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The History of Italian Coffee

Italian coffee is somewhat of a misnomer if taken literally as very small, if any, coffee is really grown in Italy. But, early Italians embraced coffee as if it were their own discovery and did much to advance the popularity of the beverage worldwide.

It is likely that Italy, particularly Venice, was the first in Europe to receive the weird new brew from Venetian trade ships. When the drink reached Rome, some fanatic priests attacked coffee since up to now it had been primarily a beverage of Islam and was considered the drink of the Devil. If Christians were to partake of this hellish brew they risked eternal damnation they believed.

By the end of the sixteenth century there were those in the Vatican that sought to ban the drink from the Christian world. Pope Clement VIII considered the requests of his Cardinals but thought it imprudent to ban the beverage without having tasted it so he requested a sample of the Devils drink.

As legend has it, the Pope was immediately enamored by the distinct, pungent aroma and taste. It was then he chose that to banish the delightful drink would be a greater sin and he baptized it on the spot giving rise to the Italian coffee house.

The first coffeehouse in Venice opened in 1683 and was named simply for the beverage that it served, caffee, or cafe. The name was soon synonymous with excellent conversation, relaxed environment, companionship and tasty food. The cafe did for coffee what the bistro did for wine, added an air of romance and a touch of class to the coffee experience. And still today Italian coffee is considered a more elegant adaptation of the traditional ‘cup of Joe’.

Most Italian coffee is brewed very strong from the lower-quality Robusta bean, which might suggest why Italy gave us such innovations as cappuccino (coffee with steamed milk) and flavored coffees.

The Italian impact on the coffee world did not end in the seventeenth century. Fascinatingly, in 1983 an Italian coffee house in Milan was the inspiration that drove Starbuck’s, then head of marketing soon to be president, Howard Schultz to transform the small specialty coffee roaster into the wildly successful retail coffee giant that it is today.

By recreating the elegant, inviting, comfortable and relaxing atmosphere of that Italian coffee house and serving traditional Italian renditions of the classic beverage, the Italian coffee experience became the Starbucks experience and has helped shape a new generation of coffee lovers.

© Copyright Randy Wilson, All Rights Reserved.

You can find more articles on coffee such as ultimate-coffees-info.com/starbucks-coffeee-company.html Starbucks Coffee Company, ultimate-coffees-info.com/coffee-beans.html Coffee Beans and ultimate-coffees-info.com/coffee-colonics.html Coffee Colonics.

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