Where Can You Find Some Amazing Italian Coffee?

There is an almost unlimited number of coffee roasters in Italy and they range from small artisan roasters to huge international companies, like Illy and Lavazza, that are known world-wide for their delicious coffee.

Italian Coffee Culture - Caffè del Doge

We have a bit of an unusual history with Italian coffee because a few years back this website was created as an e-commerce site that sold Italian coffee and related products for people looking to explore the tastes of Italy, relive an experience from a vacation or simply don’t like American coffee. It was a fun business to build but when we moved to Italy, there were logistical reasons that required us to shut it down.

The coffees I describe below are some of our favorites, but this is a very brief list and you should expect a follow-up post describing other coffee that we love. These are all available for consumption at home, but when you come to Italy there will be many opportunities for you to tuck into a bar and taste one of these regional, or sometimes national, delights.

Caffè del Doge Coffee From Venice

When you travel to Venice, it is hard to miss all the bars offering Caffè del Doge. It was founded in 1952 by a Venetian roaster and coffee lover. The roasting plant, called ExtraDoge, was located next to the Rialto Bridge and it became a hotspot for hundreds of cafés and shops in Venice. After an acquisition in 1995, the coffee was renamed Caffè del Doge and the new team grew and developed the business into more of an export-focused company.

Italian Coffee Culture - All Around Rome

The name was inspired by the important figures, the Doges, from the history of Venice. When you come to Venice, one of the most popular sites to visit is the Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale) which was the residence and the seat of the Venetian Government. The title “doge” was the title of the senior-most elected official of Venice and they were elected for life by the city-state’s aristocracy.

Rome’s Popular Tazza d’Oro Coffee

When you are in Rome, you will likely make a visit to the Pantheon. When you do, if you are also feeling like you need a boost, you should check out Antigua Tazzadoro and grab a quick espresso. It was established in 1944 and is the only artisan roaster remaining in the heart of the historic center (Centro Storico) of Rome. 

Italian Coffee Culture - Tazza d'Oro

The bar, or more formally La Casa del Caffè al Pantheon, was founded in 1946 as a place for tasting their different blends and is known for having what they believe is the best coffee in the world. We learned through our customer feedback that this is an example of people wanting to enjoy their Roman experiences again, but this time at home.

I recently learned about a bar in Pittsburgh with the same name, but be assured, there is no relation to Antigua Tazzadoro in Rome.

Rome’s Equally Popular Sant’Eustachio Il Caffè

Sant’ Eustachio Il Caffè is located between the Pantheon and Piazza Navona and it is very popular with tourists. I mentioned the popularity with the tourist not to diminish it at all, but our company learned about this coffee not through our own experiences, but from many of our former customers asking about it.

Italian Coffee Culture - illy is Huge!

This caffè, although I prefer to call it a bar, was opened in 1938 and is located in the piazza of the same name. In addition to the coffee with very bright yellow packaging, stovetop espresso makers (moka) and coffee cups, the caffè also wants to educate people about coffee and offers a 10€ course that might interest you.

There is a second location in Rome at: Via della Maddalena, 36, which offers more food options, more coffee and I even bought a manual coffee grinder that works great. If you are in the neighborhood, you should definitely check it out.

Kimbo Is Our Neapolitan Favorite!

We LOVE Kimbo coffee. Make no mistake, we enjoy many Italian coffees, but we always return home to Kimbo. Historically, and for centuries, Neapolitans roasted their coffee at home or bought it from street carts, but in the 1960’s the Kimbo founders took advantage of new packaging techniques, specifically a vacuum packed canning process, to allow Neapolitan coffee to be taken anywhere and its popularity grew and their coffee became famous all over the world.

Italian Coffee Culture - Kimbo

If you find yourself walking around Naples, keep an eye out for the ubiquitous bars that serve Kimbo and try a cup. I prefer mine without sugar because it not only allows for the opportunity to really taste the coffee, but also because the delicious flavors will linger in your mouth long after you are done, unless you drink the glass of water offered at a bar after your coffee.

There is a London-based wing of the company, but to be honest, I have no experience with it. On their site they mention selecting the coffee blends that are suited to the UK market, which gives me a shiver. Make sure, if you are looking for Italian coffee, you get the Kimbo that comes from Naples and you will not be disappointed. If you are in London and you want to learn how to be a barista, there are training courses available that range from a couple of hours long to 3 days to a Build-You-Own-Adventure type of course. That might be fun.

San Giusto Caffè From Trieste Is Amazing

The coffee from Torrefazione Caffè San Giusto was a great discovery of ours when we went to a coffee roasting convention in Trieste a few years back. They are a smaller roaster, but of course they want to be larger. The same family still runs the roaster and they were great to work with.

Italian Coffee Culture - San Giusto from Trieste

Trieste considers itself the Italian capital of coffee, however Venice and Naples might beg to differ. This town, which is famous for espresso, has developed a unique coffee culture built around drinking and even ordering. Learn how and why to order “Un capo in b” which is a delicious coffee served in a small glass (bicchiere). There is much more to learn in Trieste so you don’t stand out as a tourist!

Here are some other options:

  • Capo in B: their version of a cappuccino

  • Caffè Nero: a regular espresso

  • Goccia in B: an espresso with a drop of milk foam in the center served in a small glass

  • Deca: it’s decaffeinated espresso, so why bother!

Italian Coffee Culture Is Our Passion!

There are times I wish we were still selling Italian coffee but it just wasn’t to be because as I mentioned the logistics of selling in the US while living in Italy made it untenable for a company our size. The happy memories this article evoked really motivates me to keep trying new coffee discoveries and I hope you will try some as well. You might not be able to find every coffee I’ve discussed above available in the US, but there are some and certainly when you travel to Italy make sure to stop in every small bar when the opportunity presents itself.

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