The coffee culture in the capital of coffee
It is a great moment that I have a chance to visiting to this historical city, Milan in Italy. If you know the founder of Starbucks Coffee, this is the city where he gets the inspiration that make Starbucks Coffee become a coffee giant in the world today. Milan is a capital city that full of sense of culture, from the architecture, food culture and lifestyle, this city is just as it is for so many years.
I’d enjoy a lot of the food and wine in Milan, of course I tried out many coffees in different coffee bar. First at all when people talk about original espresso from Italy is purely drinking the essence of a cup of thick, bold full of aromatic beverage. In Milan espresso is just playing its role like every day need. You can see most of the coffee bar is not only serving coffee, but they are attached with breakfast, even restaurant. Coffee machine is very commonly found everywhere, people are just like to have a cup of espresso after their meal, or a break of travelling between subway, or even a break of half day work. A cup of espresso is costing around 1-2 EUR depend on where you are having your cup of coffee.
I walk around the city for 3 days and stop by drinking espresso everywhere. In Milan mostly, you can get a cup of medium dark roast espresso with blend of Arabica & Robusta coffee. Compare to the south of Italy, people enjoy more about higher percentage of Robusta blend coffee and probably darker roast. The overall flavor of the espresso in Milan, full body and bold texture, surprisingly it is not dry or overpower bitterness lingering. Most of the espresso have the common roasted flavor like caramel, nutty like almond, hazelnut, walnut, dark chocolate and some more flavor note like blood orange, orange peel and cinnamon.
Most of the time, the routine of having a cup of espresso in Milan I categorized into 2 situations. First when you need a cup of espresso, walk to the coffee bar directly and tell the barista (I would like to say bar tender here) you want to have a cup of espresso. Stand on the bar, the barista will brew and serve you a cup of espresso (approx. 20-30g) with saucer and tea spoon. The espresso is cover by a layer of beautiful golden color crema. Hold your spoon, give a few stirs to make the cup of espresso more even for every single sip, lift the cup have a sniff of the intense aroma and just sip to enjoy your coffee. Of course, you can add-on sugar if you like follow by your taste preference. Second situation was during you finish your meal in any restaurant, the waiter (waitress) will offer you to end your meal with a shot of espresso. I am always following that routine after my meal in any restaurant. The waiter will serve the espresso to your table or you can walk to the bar and do the same as any other coffee bar doing. And then pay at the bar counter as well.
I enjoy the time in Milan with coffee around, of course there’s some trend of specialty coffee bar coming up in this long history coffee city, there’s a few but not much now. If you are fans of Starbucks Coffee, the first Starbucks Reserved in coming to town, first ever Starbucks store in Italy. Stay tuned.