Why do Italians make the best coffee?
Really, it doesn’t make sense that “coffee” and “Italian” fit so easily together. I mean yeah, sprezzatura and all, but virtually no beans themselves are grown in Italy. So how is it possible that Italy is so deeply associated with good coffee?
Haute couture is conceived of, patterned, fabricated, and made and sold in France. It is natural that this branch of fashion is indelibly associated with French culture.
Take sushi, surely there is no corner of the world nowadays unaware of the “yum” and “mouthfeel” associated with a spicy tuna roll. But despite the whole world borrowing (some might say appropriating[?]) sushi and making it their own (Peru, anyone?; Philadelphia?), sushi as a concept still comes from Japan, sushi as a supply chain of Pacific-cold-water-fish still relies heavily on Japanese exports, and it is arguably still best in Japan.
So why aren’t Guatemala or Java or Kenya or Ethiopia on the same pedestal as Italy? After all coffee is from there. Coffee is made there. It’s red little cherubs ripen there.
This is probably a meta-question for the anthropologists and social scientists. But having said that, what is pretty darn clear is that Italy is figured out the “last mile problem,” and in regards to coffee, that is roasting.
The Italians know how to roast. They probably know how to pick beans too, but that’s another story. But roasting is key. And whether deservedly so or not, roasting is what people remember. Getting the temperature and pressure right (and of course declining to roast either under-ripe and over-ripe beans too) with the right equipment, for the roasting duration, all this stuff makes or breaks a cup of coffee.
Sorry baristas, but that cup of Joe is only yours to screw up—-the magic happens long, long before in the wonderful journey from plantation to cup!
For a smooth Italian medium roast try this Lavazza blend.