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Italian coffee: Caffè alla Valdostana, let’s make it hot!

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

Make your meeting with friends hot by preparing a special coffee like Val D’Aosta Italians do!

Let's take a walk in Val D'Aosta for this blog post, and to warm up a bit, let's try the typical Valdostana coffee!

This specialty is truly unique because it is based on the principle of sharing. It may seem like a trivial concept since having a coffee together is very common, but it's not just about that. Valdostana coffee is traditionally served using the Grolla of Friendship, a wooden cup with a lid and spouts on the sides, from which all diners drink.

Of course, if you don't have a Friendship Grolla (which is not a common object, I know!), you can use regular coffee cups, just be sure to follow the recipe carefully!


Ingredients for 6 people: 6 espresso coffees (or 4 long coffees made with a moka pot), 4 small glasses of white grappa, 4 small glasses of genepì, 2 small glasses of cognac, lemon or orange zest, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves.

  • Heat the grappa and genepì in a bain-marie while you prepare the 6 espresso coffees a little longer than usual (or prepare the 4 coffees with the moka pot).

  • Pour the coffee and liquor inside the Friendship Grolla (or a pot with a lid).

  • Add 4 or 5 teaspoons of sugar (depending on how sweet you want it to be) and mix until completely melted.

  • Then add the lemon or orange zest (or both, if you prefer - the original recipe allows for some creativity!) and the cloves, and sprinkle the edge of the grolla with sugar.

  • Finally, the step that requires close attention to avoid starting a fire! You need to flame the coffee. Set the liquid in the grolla on fire, and as soon as you see the sugar caramelize, put the lid on to extinguish the fire.

  • Once the fire is out, you can drink and share the Grolla of Friendship with your friends!

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide you with a Grolla of friendship, but you can subscribe to the newsletter to stay update about coffee world!

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