Introduced in Italy by the merchants of Venice in the second half of the XVI century, while trading spices with the Ottoman Empire, the traditional “tazzina di Caffe” is now deeply rooted in all levels of Italian society: a beverage, a ritual, almost a way of life.
What sets the espresso apart is the blend of beans used and the roasting process, meticulously developed and passed on over the last century. Known today as the “Italian Roast”, the espresso is a carefully selected blend of 80% Arabica (a Middle-Eastern bean with intense aromatic smell and low caffeine content) and 20% Robusta (an African variety richer in caffeine). The toasting is slowly carried out in large vessels through hot air flows – about 465 degrees – while the beans are gently stirred.
Chemically, the higher the toasting temperature is, the lower the resulting caffeine residual will be. For this reason, and contrary to popular belief, the Italian espresso has a significantly lower content of caffeine when compared to other blends. This is due to the high temperatures employed during the roasting process.
At Tigelleria, we brew our espresso as a traditional Italian would: with a stovetop moka. Moka pots (also known as small Italian coffee pots) produce coffee by using pressurized steam to push water through the ground espresso to create a strong, high quality coffee. Better yet, the more the Moka pot is used, the better the coffee.
So sit back, relax, and after your meal order a drink that will make you feel like you’re in an osteria in Italy – a carefully crafted stovetop espresso.