how to make the real cappuccinoCappuccino is one of the most widely known Italian beverages. Sticking to the original recipe, it is made of three layers: one third Italian espresso, one third steamed milk and one third foamed milk. There are countless similar beverages on the market today, often labeled with funny, tweaked names. But none of them can compete with the worldwide fame of cappuccino.

What is the origin of the word “cappuccino”? Several urban legends carry a possible answer to this question. Some would bet on the one about the Capuchin friar (“Cappuccino” in Italian) Marco d’Aviano. According to legend, d’Aviano received coffee beans as a reward after defeating the Turks in the 1683′s Battle of Vienna. Since the coffee tasted too bitter, the friar thought of adding some milk. Unfortunately the story of the “blessed cappuccino” is not mentioned in any historical source. There is instead eminent proof it was made up. It is more likely that the word derives from the look of the beverage, similar to the typical haircut of the Franciscan friars. Or maybe from its color, the same nut-brown of the friars’ habit.

The recorded history of cappuccino actually belongs to a more recent past, the first patented machines dating back to 1901. Cappuccino never went out of fashion, in fact it has kept up with the times ever since. Today it’s easy to find a cappuccino with soy milk or other kinds of vegetable milk, so that even lactose intolerant coffee lovers can enjoy the taste of a classic cappuccino.

Beyond myths and legends, there is one sure fact: “Cappuccino e brioche” is still the typical Italian breakfast, and every country has found its own way of making Cappuccino special.

Buon Cappuccino!

Making coffee on the stove: What is a Moka and how to use it Moka is the traditional stove-top coffee maker used for home-made coffee in many Italian families. Despite the growing market for coffee pods and capsules, many nostalgic, routine-bound coffee lovers still cling to the old-fashioned pot and its irreplaceable charm made of aromes, flavors and memories. Let’s see what you know and don’t know about Moka.

Who invented the Moka pot? The Moka pot was invented in 1933 by Bolognese inventor Alfonso Bialetti for the Omegna company. Bialetti’s metal, octagonal based pot with its bachelite handle soon became one of the most distinctive icons of Italian design in the world. It has even been exhibited at the MOMA in New York.

Why is it called Moka? The name derives from Mokha, a town in Yemen. It was one of the first regions to farm and produce Arabica coffee.

How do I use a Moka pot? Making coffee with a Moka pot is a familiar ritual made of simple gestures. Fill the bottom part of the pot with water to the small metal valve. Put your coffee grounds into the funnel-shaped filter and place it on the bottom chamber. Screw the top chamber tightly and put the Moka pot on the stove. Now you just have to wait until all the coffee comes out, filling your kitchen with its charming fragrance.

Moka or espresso machine: Which one is better? It’s hard to say, if not impossible. They are two different, almost opposite ways of experiencing coffee. Espresso is bound to the Italian tradition of coffee break at a café with friends and workmates. Moka evokes the idea of home-made coffee, consumed with the family at breakfast or after lunch.

Whether you choose the vintage taste of the stove-top coffee maker or the modern taste of the newest espresso machines, we can be sure about one thing: What really counts is the quality of the coffee you use.

original italian iced coffeeIced coffee is a fresh, thirst-quenching alternative to the classic espresso. It allows you to enjoy a good coffee even in the hottest days of summer, without altering the qualities of the blend. The original Italian iced coffee is called caffè in ghiaccio (“ghiaccio” means “ice”). This tradition has its roots in the town of Lecce and the wonderful region of Salento, in the South East of the country. Making iced coffee is really simple, you just need to know a little secret.

Take a wide glass and fill it to the top with ice. Make a regular espresso using a good Italian blend and add sugar to your liking. While it’s steamy hot, pour it into the glass and enjoy it right away. If you want to add a personal touch, try using cold almond milk instead of sugar.

The secret for a perfect iced coffee is in the ice. Don’t use crushed ice, but only big cubes just taken out of the freezer.

If you’re traveling in Italy you may hear someone ask for a “caffè in ghiaccio soffiato”, litterally “blown iced coffee”. This means the barman will keep the glass under the steam jet of the espresso machine for a few seconds to make the iced coffee even more soft and creamy.

Enjoy your caffè in ghiaccio.

roasted arabica coffee beanWhat is coffee? It may seem a trite topic, yet the fragrant liquid we drink every day still hides many unsolved mysteries. Coffee comes from the seeds of an evergreen plant belonging to the genus Coffea of the family Rubiaceae. The shrub originates from the Horn of Africa. Coffea Arabica and Coffea Canephora (or Coffea Robusta) are the most common species of this prodigious plant – and the most widespread varieties of coffee.

There are many legends accounting for its discovery, from the one of the Ethiopian shepherd who noticed his sheep became excited after chewing wild coffee leaves, to more imaginary and psychic stories involving angels fallen from Heaven. A more plausible legend tells how a fire in an Abyssinian wood accidentally revealed to men the incredible scent of toasted coffee beans.

The word coffee derives from the Arabic word Qahwa, then transformed into Kahve by the Turkish – the first large coffee consumers in history – and then travelled through Europe becoming Caffè, Café, Coffee. But maybe the name is not important – what really counts is the unique scent which wakes us up every morning and accompanies us through our day.

If you want to discover more about coffee, see more here

Buon caffè!

17_1bigMost coffee lovers are well accustomed to chaotic morning coffee routines. It’s Monday morning and you can barely keep your eyes open as you trudge your way to your usual coffee shop. Despite all of the frenzy inside, you manage to give your order to the barista. When you finally receive your order, you realize that your name is spelled wrong. Again.

Although you may frequent the same coffee shop every morning, your barista might not remember who you are or what you like in your coffee. Bottom line, you don’t really know your barista and your barista does not know you either. As industrialized coffee chains are transforming the gastronomic landscapes of major cities, coffee buyers are losing their ability to express their individual tastes.

On the other hand, Filicori Zecchini has been a family run coffee company since its opening in Bologna in 1919, and this is why we’re committed to keeping tradition. It’s our goal to provide our customers with baristas who are highly trained and who sleep, eat, and breathe coffee. Our baristas are passionate about coffee, and all of our baristas receive training at the Laboratorio del Espresso in Milan or Bologna. At the Laboratorio del Espresso, they’re taught the importance of presentation, customer service, and to adhere to the individual tastes of our customers. They take several courses, in which they learn how to create delicious espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes that are certified by the Italian Espresso National Institute. Our baristas are trained to deliver our customers the perfect cup of coffee that has the qualities of true Italian espresso.

Regain your sense of individuality and stop by a Filicori Zecchini café today. We promise to remember your name.

16_1bigWith its stimulating effects, it isn’t surprising that coffee was adopted as the drink of the Age of the European Enlightenment during the seventeenth century. Some of the greatest thinkers of our time emerged during this period, but how much can we owe their genius ideas to their consumption of coffee? Apparently, quite a lot.

While coffee itself promoted high levels of thinking by keeping people more alert and giving people the energy that they needed to increase their productivity, it was the establishment of coffee houses that helped to mold the minds of many famous Enlightenment thinkers. Great thinkers, such as Voltaire, Rousseau, and Benjamin Franklin, were coffee connoisseurs, who spent a great deal of time in the intellectual atmospheres of European coffeehouses. In fact, many people attribute Voltaire’s publication of Candide in 1759, which has a manic quality, to his reported consumption of 50 cups of coffee a day. Whether Voltaire’s genius was more influenced by his consumption of high quantities of coffee or by the great amount of time that he spent in the Parisian coffeehouse, Café de Procope, it can be concluded that his innovative ideas were directly and indirectly affected by his intimate relationship with coffee.

So will enjoying a delicious shot of Filicori Zecchini Italian espresso turn you into a genius? Unfortunately, we cannot promise that it will. However, we can promise that it will give you the energy and drive to help you to power through your workday, so, Voltaire on.

Filicori Zecchini store in BolognaThere was a little store in a lovely Italian city…

This is how the history of a 90 years old brand begins. The two friends, Aldo (Filicori) and Luigi (Zecchini), barely would have guess a future so rich of events. In 1919 there was that small shop behind the main square and a roasting machine more similar to a traditional pizza oven than to the new technologies now available.There was a fabulous coffee aroma, a crowd of people talking, arguing, working, creating and sharing experience..a messy and cheerful shouting and a lot of passion for the typical Italian habit of drinking Espresso – the good one – at any time during the day.

This blog is created to talk about a symbol of being Italian, a product that never stops to attract attention and which make Italians feel proud: Mr. Espresso!
A fast research online is enough to understand how big and interesting in the issue: what is the secret of good coffee? It is healthy or not? What about the last trends? Why “Espresso” is Italian? How it is served worldwide? With your contribution, we’ll try to answer to these and other questions about the Espresso world.

Our company is opening the doors to you and is willing to share all the experience acquired over the years. We ask you to send us your question, your recipes, your tales. We would like to receive even full articles that will be published under your name.

Your ideas and your experience, both at the coffee shop and as a private user, have always been – and will be even more – the lifeblood which help us doing betterto keep alive the dream of those two friends.

See you next episode!