“The True Identity of Italian Coffee”

It seems Italy’s Agricultural Minister is worrying we are ruining espresso. In an article in today’s Telegraph Marco Lion is described as being worried that the “true identity of Italian coffee” could be lost because, he says, many cafes in Europe do not have the faintest idea how to make a good cup.

“There is only one true and authentic way to make a cappuccino, but for some reason there appear to be myriad types sold in cafes,”

I am not sure if the Gold Standard he recommends is the same thing the INEI are doing with their Espresso Certification but either way the idea, whilst noble, is a little flawed due to the ever frustrating human element.

I have to say I do like Mr Lion’s round about espresso description:

“aristocratic, elegant, noble, sensual, tasty, rigorous, clean, and sincere”.

He went on: “It must also be large, rich, vivid, valuable, fragrant, and progressive in the way that various flavours evolve in succession which delight those in search of new thrills and emotions.”

I am not sure I have had an aristocratic or rigorous espresso, but I think I’d quite like to.

I think this is part of a large debate about Italian espresso as everyday coffee vs. everyone else turning it into a gourmet/luxury product and thats ramifications on the culinary vs. retail style of brewing and selling coffee but I think this is best tackled somewhere else…

6 Comments

  1. Man, I’ve heard George Howell say “elegant espresso” more times than I’ve heard my own name, but “aristocratic”? Thats just hilarious. Dont get me wrong, it works, but still hilarious. Anyone who finds a bag of espresso they fancy to be aristocratic, be sure to let me know so I can order some for myself.

  2. I’m just getting SO much inspiration out of this for describing our future blend ;-)

  3. God help us…coffee enters the twaddle talking phase.

    My current blend? Fibrulent, flambuoyant, a little autistic, somehow capturing the gumption of quantum binnacles. Towering notes, squat based tingles, broad leaved echoes and an air of corpulent essurience. Marvellous waistline and erotic ankles.

    How about we adopt the antipodean nomenclature; short black, long black, flat white. Let the Italians define their coffees while the rest of the world evolves theirs.

  4. The Coffee Collective Aristocratic Blend? Now that sounds quite hilarious! I’d love to have a cup of that!

  5. Signore Lion’s espresso should be the next President of the United States. :D

  6. “Bring Sexy Back?” or “Bring Coffee Back?”

    He is so right in so many ways, IMHO.

    I have thought so many times right here in my rural Eastern North Carolina, USA area how people can be “detoxed” from bad coffee. Even with young college age people around here the whole landscape is permeated with bad coffee. No real knowledge of how good a good shot tastes.

    A local cafe just opened up here in town and the owner said she sells NO espresso out of her $12.000 Astoria machine that she so sacrificially invested money and effort to afford. I am the only customer to ASK for Espresso? And on top of that, she sells a scant amount of capps or other drinks based on espresso. Her main business quickly became sandwiches and “orangeaid” drinks. That is sad to me.

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