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Recently, I found a great blog called My Corner Of Italy. What initially drew my attention was a post about the various types of Italian coffee, which I believe gives a great overview of the complex Italian Coffee Culture.
Most intriguing was this picture:
For this discussion, we aren't focusing on the various roasts or grinds of the coffee bean. I'd like to focus on what can happen once the espresso machine completes it's holy mission and you have a single or double shot of this nectar of the gods.
A Great Start To The Day
I have had various opportunities to taste many of these varieties both in the U.S. and in Italy, and while each is beautiful in it's own right, my current go-to in a bar is a macchiato caldo, although I omit the caldo when I order and have yet to get one that is cold.
While it's common to use zucchero (sugar), that stained milk foam is usually enough to knock down the bitterness for my tastes. It's a strong drink, though, and I certainly don't fault anyone who prefers some sweetener.
Not A Macchiato
As you may know, macchiato roughly translates to marked, stained or spotted. This is in reference to the tiny dollop of milk foam put on top of the espresso. Knowing that I was going to write on this topic, I recently purchased this 'macchiato' at a local coffee shop, but it was more like a caffè latte than a macchiato because there is far too much milk. That's why I prefer to make my drinks at home in my beautiful Alessi Moka!
I intend to write in more detail about the various types of Italian Coffee that I've had the pleasure to enjoy, but if there is anything you're hoping to learn, please leave a comment!
Dining in Rome
During my recent trip to Rome, a friend and local recommended Hostaria Dino & Tony, the selling point was that it is affordable, great quality and traditional Roman fare. Without knowing it, my friend gave a description that perfectly aligned with what I like most about Roman food, so I was excited to give it a try!
Tony or Toni
While I am still learning to speak Italian (slowly), I usually feel fairly confident in a restaurant. Tonight, however, I was tired and Dino (or Tony, not sure which) greeted me, sat me down and asked if I wanted some wine with blinding speed. I was so overwhelmed that I think I said I wanted both Red and White wine. I didn't, he understood and returned with a delicious half-carafe of Vino della Casa and water.
I hadn't realized that this hostaria didn't see the need for menus. I'm sure I was asked what I wanted to eat, or at least if I wanted what they were making, but all I'm certain of is that I confirmed I …
History (Our Story!)
Our journey from automatic drip coffeemakers to stove-top espresso makers was long, but it shouldn't have been! We received a Bialetti Moka pot as a wedding shower gift from my sister and as we had no idea how to use it, we boxed it up and dragged it around with us on our many moves. During an unpacking, we realized the handle had broken so we dumped it (big mistake but who knew!). Cut to years later, Beppe ends up with another one from a yankee swap at a work Christmas party. Again, we don't use it. Finally our drip coffeemaker breaks and as we mull over which make/model to replace it with, we dig out the Moka pot and carefully read the directions and start using it, but only as an interim solution. After a few tries, we figured out that using it is not only easy, but an espresso is so much better!
So if you're intimidated (like we were) by the newness of the whole thing, we're here to share some tips on getting started using your stovetop…
The next person who agreed to answer the Coffee in Italia questionnaire is none other than new friend Michele, from the awesome Instagram account Mangia with Michele. We began following her within the last year and her posts about Italian food leave us drooling (you really have to check her out if you're not already following her).
I met her in NYC a couple of times IRL, and she's just as awesome as you'd expect! She has an extensive background in the food sector after leaving her career in accounting to pursue her passion. She's traveled extensively (even lived in Switzerland for a year) but loves her Jersey roots and can't imagine living anywhere other than the NYC area. Seeing the view from her window in various posts makes me miss the big apple that much more!
Currently she's hard at work building her website; you should subscribe right away so you won't miss the launch. She's also partnered with Food Lover's Odyssey to lead a food tour o…