Coffee is a wonderful thing that has become very much universal. What was only produced in a few key countries in the world is not being grown and roasted pretty much anywhere. But you will hear this over and over; Italian coffee is the best. So why exactly is that the case?
Italians haven’t been making coffee the longest; originally it came from Ethiopia where it has been grown since at least the 10th century, and came to Italy through Egypt in the early 17th century. Over the years it has been thought to be a drug, a medicine, and the nectar of the devil, when really it was just a gift to the whole world.
They aren’t the biggest growers either. While some coffee is grown in Italy, in the bigger picture this is not that much. The country that produces the most coffee beans is Brazil, by a long shot, with Vietnam coming second. Other countries that produce a lot are Colombia, Indonesia, and Ethiopia, where it all began.
They aren’t the biggest drinkers either. Scandinavia and other European countries can claim that title, with Finland, Norway and Netherland drinking the most coffee. On the list of the biggest coffee drinkers worldwide Italy only comes in at 18th.
So why do we say Italian coffee is the best coffee?
The key to great Italian coffee is not in their growing it, but in what they do with it afterwards, and the immense care and respect with which they treat it. Italians are reported to be the most skilful roasters of coffee, hand crafting roasts and blends with great attention to detail. They understand that while you can make a lot of coffee, particular care still needs to be used in ensuring the quality and purity and freshness of every bean.
Italians also have become famous for brewing coffee to perfection. Much of Europe, and the UK, and any countries settled by the UK, really didn’t know what they were doing with their coffee before the Italians started showing them the way. The Italians created the espresso, which they drank just as it comes, but all over the world this became the base for great coffee invention.
Italians took coffee and turned it into a lifestyle. They invented the first coffee machine, forcing steaming water through tightly packed ground coffee. In 1683 they opened the first café, creating meeting places, community hubs and fountains of ideas. The décor, atmosphere and menu of these traditional café’s has changed very little, and has been recreated all over the world. From café’s we learned how good coffee should be, and this awoke in us a need to have café quality Italian coffee all of the time.
Italians are still today producing the best coffee and making it more available than ever. You can get the full effect of boutique Italian roasting and proper café brewing, fresh and hot in your kitchen every day by using coffee capsules such as Caffé Bonini, which are compatible with any brand name machine.