I’m off the tourist radar in Italian suburbia visiting my cousins in Sesto San Giovanni near Milan. I order my morning espresso at the local coffee bar in a cup that is branded with a capital red S and the word Segafredo. Knowing un caffe’ in Italia means knowing more than Illy and Lavazza. Although Lavazza may be the most favored coffee in Italy and Illy not far behind Segafredo Zanetti is Italy’s leading food service brand. Founded in the 1970s, the Bologna-based Segafredo Zanetti popular in Italian coffee bars, is now red-hot worldwide with more than 600 Italian International Cafe’s.
A Coffee Review article written up on the Coffee Talk web site gave Segafredo espresso a rating of 93/100 for “a straight shot extraordinarily syrupy and liqueur-like with a sweet aroma that reads as a sort of drunken brandyish chocolate and a complexity that ranges from sweet, pungent, molasses-toned tobacco to an earthy morel mushroom”. Two of Italian’s other premium coffee brands were also reviewed, Oro Premium Bar Blend (92/100) described as being “impressive in milk with a sweet-toned aroma and a musty fruit that suggests bananas, dark chocolate and raisins” and another Bologna-based company, Atibassi whose Espresso Italiano Crema di Oro with a “full slightly rough mouth feel and hints of nuts, cedar and chocolate” was rated 90/100.