9 Gifts For The Italian Coffee Lover In Your Life

This gifts will soothe an espresso aficionado’s spirit until their next Italian holiday.

Coffee is synonymous with Italy. Just the smell of an Italian roast can rekindle memories of lingering over a caffè at the bar on a trip years past. This gift guide for Italian coffee lovers is curated to help you celebrate the espresso aficionados in your life. Discover our insider recommendations for authentic Italian products that will delight caffeinated Italophiles.

Italian Espresso

Coffee drinkers worldwide seek out gourmet Italian coffee’s full-bodied flavor. Espresso, a ritual of daily life in Italy, is famous for being creamy and bold without grittiness.

Illy and Lavazza are the top coffee brands in Italian cafes and homes. Both are sold internationally, so you can have that ‘first sip’ feeling wherever you are. You can buy it ground and ready to brew, or opt for whole beans to keep the coffee fresher longer. The empty coffee tins make nice planters or coin jars for sweet reminders of Italy.

Hand-Painted Espresso Cups

Two hand-painted ceramic espresso mugs with traditional painted patterns in  blue, white, and yellow, atop a table.

An early morning espresso enjoyed out of a ceramic cup is sure to transport you from your home kitchen to a coffee bar in Italy.

Italy has many talented ceramic artisans throughout the country, but the central and southern regions are especially renowned for their hand-painted pottery traditions. Local ceramicists in Umbria, Puglia, and the Amalfi Coast produce many of Italy’s most recognizable designs. The traditional blue and gold patterns often associated with Italian motifs originated in the region’s small town of Deruta — and you can buy handmade, hand-painted espresso cups directly from the source.

With artisans beginning to sell on social media, there are plenty more options to order directly from makers in Rome, Puglia, and beyond. Discover where to buy Italian ceramics in our guide.

Coffee-Infused Makeup

Caffeine has long been used in makeup and skincare as an antioxidant and anti-aging ingredient. However, EspressOh takes it to the next level! EspressOh has a wide range of products, from moka-brown mascara with coffee arabica seed oil to their cult classic coffee-scented lipstick.

The Milan-based makeup brand is popular for its commitment to being cruelty and toxin-free and for being made completely in Italy. The brand’s distinctive aesthetic is a status symbol – its branding is brunette and millennial pink, not to mention the merch has the cheeky slogan, Do you wanna coffee with me? It’s no surprise that EspressOh is one of our favorite Italian beauty brands.

Moka Pot

A colorful Dolce & Gabbana red, blue, yellow, and white designer Moka Pot with two coffee cups on a white table.

A “moka” is an easy-to-use stovetop espresso maker that’s a staple in any Italian kitchen. This invention is ubiquitous throughout Italy and we think it belongs in every household worldwide. Not only is it easy to use, but it’s also affordable, compact, and simple to clean.

You can shop for a moka just about anywhere in Italy: the supermarket, the corner store, homegood stores. If you’re looking for the best brand, Bialetti is the only choice. Made with polished aluminum, the moka machine was invented by Alfonso Bialetti, an engineer and entrepreneur, in 1933. He named it after the city of Mokha in Yemen – the country often credited as the original home of coffee.

Little has changed from Alfonso’s original octagonal design which features three chambers: one for water, one for ground coffee, and one to collect the brewed coffee. Today, the international Bialetti brand sells the world’s most portable coffeemaker in a range of colors and patterns. Fashion lovers will love the whimsical Bialetti and Dolce & Gabbana collab.

A woman's hand holding an espresso against a backdrop of the city of Florence on a sunny day.

The history of Italy’s most beloved bean is long and storied. Espresso: The Art and Soul of Italy, by Professor Wendy Pojmann, delves into the rich history of coffee and espresso in Italy, tracing the evolution from Enlightenment-era coffee houses to 20th-century espresso bars. The book will transport you to centennial cafés in cities like Rome, Turin, and Naples while exploring the global rise of the “Made in Italy” phenomenon.

History and culture lovers will love letting this book percolate on their coffee table.

Barista-Grade Espresso Machine

A barista-style espresso machine filling two cups.

While moka pots brew delicious espresso, there are some reasons you might opt for a barista-style espresso machine. Moka coffee can be inconsistent, from watery to over-brewed, while a professional machine delivers the classic Italian espresso shot every time.

Once reserved for coffee shops, barista-style espresso machines have become more common fixtures in home kitchens. Australian brand Breville is currently dominating the North American market, with Nespresso holding a monopoly on capsule espresso machines. But the De’Longhi manual espresso machines are the best value.

De’Longhi is a 120-year-old company based in Treviso, just north of Venice. The company produced household appliances, like radiators and stovetops, before breaking into coffee-making in 1993. It now produces some of the world’s top-notch espresso machines for a wide range of budgets, with a great machine starting at around $200. You can find the perfect machine for your home with their quiz.

Pocket Coffee Snack

A coffee cup next to a pile of red and brown Pocket Coffee espresso chocolates.

For the average Italian, the closest thing to to-go coffee is a Pocket Coffee. The bite-size confections are crunchy chocolate shells filled with a shot of liquid espresso. Pocket Coffee packs are found in the impulse buy section of Italian supermarkets, coffee bars, and gas stations. The perfect combination of sugar and caffeine, they’re an ideal treat whenever you need a little pick-me-up.

Pocket Coffee is a product by the company Ferrero. What started as a small, family-owned pasticceria in post-war Piedmont has expanded to become the world’s second-largest chocolate and candy producer, creating household name products such as Nutella, Tic Tac, and Kinder. As big as they are, the company is still family-owned and headquartered in their hometown, Alba.

Luxury Milk Frother

A milk frother and other appliances in a green and white kitchen counter.

In Italy, every day begins with a creamy, foamy cappuccino. So if you’re making Italian coffee at home, you’ll want to invest in a milk frother. Smeg, our favorite brand for stylish appliances, has a range of retro kitchen gadgets that are aesthetic and functional, including milk frothers.

The versatile appliance comes with two whisks and has six modes for all types of foamy (and foam-less) drinks. Produced in various shades of pastel, it’s perfect for displaying on the kitchen counter.

But luxury doesn’t have to come with a steep price tag. You can get an equally enjoyable froth from other Italian brands’ appliances, such as Bialetti’s glass milk frother, Illy’s electric frother, or Alessi’s pleated frother.

Travel Mug

A travel bottle with a watercolored floral design and the 24Bottles logo in black.

With its philosophy of slow living, Italy doesn’t really do coffee-to-go. Sure, you can find some new-wave cafes with takeaway cups (not to mention Starbucks), but carrying a coffee cup on the metro, or sipping a big coffee at your desk at work, is an unusual sight.

But that didn’t stop 24bottles, so why should it stop you?

24bottles was born in Bologna more than a decade ago. The certified B-Corp was conceived as a reusable water bottle company to combat single-use plastics and has since expanded from feather-light water bottles to minimalist, insulated mugs. They offer various sizes of leakproof travel tumblers to keep drinks hot for 6 hours and cold for 24 hours.

Looking for more? Discover 10 secrets of Italian coffee culture and 16 Italian kitchen tools everyone should have in their home.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like