Vivacious, cheerful, exotic. A dream from faraway places that brightens our moments of relaxation, marks the moments in our day and fills life with flavour.
Every morning more than one and a half billion people in the world start the day with a cup of coffee. Even though the methods of preparation are different: moka, filter, instant, espresso, everywhere in the world coffee is a must, a little ceremonial that marks the moments in our day.
Somewhere between obscure fascination for an energising product and a social custom, coffee has created a huge movement of capital, its enormous diffusion worldwide even more extraordinary if we consider that it is not fundamental for survival.
In Italy, coffee is concentrated and drunk for its energising and digestive properties: 70% is made at home, the remaining 30% is drunk at coffee bars or restaurants.
The per capita consumption of coffee is around 5 Kg, i.e. 600 cups per year, with the highest consumption in adults and a lower consumption in young adults and the elderly. From a recent survey on the attitudes and habits of the Italians with regard to the consumption of coffee, it emerged that 80.5% of the population drink coffee; the figure rises to 89.8% for the population aged between 40 and 49 years, while it drops to 70.1% in young adults aged up to 29 years, but for whom the consumption of coffee is increasing.
The data for the regular consumers are: the average number of coffees per day is 2.7; over 47% of consumers drink 3 cups or more per day, and 56% of consumers are males.
Italy imports per annum around 324,000 tons of green coffee , half of which is Arabica and half Robusta; it exports around 3,800 tons of coffee abroad and consumes yearly around 112 million sacks of green coffee, mostly Arabica and Robusta, divided between Home consumption (70%), Bar and Ho.Re.Ca. consumption (around 25%) and Automatic Vending Machines (5%).
Consumption in Italy is lower than the EU average and lower than the levels for the rest of the world. The difference is due to the different characteristic of consumption and to different eating habits: in the countries where the per capita consumption is higher (Scandinavian countries with around 10 kilos per year) coffee is seen as a light drink to be consumed during meals, whereas for Italians coffee has a strong flavour and digestive-stimulating properties and is therefore consumed in small doses.