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5 Agosto 2019

Turin, the city of coffee

Turin is the city where the first espresso, the big names in the coffee industry and the famous bicerin were born

Paride Pasini (translation by Lorenzo Bijno)

The Caffè Mulassano

The Caffè Mulassano

If you walk under the porticoes of Turin, you cannot help but notice the historic bars in the city centre, where you have the chance enjoy a good coffee.
From what we know through stories from African and Middle Eastern countries, coffee probably dates back to the fourteenth century and to the city of Mokha, Yemen.

Our city was the perfect setting for this drink: in fact, it was in Turin that the chocolatier Angelo Moriondo made the first espresso in history in 1884 by creating a machine that could brew 300 cups of coffee in one hour. The Piedmontese tradition was then developed through important roasters (Antica Torrefazione, Boutic, Malabar, Perrero, Dicaf Ghigo, Hobby Caffè, Il Caffè, Mokabar and Torrefazione Mike) and internationally renowned companies such as Vergnano, Costadoro and Lavazza. The latter also owns a museum in the Aurora area, where visitors can learn about the history of Italian coffee, admire the evolution of coffee makers and taste the aromas of the blends created by the Turin-based company.

In the centre of the city, a fascinating itinerary is dedicated to the historical cafés, starting from Baratti & Milano, in the Galleria Subalpina, which opened in 1875 and became the main supplier to the Royal House of Savoy. A few meters away, in Piazza Castello, you will find Caffè Mulassano, which opened in 1907 and was a popular meeting place not only for the local nobility but also for the artists who performed at the Teatro Regio. If you walk down via Po you will reach Caffè Fiorio, where Cavour, Rattazzi and D’Azeglio, as well as Nietzsche and Melville, the author of Moby Dick, used to go. The tour continues in Piazza San Carlo, at Caffè Torino, which was already famous at the beginning of the 20th century for its production of gianduiotto, and ends at Al Bicerin, in Piazza della Consolata, which has been skilfully mixing chocolate and milk cream with coffee since 1793, thus creating the drink which is the symbol of our city.

Finally, speaking again of coffee, a true form of art has been born in recent years: the so-called “Latte Art“, namely the decorations made with milk in our cappuccinos or lattes, which often take the form of plants, animals or writings and make our breakfasts enjoyable. In fact, they have become a staple feature to ask for in Turin’s historic cafés.


In collaboration with Study in Torino

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