Post By TOK
Visiting Italy - Looking for advice.
My wife and I are visiting Italy for a month, leaving toward the end of April, will be starting in Rome, up to Venice then working our way south.
I'm looking for advice for must visit coffee attractions i.e. museums, factories, shops etc, the d'Ancap factory near Verona sounds interesting.
Bear in mind its not a coffee related trip, so these activities will only be a small part of the stay, won't be looking to travel hundreds of k's out of our way.
PS even wondered about bringing an espresso machine back with me.
A side trip to Mumac is an absolute must do if you can organise a viewing.
!!!! Visions of a 4 group commercial lever machine , being checked in as hand luggage !
Originally Posted by Yelta
I didn't do a "coffee trip" but did enjoy nearly every cup of coffee I had there. I didn't have any great coffees, but nothing less than good--anywhere.
The beans are very different from what I roast for myself and the italian machines seemed to do a good job with the dark roasts and some robusta in the blends. I'm not sure they would be well set up for Australia though.
Decent coffee seems to be an every day, every where experience and the culture is about the social side rather than the coffee itself. Even around Naples, the coffee capital this was true. The machine factories appear very plain and industrial (Izzo) and the machine shops almost non-existant. (ps--every native of Naples advised me not to visit the city!)
An italian breakfast, for instance, is "un caffe et una pasta" (coffee and a pastry) and is commonly eaten at the bar, and costs under €2. Sitting down will double or triple the price.
Have a great trip!
If you like espresso, the coffee is generally good in most places.
The coffee experience in Italy is quite simple, order "un caffe" (a coffee) and you get an espresso by default which is probably the most common way to have it.
Some have it Macchiato, (stained with a bit of milk) as well as Cappuccino which is generally a morning only drink.
You'll probably see not much in the way of upsize, supersize, double, triple, baby, weak, skinny, extra hot, half, decaf, soy, takeaway, single origin type of thing.
Coffee is generally consumed black and roasted darker tasting more like coffee (bitter sweet) as opposed to sour, fruity, floral notes that usually stand up in milk.
In addition to coffee, their gelato, sweats, cheeses and food in general is to die for.
I'm so jelly, I'd be checking out op shops for a 2nd hand lever if I were you
Thanks for the replies people, appreciate your tips.
While I didn't have anything spectacular over there, as fg1972 said, if you like espresso, it's mostly good. We struggled to find anywhere that produced a decent cap/latte. Nearly all of the traditional places I visited failed to texture milk to the standard we're used to here, lots of big heavy bubbles so forget the art. Some macchiatos were ok but other than that, I'd be staying away from the milk.
If you're going near the Pantheon, Tazza d'Oro was probably one of the better espresso bars I went to in Rome. Some interesting menu choices, like ginseng espresso which I hadn't tried before.
I can't remember the name of the place, but I did get an excellent shakerato (espresso and crushed ice shaken using a martini shaker) in Venice whilst seeking shelter from the blistering heat of the day. Highly recommended if you're after something refreshing.
Some of the nicer shots I tasted were actually in the small hilltop town of Macerino. Very out of the way, but if anyone does plan to visit, be sure not to trust the sat nav. Ours decided to take us down a very steep, single lane, gravel goat track that ended in a brick wall, blocking the railroad crossing that once existed.
Hope you enjoy your trip!
Remember that any milk based drink should only be consumed in the morning. Multiple times we saw a Batista and other staff laughing at foreign visitors (normally Americans) ordering milk drinks after their dinner meal.
Originally Posted by fg1972
Its not law, but when in Rome....
I'll sling you a couple of good tips later that will, in terms of the history and development of coffee equipment, blow your mind. Take a really good camera, DSLR if you have one or atleast an expensive name brand point and shoot.
I will also get you an invitation for a guided tour of the BFC factory in Vittorio Veneto. That's about say 50 or so klimoteres from Mestre (Venice).
Unlike others that have commented, my own experience of "coffee" in Italy is not so good and you have to be a bit selective of where you order.
Strangely, I was given quite a good espresso and great service in the franchise brand "bar" (cafe) at the outgoing railways station of the Malpensa (Milano) airport.
CS's need to be aware that the coffee culture over there is not for the most part, like it is here. If you pick a bar (cafe) that has obvious paraphernalia from the very large roasters, you will get a typical mouth full of woddy robusta that needs all of the 6 grams of sugar in the portion to bring it to life. That is the typical style, needing the sugar to complete the beverage.
If you pick bars (cafes) that advertise a coffee brand that you dont recognize from here, odds are you may get a "better" style coffee ie more of what you are used to here.
Dont go looking around especially for brand name espresso machines of the brands that people in CS like to fantasize about.....except for cities where their factories are located, those machines for the most part sell outside Italy, not necessarily in Italy. So if you are looking for an espresso machine of a particular brand, in a bar (cafe), because you think it may indicate a better quality of coffee from the establishment, you will probably go wanting.
Things are improving over there but the process cant but be slow given the robusta culture has been entrenched for a great deal of time.
Understand the whole coffee culture is different there and is (or has been) more a commodity than anything special, being more just a part of everyone's F & B routine rather than something you go out for socially as happens here...
Hope that helps.
Well, just got to experience this! It was amazing!
Originally Posted by thebookfreak58
Will post some photos later
La Marzocco factory?
Just my inquiry but do they hand build it or do they use these production line robots...
Just my curiousity backed up by my two cents...
Yep! 30min out of Florence
Originally Posted by TheLudicrousBean
All hand crafted by local fabricators. Quite amazing!
I really want one now... "drool..drool"
Originally Posted by thebookfreak58