Centuries ago, coffee was introduced to Italy via trade from the Arab world; since, Italy has become a culture that relies heavily on il caffe, and a major importer of beans from all over the world.
One of the earliest European cafes, Caffe Florian, opened in Venice in 1774. Hundreds of years later, in 2006, a sister cafe opened in Florence; less grandiose in nature, it still serves decadent treats and strong espresso to Italians each day, and is situated on one of my favorite streets in Florence – Via del Parione.
Paying homage to it’s historical roots, Caffe Florian still has the same menu, featuring the traditional drip coffee: a copper apparatus similar to a pour over.
The gorgeous copper filter sits atop the Caffe Florian embellished cup; it is served with a pitcher of boiled water, and finely ground coffee already measured out into the filter. One simply pours the water over the grounds to taste (remember, it’s only meant to produce a tiny cup). The drip is slow, but it creates a small, strong espresso.
Though you can save a lot of time, and money, by heading to the bar and asking the barista to pull a perfect shot, this is more about the ritual — and I’m all about ritual, and appreciating the beautiful process.