Think coffee and you are bound to think of Italy. Find out what goes into making Italian coffee and how all the famous coffee drinks that we buy today originated from Italy.
Although Italy is known as the initiator of the world wide trend of drinking coffee many people will be surprised to find out that Italy has very little by way of coffee plantations at all. Hence the term Italian coffee is not referred to the coffee that is grown in Italy rather it is the coffee that is consumed in Italy. History shows us that coffee beans first arrived in the city built upon a lake; Venice. When it first arrived on the Venetian trade ships it was looked upon as a strange brew that no one could register at the time. One of the most amazing incidents took place when the drink reached Rome. Here it was opposed by the extremist Christian priests who out of their hatred towards Islam termed coffee as a devilish drink as up till then it was only consumed by the Muslims. The priests believed coffee to be equivalent to the forbidden apple.
The situation reached new heights as the Christian priests sought to ban the drink from the Christian empire. But just before the Vatican could take such a step Pope Clement VII decided to take a sip of the drink. Sure enough he was swept away by the sweet aroma and rich taste of the drink. Deciding that banning it would be depriving the people of a delightful drink to indulge in he decided to patronize it instead. As a result coffee houses sprung open in the region and the drink was widely available to the common Italian man for the first time.
Italian coffee specialties
Amongst the different kinds of coffee that you will be able to find in Italy is the espresso, cappuccino and the caffe normale. There are many traditions surrounding the consumption of coffee that may seem awkward to the new comer. They have the caffe corretto coffee drink that is in a small cup and shot down as if it were a shot of some hard beverage. Then you have the cappuccino and brioche which is a hot favorite snack for the Italians. The granite di caffe con panna is a refreshing cold coffee that the Italians use to cool off in the hot mid day sun. You will be able to find the appropriate kind of coffee for all times, seasons and moods in Italy.
Amongst the many different kinds of coffees available in Italy the most popular by far are the cappuccinos. The café corretto and the café latte in particular are the hot favorites of the Italians. Served in a small ceramic coffee cup which retains the heat the cappuccino consists of espresso, steamed milk and frothed milk in equal denominations. The caffe latte features an additional dose of milk much more than what you would ordinarily be able to find in regular coffee. Unlike the coffee consumed in the Muslim empire where alcohol was banned due to its negative impacts, the Italians came up with coffee drinks incorporating a certain pinch of alcohol. Over the years Italy has become the coffee house of the world and that is quite ironic given that the country doesn’t grow any coffee of its own.