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Can Italians make great coffee?

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  • Can Italians make great coffee?

    Italians make great machines, but do they make great coffee?

    From various reports the coffee in Italy is pretty ordinary, yet the are the makers of all this extreme espresso equipment.  

    I was in Italy 15 years ago, I had a cappucino or two at the bar in the morning which I thought tasted pretty good.  Back then, however, I thought Nescafe Gold tasted pretty good.  

    Any CSers been to Italy lately, and can attest that they make their coffee as well as their equipment?

  • #2
    Re: Can Italians make great coffee?

    I was in Italy a couple of years ago, and in Rome at least the general standard of coffee was very high, way ahead of what youd get at a random cafe in Melbourne (let alone the rest of Australia).
    I had one bad coffee in a restaurant in Genoa (note to self, dont order coffee in restaurants, even in Italy...) but otherwise it was pretty universally good, and the best stuff was very good indeed.

    Cheers,

    Dennis

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    • #3
      Re: Can Italians make great coffee?

      It has been a while since I was in Italy....

      But I was never really impressed by the coffee there I must admit (nor at most cafes in Perth for that matter)....

      The beans were always very dark and oily.... and the flavour, whilst consistent.... I never thought was either very good or interesting.

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      • #4
        Re: Can Italians make great coffee?

        I should have been more concise - the standard of coffee preparation was consistently high. Of course if you dont care for italian-style dark roasts then you may not find the result that interesting. Certainly you wont find the diversity of bean varieties and roast styles that you get at a St Ali or similar, but neither will you in Australia generally. Youll seldom get badly made coffee in Italy though, unlike here...!

        Cheers,

        Dennis

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        • #5
          Re: Can Italians make great coffee?

          I have had italians here make me coffee and they generally understand whats involved better than most perhaps from an inate sense....but not always!

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          • #6
            Re: Can Italians make great coffee?

            Yeah the general level of skill of commercial espresso machine operators over there is much higher than the general level of skill over here. That doesnt mean you wont get a poor brew over there, but there is more likelihood of it generally over here I think.

            However you also need to understand that they use an entirely different style of espresso blends over there, so the result in the cup is quite different to ours. Their blends for example require you to add sugar....or you dont get the best out of them...whether you are a sugar adder or not when over there...add sugar or dont drink it!

            Regardz,
            FC.

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            • #7
              Re: Can Italians make great coffee?

              I was in Italy at the end of last year, and to date, the best coffee I have ever had was at a breakfast bar in Milan. Increadible mouth feel, and an almost sticky sweetness (no sugar) that lasted for ages. This was THE god shot in my books, and the one that all others have been judged against since.

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              • #8
                Re: Can Italians make great coffee?

                The worst coffee I have ever been served in exchange for money was in a (very well known) cafe in Melbourne last year.

                The second worst coffee I have ever been served was in a cafe in Cairns a couple of weeks ago.

                And people wonder why I rarely buy coffee when out.........

                The unfortunate problem with this, is that the general public incorrectly make judgements on the *brand* of coffee they have just been served (logos all over the cups), instead of pointing the finger fairly and squarely where it belongs in the first place.

                Regardz,
                FC.

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                • #9
                  Re: Can Italians make great coffee?

                  Originally posted by Fresh_Coffee link=1185414494/0#7 date=1185499293
                  The unfortunate problem with this, is that the general public incorrectly make judgements on the *brand* of coffee they have just been served (logos all over the cups), instead of pointing the finger fairly and squarely where it belongs in the first place.
                  Whilst I agree with your point in the main, do you think there are exceptions to this? For instance there are some brands of coffee that stress the need for training for an outlet to sell their coffee and and actually follow it up. Of course the true test comes with what is in the cup. I would chose to enter a cafe I dont know by a few brands, generally smaller roasters that I know will be fresh. Of course though as you say that doesnt always work anyway. And there are many cafes I would stay away from because of brand in the first place knowing that it will be stale. So I think there are exceptions to your point, although few and far between generally.

                  Brett

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                  • #10
                    Re: Can Italians make great coffee?

                    I would challange anyone to find worse so called espresso coffee than what is served generally all over the states! I was SOOO happy to get to a friends place in LA after travelling somewhat a year or so ago and have an instant coffee flavoured drink, because milk based espresso drinks over there are so poor.

                    Even when you find a cafe in the US that has a big sign stating Real Italian Espresso Served Here and you think BEAUTY,.walk in to see them placing a pod intheir espresso machine.... . >

                    I am told that Seattle has some real coffee... and some fair baristas too.. going there next month.. hopefully the rumours are true!

                    Sorry to talk off topic!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Can Italians make great coffee?

                      Originally posted by Fresh_Coffee link=1185414494/0#7 date=1185499293
                      The unfortunate problem with this, is that the general public incorrectly make judgements on the *brand* of coffee they have just been served (logos all over the cups), instead of pointing the finger fairly and squarely where it belongs in the first place.

                      Regardz,
                      FC.
                      I agree with that FC , when in Melbourne last Easter we ordered coffee with our breakfast in a cafe, coffee not bad breakfast very good. I had a mac to finish and it was terrible. I complained and was asked to try another that was made with care -  it was very good. Same machine, same coffee , same operator with added care.  


                      Dino

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                      • #12
                        Re: Can Italians make great coffee?

                        I hope they got the hint.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Can Italians make great coffee?

                          Originally posted by Zedd link=1185414494/0#9 date=1185510640
                          ...
                          I am told that Seattle has some real coffee...  and some fair baristas too..   going there next month.. hopefully the rumours are true!
                          Zedd, youll have to drop in on Cafe Vivace in Seattle and give us a full run down on whether 3/10th of a degree Fahrenheit makes all the difference...

                          And...

                          Whether David Schomer is as nerdy looking as his photos.

                          --Robusto

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                          • #14
                            Re: Can Italians make great coffee?

                            .. and dont forget to stop by cow girl espresso

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                            • #15
                              Re: Can Italians make great coffee?

                              You can come by my place and have a coffee anytime FC. Just dont go thinking youll get milk with it.

                              I reckon Italians do well with their own style roast. Give them a lighter roast and theyd probably not do it justice.

                              Zedd, make sure you swing by Portland, Oregon on your trip. Home of Stumptown, and a bunch of very nice places for coffee. Do your research ahead of time, because there is also some not-so-good places as well (just like anywhere else).

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