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Provincia di Ravenna

Comune di Ravenna

Fondazione del Monte

Cassa di Risparmio di Ravenna

Regione Emilia-Romagna

Ministero della Cultura

Memoria e Ricerca

Espresso. Modernity and Tradition in the world of Italian Coffee

di Claudia Baldoli
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 23 (2006), p. 17

The Italian coffee bar is today seen as a symbol of the ‘traditional’ lifestyle of the country, a rallying point against the Americanisation of daily life. Yet Italian espresso is a twentieth century product whose role as a mass consumer good only began in the 1950s. This article traces both the technical evolution of espresso via the improvement of the coffee machine, and the creation of a new culture of consumption with its own set of conventions. The various agents within the coffee business are considered – machine makers, coffee roasters and bar proprietors – as are the contests between them. The article shows how espresso has acquired a ‘history’ that has become an essential part of its identity.