The aroma of rich italian coffee pervades all the narrow alleys that lead to the Pantheon. Because at the Tazza d’Oro – ‘golden cup’ – they don’t only brew up what many consider Rome’s best espresso, they also roast the beans right on their historic premises. and if you’ve never experienced the smell of coffee roasting, let it suffice to say that it is a heartwarming mouthwatering experience.
So, what’s all this fuss about Italian coffee? Coffee doesn’t even grow in italy… True, we can’t grow coffee. what we are pretty good at is choosing the various types of beans, as some are strong in caffeine but low in flavor, while with other coffees it is the other way around. So they must be blended for optimum characteristics.
It must then be roasted. Italian roast means stopping just short of the whole thing turning to charcoal. It must then be ground, and the grind has to be different for different types of coffee-makers. Finally, and ideally, it would be brewed in a real professional coffee machine. Below, is some hard data on the Italian espresso, scrounged off the internet.
– required quantity of ground coffee: 7 grams + or – o.5g
– temperature of the water 88 degrees C + or – 2 degrees
– temperature of coffee in the cup: 67 degrees C + or – 3 degrees
– water pressure: 9 bar + or – 1 bar
– time of percolation: 25 seconds + or – 2.5 seconds
– viscosity at 45 degrees C: >1.5 mPa s (no idea what these units are)
– total lipids (that’s right – there is fat in coffee) >2 milligrams per milliliter
– caffeine: <100 milligrams per cup
– quantity in cup (including the frothy top): 25 milliliters + or – 2.5 milliliters
Now we all know more than we ever wanted to about italian coffee.