Coffee culture is an essential part of Italian life; the day is defined by coffee rules and rituals (i.e. no coffee with milk after breakfast). Italians take it seriously. Especially espresso, or caffè as they call it. Italy is, after all, the birthplace of espresso. Now they’re campaigning to have the beverage included by UNESCO in its Intangible Cultural Heritage list to safeguard its traditional preparation and brewing techniques.
Advocates claim that espresso, made in traditional coffee machines in bars and cafes, is an essential part of Italian culture. Italy’s espresso is “not just an indispensable drink for a good start of the day, it is a real social ritual,” the Consortium for the Safeguarding of Traditional Italian Espresso Coffee said in a statement. The consortium is one of the many groups supporting World Heritage recognition for Italy’s espresso coffee.
UNESCO ’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list officially recognises more than 500 customs, carnivals, ceremonies and traditions worldwide including harping in Ireland, traditional hand puppetry in Egypt, Bosnian grass picking and Jamaica’s reggae music. In 2017, the art of Neapolitan pizza-making was added to the list.