Sicilian Coffee: excellence, tradition and culture
Sicilians often buy their coffee from their favourite local "torrefazione" as there are dozens of coffee roasting companies operating in Sicily.
In, September 2005, a Sicilian bar was voted Italy's best coffee bar of the year. This was Spinnato in Palermo which remained in the top 20 in 2008 with two other Sicilian bars in the South-East of the island, Caffé Sicilia in Noto and Pasticceria Di Pasquale
in Ragusa. In the same year, Morettino a Torrefazione in Palermo won a gold medal at the International Coffee Tasting 2008 the competition organised by the International Institue of Coffee Tasters.
If you are passionate about coffee and visit the South of Italy for the first time you might be surprised by the different taste of a simple espresso. While in the North and Central part of Italy, people generally prefer the intense aromatic taste of Arabica, in the South they go for a much stronger Robusta coffee.
Coffees made with Arabica are sweeter, more flavoured, slightly acid and often a bit chocolaty with a light beige reddish cream and a caffeine content varying between 1,1% and 1,7 %. Robusta coffees are less flavoured and bitter, with a brown cream and a stronger caffeine level between 2% and 4%.
Of course, every Torrefazione then has its own range of products, blends and options. People tend to choose the one they prefer and, almost religiously, stick to it for their everyday coffee consumption. This is how it works in Sicily too.
Bars usually expose the logo of the Torrefazione they get their coffee from and the logo is often on the little cup too, so you know what coffee you are drinking.
If you pay attention to this important details, you can try to taste different brands of coffees and compare them while visiting Sicily and, perhaps, also pick a favourite one.
Among the options: Torrisi, Barbera, Kili, Morettino.
In Modica you will find mostly Moak and BellCaffe. Moak is also well known allover Italy for their interesting marketing campaigns and their creative initiatives always related to coffee. From the special coffee cup collection, to the new logo designed by Bob Noorda or a special 2009 calendar celebrating the power of the "coffee ritual" to overcome diversities, to the literary prize Caffe Letterario and the Corto Moak International Short Film Contest.
We also love Caffè Giuca, roasted by two friends of ours in Ispica. The company is still fairly small and we often simply call them to get our supplies at the office or walk to the Torrefazione and enjoy the feeling of getting into a cloud of strong freashly roasted coffee smell. Good luck then to Silvio and Santino for the future and hope they will get their own website up and running soon.
Here is the 2007 edition winner of the Corto Moak Festival: Caffeina by Serena Gargani