WSJ: Coffee Clash: Honors for Espresso Divide Italians

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
vze26m98
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#1: Post by vze26m98 »

Hmm... From recollection (someone please prove me wrong), didn't coffee culture come to Italy through the Austro-Hungarian Ottoman empire? (Thanks mathof) Weren't the first espresso machines built in the north?

Coffee Clash: Honors for Espresso Divide Italians
Some want to ask Unesco to put the whole country's cafe tradition on its world heritage list, while Neapolitans say theirs is special and should be singled out
By Pietro Lombardi in Naples and Cecilia Butini in Treviso
April 21, 2021 11:13 am ET

https://www.wsj.com/articles/coffee-cla ... 34?mod=mhp
The... Gran Caffè Gambrinus in Naples... is part of a clash between Neapolitan coffee culture and that of larger Italy, both of which are seeking international recognition for their contributions to world coffee heritage. The rivalry has turned on them, however, after their competing bids torpedoed an attempt to earn acclaim from a United Nations agency. The spat boils down to a simple question: Who should get the honors for the espresso tradition, Italians or only Neapolitans? To some, the wrangle is emblematic of a larger rivalry between Italy's regions, with the south, which includes Naples, complaining that again it is being eclipsed by the powerful north. For Neapolitans, at stake is a pillar of their identity.
Italy's espresso market is worth an estimated 5 billion euros, but its importance in the culture goes far beyond that. Where else could you see someone's ashes placed in a large model of the Moka stovetop espresso maker? That's what happened in 2016 following the death of Renato Bialetti, the man (from the north) who made the coffee pot a symbol of Italian style across the world.

mathof

#2: Post by mathof »

vze26m98 wrote:Hmm... From recollection (someone please prove me wrong), didn't coffee culture come to Italy through the Austro-Hungarian empire? Weren't the first espresso machines built in the north?
Also from memory, coffee culture (the drink and the coffee house) came to Europe by way of the Ottoman Empire, initially to Venice. Espresso machines were indeed invented in the north, around the turn of the 20th century in Turin and Milan.

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vze26m98 (original poster)
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#3: Post by vze26m98 (original poster) »

Excellent, thanks!

vze26m98 (original poster)
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#4: Post by vze26m98 (original poster) »

The Italian coffee press have gotten a hold of the WSJ story;
https://www.comunicaffe.com/coffee-cla ... t-journal/

Nice name check for those that contributed to the evolution of the espresso machine:
It should be noted that the espresso machine was invented in Turin (northern Italy) patented by Angelo Moriondo in 1884, which revolutionized the way of serving the beverage, giving baristas the opportunity to produce many cups in series. Luigi Bezzera, Desiderio Pavoni, Pier Teresio Arduino and Achille Gaggia contributed to the spreading of espresso: innovators who made significant changes, thus electing Italian-style coffee famous throughout the world.

PeetsFan

#5: Post by PeetsFan »

The whole discussion is ridiculous. I am the inventor of coffee culture. Before me, it was just people drinking coffee, and talking.

vze26m98 (original poster)
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#6: Post by vze26m98 (original poster) »

PeetsFan wrote:...it was just people drinking coffee, and talking.
I think you need to read Habermas.

PeetsFan

#7: Post by PeetsFan » replying to vze26m98 »

YES!!! Either that, or make another macchiato.

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cskorton

#8: Post by cskorton »

In order to understand this story, folks on here must first understand the deep divide between the and north/south there. The article makes this point, but I think it fails to fully encapsulate the historical issues underpinning Italian politics today (cant say I fully understand it either).

It's not about coffee and who invented what, it's more about political and economic inequalities IMO.

I may be a descendent of southern peasants who emigrated to America, so I may be a bit biased, but I still can't help and find this kind of squabbling vein.

I would agree, however, that different regions across Italy have very distinct coffee cultures and so deserve separate recognition, along with the country as a whole.

mathof

#9: Post by mathof »

cskorton wrote:In order to understand this story, folks on here must first understand the deep divide between the and north/south there. The article makes this point, but I think it fails to fully encapsulate the historical issues underpinning Italian politics today (cant say I fully understand it either).
I've heard people in northern and southern Italy/Ireland/England/USA talk about each other. The details vary, but mutual dislike is common. It can seem silly, but wars have been fought across such dividing lines.