Espresso: much more than a coffee

Varieties and preferences throughout Italy

17-03-201706:36by
A coffee cup is displayed on the counter of a bar in Rome
A coffee cup is displayed on the counter of a bar in Rome (Credits: GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

Besides many other beauties, Italy is also famous for its Espresso coffee. In spite of the simple appearance in the small mug (known as tazzina), making a good Espresso is not a simple thing. Several varieties are out there, combining different mixes and grindings. For this reason, the Italian Institute for the Italian Espresso has issued the “Espresso sensory certification” in order to narrow down the great universe of Espresso. For this project, several consumers were consulted and it emerged that the “perfect Espresso” offers different sensorial experiences.

This survey throughout Italy revealed that people living in North-West prefer floral aromas or fruity ones, along with honey, almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts. Consumers from Tuscany are more inclined towards vanilla and cinnamon while people from the South prefer a stronger taste. In Naples – but also in Sicily and Calabria – Espresso has a darker colour and with toasted coffee beans, reminding of dark cocoa. This preference for a more robust chocolate-like scent seems to be typical of Eastern Italy, from South to North, given the same preference also in Milan. At the same time, Western Italy goes for fruity and floral aromas.

Certainly, this division finds its roots in several factors: the weather, local tradition, the influence of other cultures and the raw materials available. Given this great variety, Lavazza Training Centre conducted a study on coffees in order to provide a satisfying sensorial experience, coming out with 5 recipes.

In particular, they are: Bavareisa (coffee, chocolate and milk cream with syrup); Caffè Padovano (coffee with cream, scented with mint and cocoa powder on the top); Caffè Napoletano (coffee aromatized with hazelnut, typical of the area); Caffè alla Salentina (a summer specialty made up of coffee, shaken with ice and almond milk) and Caffè Calabrese (coffee, brandy and liquorice). All 5 recipes are nothing but irresistible.

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