Italian Coffee Culture: Chianti vs Ciociaria
During our most recent research trip through the food and wine regions of Italy, we came across the most delightful and charming ways to serve coffee. But now we have a serious problem – who did it better, Chianti or Ciociaria??
In Chianti, with our friends Arianna & Alessio from KMZero Tours, we huddled around a cosy table at a local trattoria run by two brothers.
Isn’t it gorgeous? And there’s probably nothing better than enjoying a Tuscan feast in winter with fairylight-lit villages…(other than Ciociarian feasts in twinkling medieval mountaintop villages…but we digress 😉) Look at all this Tuscan deliciousness below:
And just as we thought it couldn’t get any better, they served us coffee like this. In a well-loved Bialetti stove-top espresso maker straight on the plate! With a silver sugar bowl! And enamel espresso cup! We LOVED it!!
EXHIBIT #1: CHIANTI COFFEE
So imagine our surprise, when just one week later we were back in Paolo’s home region of Ciociaria (1 hour south from Rome) and we stumbled across a major contender for best way to serve coffee in Italy.
To set the scene, we were in the remotest corner of Ciociaria where the region borders on a national park. Sitting at a wooden table on a flagstone floor in the cellar of the 19th Century villa where DH Lawrence once stayed and completed one of his books. Picturesque enough scene for you?
Where we were tucking into a five-course Ciociarian feast featuring all-local produce, foraged wild herbs and nettles, handmade pasta, artisanal cheeses made from the farm’s own sheep and goat flock, washed down with local Cesanese red wine and homemade liqueurs. Not possible to top this, right?
EXHIBIT #2: CIOCIARIA COFFEE
And then they served us coffee like this: in a terracotta pot that dribbled cheerfully. HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A COFFEE POT WITH SO MUCH PERSONALITY?! Oh my, we fell in love. This pot design has to go back to Roman times, if not the Etruscan civilisation. [ps: just had to sneak in a photo of the house-made ricotta & homegrown pear tart (crostade) that came out with it. Oh my!]
SO: who served it best – Chianti or Ciociaria? They were both incredibly charming ❤️