The Early Days Of Coffee In Italy

b6b376630ffa709e902ea564a84c5dd3Prospero Alpini (Alpinus 1553–1617), a learned physician and botanist of Padua, journeyed to Egypt in 1580, and brought back news of coffee. He was the first to print a description of the coffee plant and drink in his treatise The Plants of Egypt, written in Latin, and published in Venice, 1592.

Johann Vesling (Veslingius; 1598–1649), a German botanist and traveler, settled in Venice, where he became known as a learned Italian physician. He edited (1640) a new edition of Alpini’s work; but earlier (1638) published some comments on Alpini’s findings, in the course of which he distinguished certain qualities found in a drink made from the husks (skins) of the coffee berries from those found in the liquor made from the beans themselves, which he calls the stones of the coffee fruit.

By the middle of the nineteenth century, cultivation of coffee had reached to its farthest extent where coffee can grow, covering the vast majority of countries between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. At the same time, coffee consumption continued to skyrocket in non-coffee-producing countries. In Vienna where it is believed filtered coffee and cow’s milk were first combined in the café setting for widespread distribution. Turkish-style coffee almost certainly dominated the early menu, but experimentation lead to the predecessors of the milky espresso beverages popular today.


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