Coffee culture in Italy is a sacred yet quick affair. Espressos and cappuccinos are usually ordered and drunk straight at the coffee shop counter, not taken to go and sipped on for long minutes like in the United States. While the act of drinking coffee is a brisk one, cafes are major gathering places and an integral part of Italian culture. Going to a coffee shop is a chance to sit down, take a break from the day, and chat with locals.
This standard also applies to the Tuscan capital of Florence. While the city is home to numerous traditional bars and cafes, it’s also peppered with craft coffee shops. These specialty cafes, which are increasingly thriving, are striving to bring something new and contemporary to the ancient city. Take a look at the four hottest specialty coffee shops in Florence that are turning traditional lattes, espressos, and cappuccinos on their heads.
FLUID - Specialty Coffee & Sharing
Located in Borgo La Croce, this new craft coffee shop comes via Le Piantagioni del Caffè, a Livorno-based roasting company specializing in specialty coffee, and IDEA Food & Beverage, a Milan-based strategic marketing consulting company, according to the Florentine. The coffee shop's long counter enables baristas to educate customers on the flavors, productions, and brewing methods of the variety of coffees served. Read their full menu here.
Melaleuca bakery + bistrot
This Australian-American owned caffe overlooks the scenic Arno river and serves international treats made using local produce. Everything on their menu is made in house, including almond milk, smoked bacon, and sourdough bread.
Established in 2018, Coffee Mantra claims to be the first specialty coffee shop in the central Sant’Ambrogio neighborhood. They serve specialty coffee extracted for espresso and their menu features a house blend that changes every three to four months. Coffee Mantra also offers an Italian breakfast, beginning at 8 a.m., and sells coffee bags, whole or ground, so that customers can make their own cup of joe at home. Their drink menu can be read here.
Ditta Aritigianale was founded in 2013 with the aim to bring new coffee flavors to italy while also being transparent about the sustainability and production process of their bends. The coffee shop has two locations in the city, one near the Palazzo Vecchio and the other near the Ponte Vecchio. Sample from their wide menu, which includes coffees like the “Rose & Mary went into the woods,” made with espresso, homemade chestnut cream and almond milk or the “Coffeemisu,” made with espresso, biscuits, cocoa, and homemade mascarpone cream. Their full drink menu can be read here.
Asia London Palomba
Asia London Palomba is a trilingual freelance journalist from Rome, Italy. In the past, her work on culture, travel, and history has been published in The Boston Globe, Atlas Obscura, The Christian Science Monitor, and Grub Street, New York Magazine's food section. In her free time, Asia enjoys traveling home to Italy to spend time with family and friends, drinking Hugo Spritzes, and making her nonna's homemade cavatelli.