If you have ever visited Italy, you will have realized how important coffee is to the Italians. However, it wasn’t always that way. The concept of roast coffee was arrived in Italy in 1575. An Arab merchant brought it to what was then the City state of Venice.
Unfortunately, he did not want to pay the excessive import duties requested by the Venetians and his coffee was confiscated. The Arab merchant returned to his home country, and believe it or not, roast coffee beans became a banned import.
However, it was not long before a Venetian merchant family discovered the delights of roast coffee. In 1683 the first coffee shop opened in Piazza San Marco. The business soon thrived and Venetians flocked to the small coffee shop.
Unfortunately, the rest of Italy had a different idea. Other cities in Italy, such as Florence, were not sure that coffee was a good idea for their inhabitants. As a result, coffee was banned in the rest of Italy.
Roast Coffee In Italy
Even back then, Venice was a tourist hot spot. Many Italians visited Venice. It did not take them very long to discover the small coffee shops that were now springing up all over Venice. Of course, not only did the shops sell delicious cups of coffee, they also sold roast coffee along with coffee making equipment.
Within a short space of time, coffee became the most popular hot drink in Italian homes instead of tea. Cities and towns right across Italy were soon forced to relax the rules. Coffee shops quickly started to spring up all over Italy. The delicious smell of roast coffee filled the alleys and back streets of Rome. Coffee had finally come to Italy!
Coffee Culture In Italy
The Italians discovered that coffee was as versatile as tea. You could add milk, cream, and sugar. A small amount of grappa added to coffee was the perfect start to cold mornings. This wonderful dark liquid tastes great after a meal and could be added to cake making.
Cake shops adopted coffee and began adding it to cream to create delicious mocha filled sponge cakes. Ladies who used to go out for tea now enjoyed coffee and mocha cake instead. One Italian merchant realized that there was more to coffee than met the eye. He invested in coffee and started to import for resale.
Coffee Takes On The Rest Of Europe
Not even the clever Venetians had thought about exporting coffee to other parts of Europe. However, forward thinking Signor De La Cruz realized he was onto a good thing. If his fellow Italians loved the flavor of coffee, why should not the rest of Europe appreciate it as much?
Tea rooms had long been popular in Vienna, Austria. What if the tea drinking Austrians could be persuaded that roast coffee was a much better drink? It would seem that Signor De La Cruz was indeed able to convince the Austrians that coffee was the new hot drink. He was soon exporting coffee to Austria.
Once the Austrians had been sold on coffee, Signor De La Cruz soon was soon selling coffee to the rest of Europe. Tea rooms across Europe now started to offer coffee as well as tea. Different coffee drinks were popping up all over the place.
During summer, cold coffee became one of the most popular drinks. This was soon followed by other coffee drinks and exciting ways to use coffee. Coffee drinkers realized the dark liquid was not only delicious, it helped them to stay awake as well.
Doctors started to proclaim the health benefits of coffee. Apparently, it could help to improve your health and even control diseases of the gut. A cup of roast coffee became the drink that everyone should enjoy at least once per day.
The Scandinavians embraced coffee. They were soon drinking more coffee than other any other European group of people.
Yes, it can be said that it was Italy that became the first coffee drinking nation in Europe. The Spanish were familiar with coffee thanks to the Moors, but it was not drunk in great quantities. That soon changed. Today, the Italians and the Spanish are thought of as the coffee connoisseurs of Europe. Visit either country and enjoy an exciting variety of roast coffee. And, be sure to further bolster your knowledge here at Coffee – Convergent Coffee.