How to Enjoy Espresso Like an Italian

The daily ritual is less about an energy boost and more about enjoying the moment.

The following article, written by Mary Beth Albright, appears on The Washington Post.

My sister and brother-in-law’s wedding reception was in a 15th-century palazzo in Venice. We approached by gondola, with opera singers serenading from balconies, and lounged in rooms lit with no artificial light, only hundreds of flickering candles.

But let me tell you about the coffee.

After the feast, a hot, bitter espresso gave me just enough boost for the evening’s last jokes and flirtations, cutting through any sloth my American overindulgence in beautiful Italian food and drink had wrought.

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The native Italians at the wedding, though, didn’t use coffee as an energy drink after dinner. Those guests gathered for a holy instant of single espresso shots, to briefly but not hurriedly cluster in appreciation of thick elixir and dancing flames.

I had similarly noticed on previous Italian trips that the espresso ritual was quick, but never a means to a caffeine-delivery end.

Espresso is social. Italians use the couple of minutes standing, ordering and drinking a shot at an espresso bar, whether in the city or countryside, as an opportunity to enjoy the moment. Continue reading at The Washington Post. 

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