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Coffee: Do Italians do it better?

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  • Coffee: Do Italians do it better?

    An interesting article on the BBC on the subject: Coffee: Do Italians do it better? - BBC News


    Java "Coffee what?" phile
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

  • #2
    Do Italians do it better?

    No they don’t.

    Friends of mine recently visited Italy and say they didn’t find a decent coffee that they liked there.

    At home they brew their own good coffee on a Lelit machine.

    Where does the current World top barista come from? Australia of course. He is Sasa Sestic from Canberra. http://coffeesnobs.com.au/general-ne...sta-world.html

    Perhaps the Italians should import some better coffee techniques from Australia.

    As for Charbucks, I did taste it once and that was enough for me. No wonder they have not thrived very well in Australia

    Barry

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    • #3
      I had very good coffee in Italy. As always, you just need to know where to go and what to ask for.

      Perhaps your friends were looking for 2 x Hazelnut mugs of chino.

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      • #4
        The original Starbucks at Pike Place Market in Seattle makes fine espresso and filter coffee. Again, it depends where you go. I've had plenty of ordinary coffee in Australia.

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        • #5
          In my post #2, I did have my tongue in cheek a bit. I have not been to Italy. My friends who were there recently do drink strong milky coffee and possibly didn’t know how to find it where they were.

          Ten years ago, when in London and Dublin, I came across one acceptable coffee maker in each city where I consumed several good brews. The Dublin café had a barista from Holland.

          Barry

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          • #6
            It all depends on ones interpretation of good coffee and is often a matter of personal preference. Personally for traditional espresso, I think the Italians do it better but if we're talking light roasts, single origin, milky drinks then that's another topic.

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            • #7
              It's a tough question to answer without making sloppy generalisations. There's the whole north south difference to take into account too. Never had a bad espresso in Italy, have had plenty of terrible, sour under extracted or even worse under roasted espressos in Sydney. We're more obsessed with our milk drinks here, pretty latte art and all that. If you had a gun to my head I would say espresso better in Italy, milk drinks better here. In general if course!! Many exceptions to this rule I'm very sure.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by pyrmontboy200 View Post
                Never had a bad espresso in Italy, have had plenty of terrible, sour under extracted or even worse under roasted espressos in Sydney.
                Same for me, but substitute Melbourne. I didn't have single bad espresso in Italy in 6 weeks. The quality was amazingly consistent everywhere we went. Mind you we did do a bit of research and check out where the locals seemed to be heading, same as for food. But I'd say I've had much, much better and much much worse espresso here.

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                • #9
                  I've had fantastic espresso in Victoria - best I've ever had in my life - then driven 60 KM to replace a vane pump in a commercial machine and as soon as I was done and the machine up to temp. again the owner pushed in to make onion gravy for chips on the steam wand. Lol!

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                  • #10
                    I had a yobbo ask me if filling up the basket with International Roast was OK, too. "Sure," I replied. "You can do whatever you like." "Would you do that?" "Ahhh ... no, actually."

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                    • #11
                      Having just been to Europe and having finished the trip in Italy, I can say it was a very great relief to finally get to Italy. First decent espresso all trip. No, not quite true, had one good one in Lausanne. And Italian coffee was consistently good. Was it great? No, not really, although I guess in tourist areas they don't take the trouble, and no doubt it's like here, you probably need to know where to go for really great. But even so, it must be the best and most consistent in Europe, surely.

                      My sense of coffee in Italy from a couple of trips in recent years is that's it's more of a commodity. People walk into a café, stand at the bar, pay €1 for a single shot, swallow it and they're gone in a few minutes.

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                      • #12
                        Coffee: Do Italians do it better?

                        Originally posted by gunda View Post
                        My sense of coffee in Italy from a couple of trips in recent years is that's it's more of a commodity. People walk into a café, stand at the bar, pay €1 for a single shot, swallow it and they're gone in a few minutes.
                        This observation is significant. Coffee is price controlled in Italy - if you take it standing at the bar.

                        If you sit at a table they can charge you whatever they like.

                        Other comments:

                        Cappuccinos are only ordered as a breakfast drink.
                        You see Australians ordering a latte or a flat white. This gets blank looks. Or a glass of milk.
                        The Italians often take a big whack of sugar in their coffees.
                        Elsewhere in Europe coffee is pretty inconsistent, often made with those Jura automated machines and longlife milk. Scandinavia is a notable exception - coffee can be pretty good up there.
                        Last edited by herzog; 16 August 2015, 05:05 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by herzog View Post
                          Scandinavia is a notable exception - coffee can be pretty good up there.
                          Won't be anything like €1 though...

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by herzog View Post
                            This observation is significant. Coffee is price controlled in Italy - if you take it standing at the bar.

                            If you sit at a table they can charge you whatever they like..
                            That last comment is is worth remembering !..
                            Reported today that a cafe customer in Italy was charges 30+Euros for 4 coffees and a cake.
                            ...it turns out there was a 5 Euro per head "service fee" in addition to the cost of coffee.!

                            And remember it's still possible to be served a fresh ground, barista made, espresso, LB, FW, etc, for the equivalent of 0.65 Euro ...right here in Sydney or Melbourne !


                            http://youtu.be/wTJy0xm1AbY
                            Last edited by Javaphile; 17 August 2015, 10:47 AM. Reason: Fix Link(s)

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                            • #15
                              Classic. I can't imagine that the $1 7Eleven stuff is much good. And 30EUR for four coffees and a piece of cake doesn't sound too extreme. When you consider that you can easily pay $5-$6 for a coffee in Australia and $7 or $8 for a piece of cake then you're paying around AUS$30. Of course it all depends on what you have and where you get it. Likewise you can get four excellent espressos and a piece of cake for about $15 in Australia, but certainly not in a tourist area.

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