Pontevecchio, the coffee of Florence with a Neapolitan heart
Read the original article by Radio Food here.
Coffee. Behind this word there is aroma, taste, rituality and culture. From the north to the south of Italy, coffee is a point of reference, an element of identity, a product on which many are working, from the selection of blends, to roasts, to the definition of real brands that bring "caffeine" to a status of luxury, as happens with Caffè Pontevecchio Firenze.
We met Alfonso Petrella, a Florentine by adoption, Neapolitan by origin. Over the span of almost ten years, he gave birth to a brand like "Caffè Pontevecchio Firenze" which over the years has consolidated the idea of quality, taste, but also beauty. Obviously, our curiosity about brands and new companies leads us to ask some questions.
The idea of Caffè Pontevecchio Firenze
“Caffè Pontevecchio Firenze” one could say that it is really the result of a dream. About seven years ago the founder Alfonso Petrella dreams of the brand with a black background and golden edges. Alfonso, of Campania origin, brought the custom of coffee to the adopted city of Florence, since in his hometown this drink is a real cult of sociality. We are in 2014 when the idea of Caffè Pontevecchio Firenze was born, a synthesis between the art of beauty that the city offers, the meticulous search for attention to detail and elegance in all its expressions that Alfonso has and the study of blends and methods of processing the coffee bean. Starting from his passion, Alfonso studies, attends training courses and visits the various roasting companies to get to know the production and transformation phases in depth. This also allows him to develop his own idea of artisan coffee and then to search for the best single origins.
Today, after a few years, how could we define this product?
The blends of “Caffè Pontevecchio Firenze” can be defined according to two principles - Alfonso Petrella tells us - the first is certainly expressed in an artisanal product in refined packaging just like the city of Florence; the second principle, on the other hand, is based on environmental transparency, a concept based on the fact that the global coffee market cannot by definition and logistics be zero-impact. Therefore "Caffè Pontevecchio Firenze" has decided to intervene on various fronts such as sustainable packaging, compostable and recyclable packaging, together with a total digitization of brochures and catalogs. While aware of making a small contribution to the planet, the important thing is to move towards a clear and sustainable business direction ".
Pontevecchio Firenze an artisan coffee
Starting from the name to its image, this product expresses the concept of artisanal coffee, if not artistic, in which the value of Made in Italy is evident and as the CEO of Caffè Pontevecchio points out: "Coffee, as mentioned before, is not a simple drink but a real way to create connections between people, an instrument of sociality ".
But let's take a closer look at the product: "One of the secrets that make up the blends of" Caffè Pontevecchio Firenze "- explains Petrella - is the slow and artisanal roasting, which allows the perfect caramelization of the sugars present inside the bean, giving to the coffee a sweet and pleasant aftertaste. After roasting, cooling takes place separately for each single origin. This method ensures that the coffee retains clear nuances of aromas and flavors, which are subsequently balanced to obtain perfect harmony in the cup".
The single origins of “Caffè Pontevecchio Firenze” come from all over the world: Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Indonesia, India, Costa Rica and Africa. And after the slow roasting phase just described, we move on to the creation of the blends. Each family that makes up the blends is processed individually, thus allowing the bean to retain its organoleptic characteristics, subsequently expertly composed by our master roasters.
There are several blends proposed and Alfonso Petrella is a lover of all blends, no preference for a specific one, but for each one he has the right time of day: "in the morning I prefer to taste the strongest blends 100% Robusta for a greater charge of caffeine (Dante, Belvedere, Cosimo and Pitti), after lunch the more fruity blends 30% Arabica and 70% Robusta (Lorenzo, Uffizi) and in the late afternoon I pamper myself with those velvety blends 80% Arabica and 20% Robusta (Caterina, Signoria, Divina, Sinfonya)".
An almost luxury coffee
"Caffè Pontevecchio Firenze", as well as on the national territory, is also found throughout Europe in China and the United States, but if we look closely at it first in its aesthetic form and then in its taste, we would say that we are dealing with a luxury product.
"One of the principles of "Caffè Pontevecchio Firenze" is to make a simple product elegant - explains its creator - through its refined packaging but not exclusive, accessible to all those people who are looking for a sensory experience in both taste and aesthetics. Another fundamental principle is to be able, through our packaging, to bring a piece of Florence's history to homes all over the world. The colors are then black and gold: black like the color of roasted coffee while the gold of the logo represents the goldsmith shops of Ponte Vecchio. The name of the brand, in fact, wants to represent both the high quality of the product and the elegance of the city in which it originates: Florence. Getting in touch with “Caffè Pontevecchio Firenze means for us walking through the Florentine streets cup after cup”.