Friday, 21 September 2012

Il Caffè Italiano = aesthetics in Italy

Not available at Starbuck's, thank God for small mercies. How I miss my Caffè Italiano, elegant and simple, note there is no styrofoam cup.
For many people, poor souls, coffee is simply a beverage that one drinks out of a styrofoam cup. To anyone who appreciates coffee all’Italiana however, a good caffé is so much more. Now, without going Aristotelian on anyone, one of its main aspects is aesthetic… yes, as in visual. Coffee can’t just taste good, it needs to look good too… this is Italy after all.
caffealvetro2 Caffé al VetroE allora? Order it al vetro, in glass. Your excuse is that it cools more quickly than in the traditional ceramic cup, a desirable trait when it’s hot out. But you aren’t fooling anyone … the real reason is aesthetic, it just looks better.
While the normal caffé al vetro is your aesthetic standard, occasionally you might want to mess with perfection and spruce it up a notch. In this case, ask for un caffé al vetro schiumato... literally, ''foamed''. Here your barista will serve it with a spoonful of foamed milk deposited on top.
You drink it as is, don't stir it together! Of course you can ask for un caffé con panna (with whipped cream) it will keep you smiling for the whole day.


  1. I was amazed by how Italians drank their coffee when I was in Italy. It was an eye-opener for me!

  2. I suspect and fear good on this side of the Atlantic is a pale comparison to 'proper' food and drink available in Europe.

  3. I especially miss a good crema on my espresso - there are just a few places in London where it's right, but they're all out of my way...