For some it’s a simple pleasure, for others it’s an unmissable ritual, destined to be repeated over the course of the day. At any rate, it is almost universally considered to be the most loved drink by Italians (and not only by them). We’re talking about coffee.
Obtained from the seeds of a plant belonging to the Rubiaceae family (Coffea genus), coffee comes from two main species: Robusta and Arabica. The latter, in particular, is the variety which on tasting seems less bitter, and with a richer aroma. There are many coffee-producing countries, and the ones that stand out are Brazil, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Indonesia, Vietnam, Costa Rica and Colombia. Depending on the place of origin, the product takes on recognizable aroma.
When creating a blend, one must always take into consideration the various special characteristics. More than a dozen different types of coffee may be needed to achieve a good blend. As you may have guessed, this is another form of expert blending.
The most popular blends in Italy also vary according to geographical area. In northern Italy, for example, there is a preference for milder blends with a touch of acidity, typical of Central American coffees. In central Italy there is a preference for an 80% Arabica/20% Robusta blend: intense and full-bodied. The tradition in southern Italy, on the other hand, leans towards a dark, intense, almost bitter coffee, with a high percentage of Robusta and more intense roasting.
However, as for any blend, the quality of the raw material remains fundamental. Understanding how best to blend the different aromas and flavours is a true art.