Coffee, Preferences and Habits

The national drink, daily ritual, reason for get-togethers, and focus of relaxation. A tradition and a way of life. All Italians start their day with coffee. But what are the preferences and habits of Italians when it comes to coffee?

A survey commissioned by the Coffee Promotion Consortium reveals that on a sample of more than a thousand people, as many as 96.5% of respondents drink at least one cup a day. Of the whole amount of participants, the survey is divided into three groups. Weak consumers (1-2 cups a day), average consumers (2-3 cups per day) and heavy users (more than 3 cups a day). Consumption appears to be more prevalent among men and increases with age, until about 54 years old. Men prefer it stronger, more intense with a more bitter taste; women, however, want sweeter coffee, made less bitter with the addition of milk or cocoa powder.

In spite of the clichés that make Southern Italy the coffee capital, the data tell us that the regions in the north west (Piedmont and Lombardy) record a higher consumption of the beverage, followed by all other regions (Lazio, Campania, Puglia , Sicily and Sardinia etc). The best, most appreciated and indispensable coffee for 80% of the respondents is of course the one in the morning upon waking up, followed by the classic after lunch coffee; tied second with the mid-morning coffee or the afternoon coffee, usually enjoyed during the classic coffee break to have a chat. However, despite the popularity of the novelty pod or capsule machines (for the most part among young people), the coffee mocha machine is always the most loved by Italians.

But why do Italians love drinking coffee so much? Because it is energizing and convivial. 78% call it one of the great pleasures of life. Meanwhile, 41% consider it a way to regain energy and recharge, while 50% consider coffee something to offer to others or to experience and share with their peers. Almost everyone thinks it is good for you (94%), helps to you to stay awake (42%),and improves concentration (34%). If you’re wondering if it is good for you or not, we say it is! There are numerous and conflicting opinions on its effects, but there’s good news for all coffee lovers: the German Association of Nutritionists in fact, rejects the argument that coffee could lead to an inexorable loss of concentration, dependence and a significant increase of nervousness and irritability. Coffee is indeed good for the brain, skin and body!

Italy in a coffee cup. At Italian Tarditions, the region of Campania smells like coffee: get a taste of the IT5 of the week.
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