Italians celebrate their coffee and want the world to do it too

What do the Chinese do? acupuncture What do the Irish releases and polyphonic singing of the pygmy aka of Central Africa have in common? All are examples of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity that Unesco has recognized since it began to anoint such things in 2003, accumulating more than 500 different practices and traditions so far. Italy now hopes to register another custom on that list: Italian.

According to the Italian Coffee Committee, there are more than 800 coffee roasters in Italy and more than 1,50,000 coffees that make espresso coffee.

But traditional Italian espresso is not just any coffee. It is the only coffee in the world that has a cream, said Giorgio Caballini di Sassoferrato, founder and president of the consortium that sponsors the candidacy.

Turkish coffee, which is on the list produced by Unesco, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 2013, is boiled three times, he said. American coffee is filtered through a filter, while in Sweden Denmark Norway and Finland , coffee is lightly toasted and consumed at the dinner table, “like a beverage.”

That’s not nothing. Espresso cream, as per the regulations drafted by the consortium, “must be uniform and persistent for at least 120 seconds from the time the coffee has been dispensed without stirring,” according to a news release. The cream, according to the regulations, must also be “consistent, a dark hazel colour, with light streaks.”

“I can assure you that it if weren’t for Italian espresso and the social ritual of espresso coffee, Italy wouldn’t exist as we know it,” said Massimo Cerulo, a sociologist. “We cannot separate espresso the drink from the social ritual, because it is a routine, a socially shared practice.”

However, Luca Fabbri, a consultant for the consortium, said the regulations developed by the consortium had already improved the national. Even if we don't get Unesco recognition, we have already won the jackpot since the Italian coffee sector is united, he said.

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