
Italian coffee pot: the iconic Moka pot
Italian coffee pot or Moka pot is the best solution if you want to make coffee the old school way. First invented in the late 1933 by the Italian engineer Alfonso Bialetti, it has become an Italian design icon worldwide for its unique octagonal shape. It’s the symbol par excellence of homemade coffee as it only needs a good quality coffee blend and water, and it comes in every color and size: from the one-cup Moka pot for a single use to the 12-cup Moka pot for all the family, perfect for Christmas or for those Sunday family gathering. The process to make coffee with Moka pot is quite simple as it takes only three components: the bottom chamber where you place water, the funnel tank where ground coffee blend and the kettle where your coffee comes out.
Espresso coffee: the caffeine boost
Now that you have learned all the different methods to make coffee, you are ready to discover all the Italian coffee variations . The basic and classic one, king of all coffees, remains of course the espresso coffee: not too short and not too long, just the right amount to perfectly start your day with some good levels of caffeine. Otherwise, if you want to taste something different, you have plenty of choice:
- ristretto in Italian means "restricted: it's stronger than an espresso because it's less diluted by water.
- lungo is a long espresso made with more water and should not be confused with the caffè americano, which is an espresso with hot water added to it.
- macchiato for a "softer coffee", enjoy this espresso marked with a sip of frothy milk.
- corretto is a "corrected" coffee with a slosh of alcohol, such as grappa or sambuca
- shakerato is a fresh coffee perfect for summer and made by shaking well espresso, ice and sugar.
- cappuccino is one of the most popular drinks, and contains equal parts of espresso, steamed milk and a bit of frothed milk and should not be ordered after breakfast!
Coffee pairings to suit everyone's taste
Coffee can be served at any time of the day and however you want it! Among our favorite coffee pairings, there's coffee and cornetto or brioche, the perfect combination of flavor to taste the authentic Italian breakfast at the bar or at home. Coffee is also great after lunch to help digestion or for merenda with a biscuit such as cantucci or chocolate cookies. Cantucci have become the go-to coffee cookies for many Italians, as their dry texture works really well with hot drinks and their flavor remains persistent. Last but not least, try an amazing "caffè corretto" after a long, satiating meal just adding a splosh of your favorite alcohol. With coffee, you have so many possibilities that you could go on and on and never get tired of it, so unleash your imagination and try all the different combinations.