Spice hunting. The mystery of Caffè Terzi

“No sugar, just stir”. If you’re familiar with Caffè Terzi, you probably heard this quite some times. Now I’m specifically talking both of the cafè and the coffee, most mostly the latter, that delicious specialty coffee with a secret recipe that has the same name of the venue and that is a sublime break in the winter. Only problem, they won’t tell you what’s in it. No way.




Today I accidentally met an Irish friend living in bologna and after a de riguer “prendiamoci un caffè” an inconvenient truth came out: he didn’t know the uber-famous Caffè Terzi, so I immediately took him there.


He was in awe in front of this tiny, whitish, fancy little thing where you immediately feel that here coffee is king, is an institution. While prizes and diplomas ornate the walls, precious home roasted beans are on display and delicious miscele served in delicate china cups, next to a line of pretty mini-jugs for you to chose the best sweetener: agave syrup, honey, maple syrup and about 4 or other options I honestly forgot to check because I take my coffee dark and pure. With one exception: Caffè Terzi.



Every time I go there I try to fake-carelessly ask which blend of spices are used for that creamy, dark, dense, exotic little delicacy but no, noo way they reveal it. Damn it. Of course there is chocolate, a lovely little base of dark chocolate to be stirred at the beginning, before you even dare take the first sip. And of course there is cardamom. But what else? My friend suggested ginger: I wasn’t completely convinced. Some said cinnamon: oh, come on, not even remotely. Anice seeds? Perhaps, but mpf. The last time I checked, though, I spotted something very interesting: a delicate but definite reminder of Earl Grey tea, just at the bottom of the cup and of my palate. So what was it then? Bergamot? So the “secret blend of spice” would be cardamom, bergamot, perhaps ginger melted into warm dark chocolate. But what else? I know there’s more and I know the guys at Caffè Terzi (the café, not the cup) are so smug and secretive whenever I ask. But I’ll get to it… Any idea out there?

5 thoughts on “Spice hunting. The mystery of Caffè Terzi

  1. I haven’t tried it yet! I think I need to change that soon. Want to meet up and introduce me to this gem and you can have another chance to try to get the secret out of them. 🙂

    1. Hello Italophilia! It depends of what you’re after. If it’s just a need of caffeine go for their stronger bland (I think it’s “miscela tre” but I might be wrong, better to ask the staff). They also have some very rich specialty coffee that are perhaps a little too much for my taste (creams, whipped creams etc) because I like simple espressos. The “caffé Terzi” I describe in the post is the perfect balance between a rich specialty coffee and a “Coffee to go”. And great in the winter mornings!

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