Coffee is a very popular drink all over the world. We all love to enjoy a cup of good coffee for breakfast or to accompany a convivial moment with friends after dinner.
In Italy, coffee is widespread and is prepared in different ways: the most popular (also abroad) are undoubtedly espresso and cappuccino.
Coffee tasting goes beyond the pleasure of drinking it. It is a complex and fascinating experience that appeals to all the senses. And for this reason, the choice of a good coffee is a very personal choice. Some people prefer the strong flavor, others prefer the sweetness. Some love the espresso, others the American cup.
Although caffeine helps fight fatigue, it is also true that this natural stimulant can have negative repercussions on one’s rest and if taken excessively, it can also cause nervousness, irritability, insomnia, headaches, and heart palpitations. The action of caffeine is almost immediate, as it acts on the receptors of the brain, causing a feeling of well-being just a few minutes after actually consuming the coffee. To control the caffeine effects, choose a coffee with a lower amount of caffeine, especially if you can no longer sleep well or struggle to fall asleep. In any case, it is better not to drink coffee in the late afternoon, with the exception of decaffeinated coffee.
To evaluate the quality of coffee, usually, 4 parameters are considered: acidity, aroma, body, and flavor.
The acidity depends mainly on the area and the altitude where the coffee was grown. At higher altitudes, there are the most intense acidities. There are 3 degrees of acidity: natural pleasant (acidity 1), natural unpleasant (acidity 2), and undesirable (acidity 3).
The aroma depends on the species of the coffee plant. Robusta coffee is characterized by stronger and bitter aromas, while Arabian coffee is sweet and delicate. The term “body”, instead, indicates the structure of the coffee, in particular its physical properties, which are perceived by the mouth. There are 3 different types of bodies, namely full, medium or round coffee.
Although the flavor depends a lot on personal taste, it is possible to distinguish coffees with more delicate flavors and others with more intense flavors, as well as a fruity or floral aftertaste that can be more or less appreciated according to one’s preferences.
Arabica, Robusta or a blend of both? On the market, there are 100% Arabica coffees that allow you to make a coffee that is less strong and bitter, with a more delicate taste than the Robusta type which has a stronger flavor being richer in caffeine.
Finally, there are 3 types of roasting: light roasting, ideal for softer and more acidic coffees, with floral and fruity notes, prepared with filter extraction methods, and medium roasting, for a more rounded, balanced, full-bodied coffee with an aromatic spectrum wider, and dark roasting, ideal for preparing a full-bodied and bitter espresso since the coffee produced with this roasting is stronger and more intense, with a marked acidity and a reduced amount of caffeine.
Now let’s see which are the best coffee producers in Italy:
Naples is certainly the beating heart of the coffee tradition in Italy. And it is precisely here that Caffè Borbone was born, a brand that owes its name to King Charles III of Bourbon. In fact, it would seem that the king tasted this coffee during a stop on the outskirts of Naples, before the attack on the Austrians, aimed at the liberation of the city in 1734. The king would have been enchanted about it. Caffè Borbone is a young brand, which was born in 1997, but which soon became a leader in coffee processing, producing different blends in different formats, doing a lot of advertising, and sponsoring all the major national events.
The company’s flagship product is Caffè Borbone Respresso, Blue Blend in capsules. Designed for lovers of a dense and full-bodied coffee, with a strong taste, the blue blend is composed of 70% Robusta, with an addition of 30% Arabica which dampens the bitter and intense flavor, with sweet and delicate notes. A coffee with a good creaminess, it also has a fairly high concentration of caffeine, thanks to the predominance of Robusta beans. It is the most balanced blend on the market; the natural sweetness of the blend could also facilitate a conversion to bitter coffee, to learn to appreciate its most authentic taste.
In Turin Luigi Lavazza, at the end of the 19th century, founded the company that still bears his name today. Lavazza becomes the first coffee company to operate a real advertising campaign, with modern advertisements. The entrepreneurial genius of the Lavazza family notes before others that a self-respecting company needs a brand that you remember: simple and intuitive, but at the same time particular. This is how the Lavazza brand was born, characterized by the large central A that acts as an attractor for the axes of the other letters. Today this great company has decided to commit its fame to the social sector, making the struggles of the workers of the coffee Countries its own, so that they can aspire to better living conditions.
Lavazza blends are especially loved by those who prefer light and not very intense coffees. In line with these requests, the company has produced one of the best-decaffeinated coffees on the market, the Lavazza Dek Classico. This blend is recommended above all because the process of eliminating the caffeine adopted to work it does not affect the organoleptic characteristics of the drink, as occurs in other decaffeinated products. Designed for those who do not like the exciting component of coffee, it allows you to savor a quality product, which retains a full and balanced taste, thanks to the blend of Arabica and Robusta. The intense roasting is perfect for giving an accentuated body and a more defined concentration of aromas.
Francesco Illy is the founder of the Illy Caffè factory in Trieste. Francesco takes advantage of Trieste’s fame as a port to enter the cocoa and coffee processing sector, specializing above all in this second category. With Francesco Illy, the export of coffee makes a leap in quality, overcoming the traditional problems of preserving aromas: thanks to the vacuum it becomes possible to enjoy a coffee packaged and processed in Italy even abroad, without losing its aroma. The father’s passion immediately reached his son and in 1957 the first experimental research laboratory on coffee was born: the young Ernesto took over the production, making Illy a historic brand recognized worldwide, to the point of founding the first University of Coffee in 1999, a center dedicated to the study of the taste, aroma, body and intensity of the ideal coffee.
Illy Caffè brings out the most articulated and tickling aromas for the palate. Among the happiest combinations in the success we cannot fail to mention the Iperespresso Illy Arabica Selection Brazil, a 100% Arabica coffee, with intense notes of caramel, sweet and warm. The beans come from the south-eastern highlands of Brazil, a choice linked to the marked alternation between periods of rain and periods of drought, which allow the plantations to grow more luxuriantly. Thanks to the delicate roasting, the flavor is perfect for palates sensitive to acid notes.
Caffè Motta is a modern coffee producer, born in Salerno in 2001 from the initiative of Nicola Mastromarino. The story actually starts with Nicola’s father, Michele, a small merchant who in 1968 decided to pursue his passion for coffee, initially marketing it in Venezuela. After expanding to South America, Michele involves his children who, together with their father in the common intention of continuing in the business, founded the Caffè Motta brand. In addition to the usual ideals of quality, innovation and Italian spirit, Motta also tries to strengthen its link with the territory, through a careful advertising and communication campaign, which uses an always innovative graphic design.
Motta produces a wide range of coffees and pods. The blends in grains are also very popular. Dolce Gusto capsules are 100% Arabica coffee capsules, with a delicate and pleasant flavor.
In Naples, in 1960, Caffè Toraldo was born. The family management of the company, the spontaneity and the enthusiastic zeal of the founder, make this company a driving force for the production of coffee. The desire to innovate and get involved guides the first steps, which evolve in the new millennium towards a global vision. The activities of the Toraldo brand today are many and include training schools for the production and preparation of coffee, consultancy for the opening of new bars; the desire to export the Neapolitan taste all over the world and to educate the palates to the most refined blends moves Caffè Toraldo towards the new frontiers of export.
Among the finest blends of Toraldo Caffè we mention the Neapolitan Espresso, a skilful blend of Arabica from Central and South America and Indian Robusta, carefully selected. To enhance the flavors of the different origins, the beans undergo different roasting and processing processes, in order to allow the emergence of the most authentic tastes. The care for merchandising already emerges from the tin package, carefully designed to preserve the fragrance, studied in design for a quality product also in aesthetics.
The oldest Italian roasting company is that of Caffè Vergnano, founded in 1882 in Chieri, near Turin, by Domenico Vergnano. And from there the Vergnano family has extended its domain all over the world, counting today more than 130 offices. Its fame has grown further since it became Eataly’s coffee brand, with a chain of stores that fits in the wake of eco-design with a series of products that are also environmentally friendly.
With its 100% Arabica coffee, Vergnano has entered the hearts of Italians. The Caffè Vergnano Arabica Blend Pods are among the best-selling blends today: a coffee distributed in single-dose practices, easy to use, for instant coffee preparation. The only component is given by Coffea Arabica beans, which give this drink a delicate flavor of medium intensity, with a soft and round body; aroma and sweetness constitute the most marked notes of the organoleptic profile, making this blend perfect for those who love sweet and enveloping breaks. Also in the design of the pod, Vergnano confirms the environmental choice, spreading on the market exclusively biodegradable pods that can be disposed of without causing damage to nature.
In Verona, the Pellini family founded Caffè Pellini in 1922. Throughout the first twenty years of life, the production of Pellini remains strongly anchored in the Veneto area but, starting from 1947, under the guidance of Renzo Pellini, it begins its rise, up to the foundation of the Sao Caffè Consortium in 1980. To date the company has about 20 offices around the world and is the fifth most important Italian roasting company. The quality is undisputed and is clearly demonstrated from the earliest stages of the production chain: the selection of the beans takes place with care, before moving on to the subsequent processing processes. The company boasts a fully automated production, up to the final quality control, performed by man. The coffee is extremely valuable, thanks to the calibrated blend created from individual coffees, each treated with an ad hoc processing method.
From Pellini we cannot fail to mention the Espresso Bar Blend of Coffee in Grains No. 82, one of the best-roasted beans, with a balanced flavor and full-bodied consistency. A blend composed of Arabica and Robusta, studied in the percentages in order to break up the too bitter notes and sweeten the more acidic ones. Thanks also to the medium roasting, not too long in duration, and at not too high temperatures, the aromatic characteristics of Arabica and the creaminess of Robusta find their maximum realization.
The story of the Passalacqua family began in 1948. Since then the Passalacqua family has made great strides forward, exporting their coffee all over the world. Firmly anchored to its Neapolitan origins, the company has never changed headquarters, and it is in Naples, in Piazza Dante, that the historic point of sale, the Bar Mexico, is kept.
The Mexico Gusto Tondo Passalacqua coffee package is a ground coffee for Moka made entirely of Arabica beans. The product’s note of merit is linked to its particular aftertaste, characterized by hints of hazelnuts, caramel and chocolate, ideal for lovers of sweeter drinks; the aromatic facets allow to almost completely reduce the natural acidity of Arabica, for an extremely pleasant coffee. Coffee gives enveloping sensations to the palate and gently caresses the tongue. The Passalacqua family shows its care for tradition also in the processing of its blends: the not too fine grind in fact makes Mexico coffee the best alternative for those who want to try their hand at preparing coffee with the traditional Neapolitan coffee maker.
Kimbo was also born and developed in Naples, where it is still located today. Originally known as Cafè do Brasil, Kimbo was founded in 1963 by the Rubino brothers who, owners of a small roasting company, began to produce coffee for both bars and domestic use. After a rather troubled period, which saw stormy and sudden management changes due to internal feuds, in 2013 the company returned under the sole and direct control of the Rubino family, with an all-female guide, thanks to the figures of Paola and Alessandra Rubino. Sponsor of the Napoli football club and official supplier of Autogrill, Kimbo has imposed real territorial domination, above all thanks to the push given to the export and distribution of Kimbo coffee throughout the Italian territory. Thanks to the careful company policies, aimed at satisfying its mission – spreading Neapolitan coffee in the world – Kimbo holds a special place in the made in Italy: attentive to the evolution of taste, it tries to satisfy the needs with constantly new market proposals, but always of quality.
Caffè Corsini was born in 1950 in Arezzo, Tuscany, from the initiative of Corsino Corsini. This small grocer has set up one of the most famous coffee roasters in all of Italy. Today it is present in more than 60 Countries, with numerous blends. Corsini makes the reduction of the environmental impact its banner, always aimed at sustainability and the development of renewable energies. For example, it was the first Italian coffee company to convert to the use of photovoltaics, which today contributes to cover 30% of its needs. The processing chain is entirely fulfilled by the company, which is personally involved in checking the quality of the finished product, from the analysis of the green beans to the chemical and microbiological evaluations necessary to test the safety of the mixture.
Among the most popular Corsini products is the American Coffè blend, a blend specially designed to create the perfect American coffee. 100% Arabica blends are preferred, characterized by a lower density; in addition, the coffee is roasted for a short time and at low temperatures and coarsely ground. Thus was born this coffee with a light fragrance, enhanced by acidic notes. For all those who, despite being in Italy, are often looking for a good American coffee: this is certainly the best on the market.
Caffè Segafredo Zanetti
In Emilia-Romagna, and more precisely in Bologna, in 1973 Segafredo Zanetti S.p.A. was founded by Massimo Zanetti. Massimo Zanetti created Segafredo Zanetti initially developing in Italy, where it soon became a leader in the market, to subsequently conquer also international markets. Distinguishing itself for its policy of attention to the diffusion of coffee culture globally, Segafredo Zanetti is today a multinational that includes a series of well-known brands within it. By becoming a sponsor of various sports (cycling, football, basketball), it has managed to accumulate certain notoriety, also thanks to well-designed advertising campaigns.
To date, Segafredo Zanetti Coffee System has specialized in the production of articles for widespread use, especially through Espresso Assoluto coffee pods, sold in 100% compostable pods. For an intense coffee with rich aromatic notes, Segafredo coffee is certainly an excellent choice of quality and sustainability. The quality-price ratio offered by this brand is also very good.
This brand was founded in Turin in 1969. However, the events of Splendid soon ended up depending on multinational market mechanisms: already in 1992, it passed under the management of Procter & Gamble to then arrive, following other wanderings, at Mondelēz International, an American multinational who has been managing it since 2015. That of Splendid is the first company history no longer linked to a family tradition.
The brand is produced in “Classic”, “Rich”, “Gold 100% Arabica Sustainable Development”, “Espresso” and “Decaffeinato” versions. Over the years Splendid has specialized above all in the production of coffee pods and compatible capsules, as well as in soluble versions for cappuccino. The Nespresso compatible restricted espresso capsules are among the most popular products of the brand, thanks to the strong aroma and the intensity of the taste, which makes them comparable to Nespresso pods. Furthermore, the marketing of the aluminum packaging was a winning market choice since, using the same technology as Nespresso, these pods allow you to produce a creamy and hot coffee, very similar to the original model.