For many of us, the smell of a strong espresso is just about the only thing that drags us out of bed on a morning. Whether you prefer your coffee bean in a strong shot, or as a creamy, milky cappuccino, it’s a morning ritual that has transcended the decades. I know that without my shot of Italy’s finest, I wouldn’t be ready for the day ahead.
When I think of coffee, especially when it’s something fresh and strong, it’s hard not to immediately associate it with Italy; sitting outside a café or deli in Milan, basking in the mid morning sun as our drink of choice provides that much needed ‘pick me up’. Indeed, Italian coffee has become renowned worldwide, and it’s therefore no surprise that key Italian coffee words have made their way into our breakfast language – espresso, cappuccino, latte. It’s effectively our national drink, so when you call in to see me and the team at LIVIN’italy, whether it’s on a cool spring morning or in the warmth of the Leeds summer, you know that we’re going to make sure it’s as authentic as you’d get across the Med.
Despite my nation’s great love for the drink, coffee didn’t originate on our shores. Coffee grew in popularity in the Middle East as early as medieval times, and as the popularity of the drink grew, shipping began and it reached the shores of Europe. Reaching Italy via the port of Venice, it didn’t take long for coffee to quickly grow an enthusiastic following. With a strong aroma, deliciously unique taste and the energising feel that accompanied it, it soon grabbed the attention of the local Italians, and after having become ingrained in our culture ever since, it’s just one of many elements of our nation that are represented in LIVIN’italy.
Nowadays, the histories of coffee and Italy are inseparable. Take espresso for example, which was originally created as a quick drink that enabled workers to enjoy a much needed pick-me-up, before swiftly returning to the factory floor – meaning employees didn’t require too long for their work break. One of the most popular drinks around, the Cappuccino was named after the Capuchin monks and was based on a Viennese version of coffee with cream and cinnamon or chocolate. The name Americano was originally intended as a derogatory term, and is based on American GI’s stationed in Italy in World War II who diluted their espresso with hot water. Nevertheless, the basics that make a good, strong coffee have not changed in centuries, nor has the dominance of Italian coffee culture across the world.
It’s a huge part of our culture, and we pride ourselves on the fact that our home on the Leeds ‘riviera’ is a miniature taste of our Italian motherland. Whatever time of day, whether you’re looking for a morning eye-opener on the way to work, or a Saturday reenergiser whilst shopping, we’ll make sure you get the true Italian treat, accompanied by a warm welcome and true Italian service.