We bring you a series of our favourite blends from the masters of coffee, Nespresso, and take a deep look into what makes each one so special. We start with Ispirazione Napoli and Ispirazione Venezia from the brand’s new Ispirazione Italiana permanent collection that pays tribute to Italy’s historical and diverse coffee culture.
Napoli (Naples), the southern Italian metropolis by the sea is Italy’s capital of coffee. It is the home of the cuccumella, the three-part flip-coffee-pot that brought coffee-brewing into the kitchen of the masses. It is a proud industrial city with a no-nonsense approach. In Napoli’s coffee shops, the brown beverage is still brewed in century-old traditional brewers that have disappeared in most other places. Coffee is consumed throughout the day at cafés, or more precisely, coffee bars with standing counters. Like the people, the coffee here is strong, consumed with passion, and pronto with little fanfare. No sipping a cup over a leisurely chat here. The beverage of choice in Napoli is a deep-roasted espresso – short, dark, strong and creamy.
It takes real skill to roast to the intense degree as they do in Napoli. Nespresso has curated its Ispirazione Napoli – the darkest and most intense roast to date with a maximum intensity rating of 13 out of 13 – to pay tribute to the expertise of the Neapolitan roasters. For this all-new blend, the alchemists at Nespresso combined Robusta from Uganda with a selection of Arabica coffees that could stand up to the intense roasting, while also producing the beautiful aromas, tastes, and textures that one experiences on the streets of Napoli. Ispirazione Napoli, like its inspiration, is velvety, creamy and full-bodied with a pleasant bitterness that lingers as an aftertaste.
This all-new blend pays homage to Venezia (Venice), the merchant town that first introduced coffee to the land of espresso and cappuccino. Known as “the wine of Arabia,” coffee was first brought to the docks of Venice by Arabian traders. The wealthy merchants of Venice were enamoured by it. The church suspected it to be the instrument of a greater conspiracy by the Muslim Arabs to undermine Christianity, and thus deemed it a sinful drink. That is until the pope had a sip. With the burden of sin lifted, the first Venetian café opened around 1683 to serve the brown beverage to the masses accompanied by good food and conversations. Caffè Florian, established in 1720, is the world’s oldest coffee house to be in continuous service till today.
Brazilian Arabica, which Italy imports more than any other, forms the base of the blend and is complemented by high-grown Arabicas from Central and South America. These give the blend its malty and fruit profiles which develop during roasting. They also add the delicate aromas and the rounded taste that northern Italian coffee is known for. The Venetians were not only the first to master the art of blending, but also roasting, which tends to be lighter than in the southern parts. Ispirazione Venezia, likewise, gets a lighter roast. The result, a hint of fruity and floral aromas with the luxurious notes of sweet caramel. When milk is added to this full-bodied espresso, the result is rounded smoothness and subtle sweetness.