As everyone knows, espresso is quintessentially Italian. Less commonly known, however, is the fact that as one travels around Italy, espresso flavor changes dramatically. Just as Northern Italian cuisine is very different than the cuisines of Southern Italy and Sicily; espresso in Milan is dramatically different than in the espresso bars of Palermo. As students of coffee, we’ve immersed ourselves in regional Italian espresso, and our espresso blends are our studied renditions of these amazing coffee traditions.
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Since Roman times, the Italian agricultural tradition has been rich and deep, producing legendary foods using traditional, artisanal techniques. Rustic country cheeses from Sicily, the legendary ricotta and caciocavallo, the savory pastured hams from the countryside of Parma, the homemade limoncello of Amalfi using plump lemons straight from the orchard; the Italian culinary landscape is filled with farmhouse products made according to tradition. The farms themselves are heir to an artisanal, sustainable agricultural tradition; the very roots of what we call “organic.” Today, Italy has the highest production of organic agricultural products in Europe, and is home to back-to-the land food movements like Slow Food and Agricultural Tourism. I have my own personal roots in this tradition; my great-grandparents were grape and tomato farmers in Southeast Sicily.
Espresso Rustico is our tribute to this great agricultural tradition. Made exclusively from Certified Organic coffees, Rustico pays tribute to the venerable organic farms of the Italian countryside and the modern movements which champion natural farming techniques. But it’s not just about organic – Rustico is a handcrafted, artisanal espresso blend in the same spirit of the handcrafted cheeses, meats, and rustic dishes of the Italian countryside. To us, the chocolate notes of Espresso Rustico evoke the rich chocolates of Perugia, we taste the candied almond torrone of the Sicilian street vendor, we smell the famous dried fruits of Campania. We humbly hope that Espresso Rustico takes a place in the incredible, diverse, delicious world of Italian farmhouse foods. Each of our espresso blends has a symbol, and we chose the sceccu – Sicilian for donkey – to represent Espresso Rustico. The sceccu is ubiquitous in the Italian countryside, and is the backbone of the traditional Italian farm.
Layers of rich fruit, brown sugar, chocolate, pastry, and toasted nuts are among the myriad flavors hidden in the Rustico blend. Careful extraction unlocks the kaleidoscope of flavor.