A bit of what HostMilano showed me about coffee
by Diga Maria
If, on the one hand, I told the HostMilano public a little about the coffee trends in the Brazilian market, on the other hand, HostMilano taught me a lot about the international coffee market, especially in Italy. It is very important to go back to my country with this knowledge and be able to talk and reflect from that learning.
I discovered that brewed coffee is the great novelty in the Italian market, as Alessia Bianchi had already written in her article for the HostMilano website. This type of process is used in 98% of Brazilian homes. It involves no glamour, just nostalgia and satisfaction. In the time of our grandmothers, coffee was 'passed' - as we call this technique in Brazil - in a cloth strainer. There were even those who, in the absence of a strainer, used a stocking in its place. Nowadays we use paper, nylon and even grandma's cotton strainer. Ideally, we should run hot water through the strainer before we put int the powder. The strainer is positioned above the thermos bottle and the ground coffee is placed inside it -- usually about a tablespoon for each cup of coffee. Water is heated almost to the point of boiling and we add it gradually, dampening all the powder. This taught me one of the exhibitors, whom I met at HostMilano, and who served me an aromatic coffee brewed on demand. It was he who also told me that unlike espresso, which should be consumed hot by the time it is extracted, brewed coffee can remain in the cup for longer without losing its olfactory and gustatory properties. This information made the North American habit of drinking iced coffee seem a bit less strange to me In Brazil, despite being a tropical country, coffee is always consumed hot-- very hot --served in small or cups or, in bars and bakeries, in glasses like the one in the photo.
Espresso coffee, commonplace in Italy, is still an elite product in Brazil. In "neighborhood" bakeries -- as we call bakeries and smaller markets -- there is not always a supply of espresso coffee, and when there is, it is often of poor quality. In big cities, there is a great movement around the importance of techniques to makegood coffee, but in most establishments there is no great concern with the details, which explains the poor quality of the final product.
In addition to perceiving the difference between a well-made espresso and a lesser one, HostMilano gave me another great opportunity: to prove that the beans produced in Brazil for export are in fact much better than those that remain in the domestic market. In Italy I tried the best espressos I've ever drank, and during the days of HostMilano I was able to taste excellent coffees whose beans were grown in Brazil. Among a great number of coffee brand exhibitors, there were many with Brazilian beans.
And to close, a curiosity about this type of coffee: in the dictionary of the Portuguese language in Brazil there isn't the word 'espresso'. On this fact, Pasquale Cipro Neto -- professor of Portuguese language and creator of the program TV Cultura Nossa Língua Portuguesa -- explains further:
"Let's turn to the great Italian dictionary Garzanti and see what the work says in 'espresso': It is said of food or drink that is prepared on time, at the request of the client. Examples: 'piatto espresso' and 'caffè espresso'.
But we are in Brazil, so in Portuguese fast coffee, made on the spot, in beautiful Italian machines, can only be 'expressed', with 'x', since - not hard to repeat - in our language we do not have the word 'espresso '.
Now, here among us (and no one hears us), I really like it is a 'espresso', legitimate, preferably taken in Italy. Yes, in Italy, because I do not have to go crazy to get a full-bodied, short coffee, full of flavor and aroma."