The soft foam on top of the espresso is a trademark of Italian coffee. It generates from CO2 as an effect of the process used by espresso machines, but you can make a perfect foam at home using any kind of coffee maker. Today we'll teach you a little trick to make a foamy coffee using a stove-top coffee maker (Moka-pot). You just need to follow a few simple steps.
One more suggestion:if you have guests, you can prepare the foam in one single cup and then add it on top of each coffee in the desired amount. The final outcome also depends on the coffee blend you use: Robusta will give you a dark foam with air bubbles, while Arabica guarantees a light, subtle cream.
Enjoy your foamy coffee!
What is coffee? It may seem a trite topic, yet the fragrant liquid we drink every day still hides many unsolved mysteries. Coffee comes from the seeds of an evergreen plant belonging to the genus Coffea of the family Rubiaceae. The shrub originates from the Horn of Africa. Coffea Arabica and Coffea Canephora (or Coffea Robusta) are the most common species of this prodigious plant – and the most widespread varieties of coffee.
There are many legends accounting for its discovery, from the one of the Ethiopian shepherd who noticed his sheep became excited after chewing wild coffee leaves, to more imaginary and psychic stories involving angels fallen from Heaven. A more plausible legend tells how a fire in an Abyssinian wood accidentally revealed to men the incredible scent of toasted coffee beans.
The word coffee derives from the Arabic word Qahwa, then transformed into Kahve by the Turkish – the first large coffee consumers in history – and then travelled through Europe becoming Caffè, Café, Coffee. But maybe the name is not important – what really counts is the unique scent which wakes us up every morning and accompanies us through our day.
If you want to discover more about coffee, see more here
Drinking espresso in a small glass instead of the classic ceramic cup (tazzina) is an Italian custom rooted in the Rome area, and it has spread all over the country. Is it just a trend or the connoisseur's choice? Here's all you need to know about "caffè al vetro" (coffee in a glass).
Why would coffee in a glass be so special? The supporters of caffè al vetro claim that the tapered little glass guarantees a perfect, soft cream which preserves the organoleptic properties of the espresso. In addition, the thin rim of the coffee glass offers a subtle, pleasing feel to the lips.
On the other hand conformists side with the good old coffee cup, asserting it keeps the espresso hot for longer. It will surprise you to know glass is actually a slightly better insulator compared to ceramic. Also, its transparency brings out all the elegance of the deep nut-brown Italian espresso. The appearance is important, and coffee is no exception.
In the end, which one is better: "caffè in tazzina" or "caffè al vetro"? It's hard to say which is the best way to drink an espresso. Unlike other beverages like wine or beer, coffee is consumed quickly and it has no time to rest in its container.
All you have to do is try and find out which one best suits you. Cup and glass are only two expressions of the charming Italian culture of coffee. To each his own.
Have you ever heard of suspended coffee or "caffè sospeso"? You may hear someone asking for one very soon, because the trend is spreading fast all over the world. But what exactly is a suspended coffee? Don't worry, it's not a bizarre idea in the world of molecular gastronomy. It is an Italian tradition based on a simple idea: a wealthy customer – or one who just happened to have a lucky, happy day - drinks one coffee but pays for two, leaving a free coffee for a future customer with no pennies in their pocket.
Where does the idea come from? The habit of "caffè sospeso" spread in the working-class cafès of Naples after World War II. The custom declined during the last decades of the past Century, but it has recenlty been revived. The town of Naples celebrates the Giornata del Caffè Sospeso (Suspended Coffee Day) every 10th of December, and the habit is spreading among coffee lovers all over the world. Cafès promoting suspended coffee can be found in Australia and the US, in many European capitals and even in small villages like Chichester, UK.
How do I ask for a suspended coffee abroad?
In Italy, caffè sospeso
In France, café suspendu or café en attente
In Spain, café pendiente
In Sweden, uppskjuten
It is no coincidence that the revival of suspended coffee is happening in these economic hard times, but don't forget what lies behind the original idea: buying a coffee is a treat. Italian writer Luciano De Crescenzo once wrote: "When someone in Naples is happy for some reason, he pays for two coffees, not just one. One is for him and one is for a future customer. It's like buying a coffee for the rest of the world."
Cappuccino is one of the most widely known Italian beverages. Sticking to the original recipe, it is made of three layers: one third Italian espresso, one third steamed milk and one third foamed milk. There are countless similar beverages on the market today, often labeled with funny, tweaked names. But none of them can compete with the worldwide fame of cappuccino.
What is the origin of the word "cappuccino"? Several urban legends carry a possible answer to this question. Some would bet on the one about the Capuchin friar ("Cappuccino" in Italian) Marco d'Aviano. According to legend, d'Aviano received coffee beans as a reward after defeating the Turks in the 1683's Battle of Vienna. Since the coffee tasted too bitter, the friar thought of adding some milk. Unfortunately the story of the "blessed cappuccino" is not mentioned in any historical source. There is instead eminent proof it was made up. It is more likely that the word derives from the look of the beverage, similar to the typical haircut of the Franciscan friars. Or maybe from its color, the same nut-brown of the friars' habit.
The recorded history of cappuccino actually belongs to a more recent past, the first patented machines dating back to 1901. Cappuccino never went out of fashion, in fact it has kept up with the times ever since. Today it's easy to find a cappuccino with soy milk or other kinds of vegetable milk, so that even lactose intolerant coffee lovers can enjoy the taste of a classic cappuccino.
Beyond myths and legends, there is one sure fact: "Cappuccino e brioche" is still the typical Italian breakfast, and every country has found its own way of making Cappuccino special.
Moka is the traditional stove-top coffee maker used for home-made coffee in many Italian families. Despite the growing market for coffee pods and capsules, many nostalgic, routine-bound coffee lovers still cling to the old-fashioned pot and its irreplaceable charm made of aromes, flavors and memories. Let's see what you know and don't know about Moka.
Who invented the Moka pot? The Moka pot was invented in 1933 by Bolognese inventor Alfonso Bialetti for the Omegna company. Bialetti's metal, octagonal based pot with its bachelite handle soon became one of the most distinctive icons of Italian design in the world. It has even been exhibited at the MOMA in New York.
Why is it called Moka? The name derives from Mokha, a town in Yemen. It was one of the first regions to farm and produce Arabica coffee.
How do I use a Moka pot? Making coffee with a Moka pot is a familiar ritual made of simple gestures. Fill the bottom part of the pot with water to the small metal valve. Put your coffee grounds into the funnel-shaped filter and place it on the bottom chamber. Screw the top chamber tightly and put the Moka pot on the stove. Now you just have to wait until all the coffee comes out, filling your kitchen with its charming fragrance.
Moka or espresso machine: Which one is better? It's hard to say, if not impossible. They are two different, almost opposite ways of experiencing coffee. Espresso is bound to the Italian tradition of coffee break at a café with friends and workmates. Moka evokes the idea of home-made coffee, consumed with the family at breakfast or after lunch.
Whether you choose the vintage taste of the stove-top coffee maker or the modern taste of the newest espresso machines, we can be sure about one thing: What really counts is the quality of the coffee you use.
Iced coffee is a fresh, thirst-quenching alternative to the classic espresso. It allows you to enjoy a good coffee even in the hottest days of summer, without altering the qualities of the blend. The original Italian iced coffee is called caffè in ghiaccio ("ghiaccio" means "ice"). This tradition has its roots in the town of Lecce and the wonderful region of Salento, in the South East of the country. Making iced coffee is really simple, you just need to know a little secret.
Take a wide glass and fill it to the top with ice. Make a regular espresso using a good Italian blend and add sugar to your liking. While it's steamy hot, pour it into the glass and enjoy it right away. If you want to add a personal touch, try using cold almond milk instead of sugar.
The secret for a perfect iced coffee is in the ice. Don't use crushed ice, but only big cubes just taken out of the freezer.
If you're traveling in Italy you may hear someone ask for a "caffè in ghiaccio soffiato", litterally "blown iced coffee". This means the barman will keep the glass under the steam jet of the espresso machine for a few seconds to make the iced coffee even more soft and creamy.
Enjoy your caffè in ghiaccio.
So many people obsess over their morning coffee ritual that they forget about another option: tea. Well, FUN FACT: tea also has caffeine in it! We don't want you to forget about Filicori Zecchini's unique coffee blend for your morning caffeine fix, but if you're feeling adventurous, try one of our 16 full leaf teas to start your morning. Tea is not limited to breakfast, as you can spend your summer afternoon enjoying a nice cup of tea or let it accompany your lunch or afternoon snack. Most of Filicori Zecchini's teas are made from Ceylon teas mixed with additives to create different flavors to accommodate your cravings.
Filicori Zecchini offers 16 full leaf teas, but here's our top picks:
1. "Te Verde Menta" or Mint Green Tea: This soothing tea is a blend of Ceylon and China green tea with added natural dried peppermint leaves and is perfect for some afternoon relaxation time.
2. Earl Grey Blue Flowers: This tea is a blend of Ceylon black tea with cornflowers, and fragranced with oil of bergamot and cornflower leafs.
3. "Te Nero Passion Fruit" or Passion Fruit Black Tea: This tea is Ceylon black tea accented by Passion Fruit flavors.
4. "Infuso D'Estate" or Summer Infusion: this tea blend is a blend of flowers and fruits, perfect for a mid-afternoon Summer Tea
Ever heard of Tasseography? Tasseography refers to the interpretation of tealeaves, coffee grounds, or wine sediments as a method of telling the future. This unique art form is widespread in Turkey, Greece, and throughout the Balkans.
Tasseography is usually done using Turkish coffee, in which the water is boiled in a special pot called an "ibrik" and then coffee grounds and spices are added depending on the country and local traditions. The patterns and shapes are then read in the leftover sediment as a means of fortune telling.
If your destiny takes you on a vacation by Istanbul, you'll want to head to the Museum of Arts and Turkish Islamich and try one of the oldest ways to drink coffee in the world. Bon voyage and good coffee!
The shake coffee "Caffè shakerato" is one of the best way to enjoy the coffee even in summer times. A cold coffee very easy and chic, perfect as smart aperitif and refreshing after-dinner.
It is not difficult to prepare a perfect "Caffè Shakerato" but there is a small trick to respect to obtain the best drink.
- Ice cubes
- Liquid brown sugar
- Autentic Italian Espresso
First of all put the glasses you are going to use in the refrigerator. Normally the Italian baristas use Martini glasses – with large goblet and thin stand – or Flutes.
Put 4-5 ice cubes in the shaker, add 3 coffee spoons of liquid brown sugars and then add two cups of espresso "lungo" (45ml), just brewed. Always use only the best espresso!
And here you are the trick: always add the ingredients in the shaker in the mentioned order (ice, sugar, coffee) to avoid that the coffee melts the ice cubes, watering down the final drink.
Now close the shaker, shake it for some minutes and filter the ice cubes using the strainer of a spoon. Serve in the classy cold glass.
If you like to add a spicy aroma you can add some cinnamon or star anise on top.