No trip to Italy would be complete without at least one stop at the local caffe’ bar to see and savor the taste, aroma and culture surrounding the pleasure and passion of Italian coffee. Just like everything in Italy, coffee is an art with various interpretations and devotees. Espresso, normale, cappuccino, corretto and the play-it-safe caffè Americano (American-style coffee, but stronger and weaker than espresso, served in a large cup) are just a few of its forms.
Italians take their coffee drinking seriously (14 billion espresso coffees are consumed each year in Italy). Coffee bar sales in Italy average 230.3 cups a day with 59.8% sold as espressos so the beans and blends must be spot on to ensure that deep, dark shot of flavor.
Italians hold their coffee to a higher standard than most cultures. The unique taste of Italian coffee relies on the quality and roasting of the Arabica bean grown between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. Held to be the incubator for the perfect cup of coffee, it’s here that coffee berries ripen into coffee beans full of aroma , low on caffeine content, strong and flavorful, rich and robust. Here the climate, altitude and soil combine to create the optimum environment for the beans to grow and thrive.
The roasting cycles used by Italian coffee makers like Lavazza and Illy are specially designed for espresso blends to yield a creamy beverage, fragrant and sweet with a unique flavor – a true Italian work of art.