Imran's Blog
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Italian coffee kind of sucks

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I have always wanted to go to Italy, namely for the food and the coffee. Imagine my surprise when I went to Italy (Rome + Naples) and found the coffee to not live up to its hype.

# Why does it suck?

Saying it sucks is a bit harsh but here are the main reasons why I did not enjoy it:

  1. They use robusta beans
  2. Italians like their dark roast (even at specialty shops)

# What's wrong with robusta?

Robusta generally tastes reminds of Tim Hortons/Starbucks coffee. It's woody, burnt, just dark and unpleasant.

I prefer lighter roast arabica coffee. These tend to have that fruity fermented flavour.

# What about specialty shops?

Italy is traditional country and has been slow to adopt to the third wave coffee movement. That said, there are still some specialty shops that you can find but as mentioned above the beans are darkly roasted, to appeal to the classic flavour Italians like.

# What do you like about Italian coffee?

  1. The culture
  2. The price

The biggest culture shock is that you pay after you have consumed your coffee. You line up at the counter and place your order then go pay at the register when you finish. Though there are some stores where you first need to buy ticket which you hand to the barista. I have not found an easy way to discern between these two systems.

Cappuccino is for the morning, eaten with a pastry. Then espresso (a café) for the rest of the day. You generally have an espresso after dinner as dessert.

Back home I make myself a latte in the morning and have a decaf espresso in the evening. I am going to start incorporating some form of sugar in the morning (maybe on the weekends) assuming I can fit it into my calorie budget.