Coffee Appreciation

When not in Rome, drink coffee as the Italians do

When not in Rome, drink coffee as the Italians do


Man with apron holding cup of coffee and saucer

“Buon giorno! Caffe?”

Imagine being in a quaint Italian cafe in the morning, being asked by a very friendly barista. The entire atmosphere is a feast for the senses – your eyes enjoying the pretty furnishings, your nose basking in the smell of fresh espresso, your ears hearing the ambient cafe music, and your tongue waiting for that special shot of espresso – Mamma mia!

Movement is massively limited nowadays, and we don’t even know when it will get better so we can explore more travel destinations like Rome and Milan. Luckily for us coffee lovers, we can recreate the Italian coffee experience at home (at least for now!)

For Italians, coffee is a huge deal, and we know how serious they can get in maintaining the facets of traditional Italian food. So before making an espresso at home, here are some interesting notes to learn to better appreciate authentic Italian coffee (from home!).

1. It was once regarded as sinful, but the Pope loved it

First cultivated in Ethiopia and later brought to Europe by the Ottoman Empire, coffee’s undeniably rich and complex flavor has established itself to be a product with marketable value. However, the people in 1600 once considered coffee drinking as a sinful activity due to its Islamic origins (through the Ottomans). They even asked the then Pope Clement VIII to decide whether or not it should be consumed. He wanted to be fair in giving the verdict, so he decided to taste it. The Pope loved the taste and was said to have exclaimed, “this Satan’s drink is so delicious that it would be a pity to let the infidels have the exclusivity for it! We shall fool Satan by baptizing it and making it a truly Christian beverage.” With the Pope’s blessing, coffee had the baptism of sorts. And the Italian coffee culture has proliferated since then.

2. Even prior to the 1700s, coffee has been go-to drink during intellectual conversations

Coffee houses, or what we call cafes have been considered as a space for people to gather and socialize. The oldest operating coffee houses in Italy have been serving coffees to artists, playwrights, and writers during the 1700s, who usually meet at the cafe for coffee and intellectual conversations. 

3. Espresso is the heart of Italian Coffee

Espresso is a well-known coffee brewing method where finely-ground coffee is pressurized to produce a concentrated cup of coffee. The name originates from the Italian verb esprimere, which translates into “to express.” Italians love this form because the quick but pressurized process retains most of coffee’s complex flavor notes. 

The swift production of an espresso cup in an Italian bar gave birth to the habit of a fast-paced enjoyment of drinking small shots of espresso – sipped quickly in each coffee break of the day. Soon after, variation has widened with baristas offering more espresso-based drinks such as cappuccino, macchiato, and caffè latte. These are served by mixing espresso with various proportions of hot, frothed milk. 

4. How to drink a proper espresso

Of course, you can enjoy coffee according to your preference. But if you ask how the Italians do it, did you know that it’s often served with a glass of water?

That’s because it’s recommended to first take a couple of sips of water. This is to cleanse your palate, and in order to prepare you to experience and appreciate the rich aroma and complex flavor that an espresso can bring. (Thank the 800 different molecules for that!)

A tiny coffee spoon is also served with your order. It is recommended to stir it lightly from top to bottom of the cup (but never clockwise). 

Small sips will also help you appreciate the crema and the flavor. One big gulp will displace the crema and it will stick to the walls of the cup. For a small cup of espresso, it takes about 3-4 sips. 

5. Say it in Italian: The menu staples

There is so much tradition, cultures, and history embedded into every coffee bean and espresso cup in Italy. Each region in the country has also applied their own take on every menu staple. But the common denominator of them all? An espresso, a standing bar, and a fast-paced social atmosphere. Get to learn not only the coffee proportions, but also a little bit of Italian. So when the time comes that we can all go to Italy for a good cup, we can say, un caffe!

If you want an espresso, say un caffe. If you prefer it a little bit watered down, say caffè lungo. If you want a double espresso, say un caffè doppio. (Disclaimer: be careful, it’s super strong!)

If you want a cappuccino, you can say cappuccio. It’s what the locals call it. For coffee with a touch of milk or milk froth, you can ask for a caffe macchiato. For those who love coffee and milk, say caffe latte. Saying latte will only get you a glass of milk. Interestingly, Italians only drink coffee with milk in the morning.  And if you’re on the more indulgent side of things, ask for a caffe con panna, and enjoy a cup of espresso with a big dollop of fresh whipped cream!

Italians also offer espresso with a shot of liquor, and if you want to try that, you can say caffe corretto.

6. Get your ESSSE Capsule Machine and start making your own espresso at home!

If you want to enjoy great quality and authentic espresso, check out the espresso machines and capsule machines we offer! If we are to recommend one to you, home brewer, it will be the Esse Caffè Capsule Machine.

Essse Caffè is an Italian family-owned business which is based, of course, in Italy. It is founded and owned by the Segafredo family, whose roasting business began in the 1920s. They founded Essse Caffè in 1979. Just ten years later, the brand has already entered the top ten espresso coffee roasters list in the Italian HORECA market.  To maintain the superb quality of their coffee, they have incorporated scientific research and support on the business, including that of the Departments of Agricultural Science of the Universities of Bologna, Cesena, and Foggia, a collaboration that continues to this day. On top of these, they were also certified by the National Institute of Italian Espresso in 1998, which authenticates their products as genuine Italian espresso

Experience authentic Italian espresso, with the infusion of convenience brought about by technology. It’s sleek, small, and fits any kitchen counter. Its extracting technology meets all the standards of coffee extraction, too! 

You’ll also get to try Essse Caffe’s coffees because for every purchase of the Essse S.12 Capsule Machine, you’ll get 50 free coffee pods! The coffee pods have various choices in terms of aroma, body, persistence, acidity, roasting levels. You’ll get to try them all!

Essse S.12 Capsule FlavorsFlavor Profile
Maestoso
A blend of Arabica and Robusta. Highly creamy, balanced bitter and sweet taste. Trace of chocolate and notes of vanilla and spices
Infinito
Another blend of Arabica and Robusta, but with a well-rounded flavor with persistent after taste. It also has notes of chocolate and spices.
Barocco
A blend of selected Robusta beans, rounded out by a little touch of Arabica. Intense aroma, with notes of toasted bread. Dense texture and creamy. Results in a strong coffee.
Arabesco
A blend of refined Arabica coffee that highlights its tart characteristics. It has notes of fruits and flowers, with delicate grain aftertaste. It’s full-bodied, sweet and pleasant.
Valzer
A blend of refined Arabica and Robusta that combines delicate and tart characteristics. Pleasant aftertaste.
Ideale
Special blend of refined Arabica, prestigious Robusta, and decaffeinated coffees. This gives the espresso half caffeine, but 100% of full-bodied taste. Can be enjoyed any hour of the day.
Decaffeinato
De-waxed blend of Arabica and Robusta decaffeinated coffees to bring out the aroma, acidity and persistence. Pleasant and delicate to taste.

We offer DaVinci Gourmet flavored syrups and sauces, too! So browse through our e-commerce site to check out everything you can get to build your Italian coffee nook. Add to cart now for an authentic Italian coffee experience at home!

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