Italians and their coffee love affair

Burning like hell, black as the devil, pure like an angel but as sweet as love: that’s how real coffee should be.

How does this sound?  For an Italian any time is a good time to have a coffee. Coffee in Italy is deeply rooted within its culture and traditions. Never expect to be served a cup of tea if you visit someone in Italy, unless you specifically ask for it.

I buy my coffee beans in Italy and grind them just before making coffee. In coffee-bars beans are always ground at the premises just before coffees are made, that’s because in this way they will maintain a more intense aroma than if they had been ground some time earlier.

Coffee is delicate, its taste gets affected by humidity, light and heat and once you grind it you will need to store it in a glass or in a sealed jar possibly in the fridge. With the heat the aroma slowly evaporates.

Italian coffee

There are many types of coffee but we can think of two main ones:

Arabica coffee has a very round taste, slightly acid with a hint of bitterness and with a little “chocolatey” flavour. Its scent is intense and the cream has a reddish brown color.  It has an elongated shape slightly S-shaped. Its caffeine content varies from 1.2 to 1,7%.

Robusta coffee has a higher content of caffeine ( it varies from 1, 6% to 3.2%)  and it has an astringent, aromatic flavour and it is less bitter; it has a cream of a brown to grey colour. Its bean has a round shape.

I personally prefer a mixture of both of them.

A very important process is the roasting of the beans in the roaster which brings them to a temperature between 200 and 250 °C within a time which varies between 18 to 20 minutes; it all depends on the type of coffee you want to get and the result to be obtained.

How the beans are roasted is crucial: if the bean looks too light after roasting it will accentuate astringency and acidity, and if it is too dark it would make the coffee bitter with a burnt smell. If the beans are roasted too quickly the coffee will have a bitter and astringent taste, if they are roasted too slowly it will taste “baked”. Roasting coffee needs experience and knowledge.
Italian coffee

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9 Responses to Italians and their coffee love affair

  1. Nora

    So many types of coffee! I’d love to make the coffee granita that can be found in Rome, it’s so delicious and refreshing!

    • Alida

      Wow that’s sounds interesting Nora. I have never had it.

  2. la cucina di Molly

    Verissimo, noi italiani amiamo molto il caffè, io per esempio ho l’abitudine di concludere il pranzo con una tazzina di caffè ristretto, lo trovo eccellente! Molto interessanti le informazioni sui vari tipi di caffè! Un abbraccio!

  3. Mich Piece of Cake

    Oh wow, what a long list of coffee… that is amazing! I don’t even know how to drink a simple cup of coffee because I grew up not drinking. I should really start trying.

    • Alida

      You are really sweet. But be warned: once you start you get hooked on coffee for life! 😉

  4. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    Though I don’t drink coffee, I do love to use it in the baking and I love the aroma too.

  5. Suzanne

    I don’t drink a lot of coffee, but when I have it I hope that its like your description. Wonderful!!! I have drank Arabic coffee and loved the thick and intense flavor. I also love the list of coffees you’ve provided. Who knew that there was so much to choose from!!!!

  6. Alida

    Si immagino l’odore del caffe’ appena macinato… quando vado nei negozi di caffe’ in Italia il profumo e’ incredibile…

  7. My Italian Smörgåsbord

    ohi… you truly are a real Italian with your coffee beans 🙂 not like me… I live on instant coffee and I have been doing it since I was in my late teens (I also used to like American fast-food but maybe we should put a “velo pietoso” on it). cheers to the real Italians!! bacioni e brava sempre! Barbara

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