Starting the day with a coffee: an Italian ritual unique in flavor
A tasty habit and a bona fide ritual.
Starting the day with a coffee, as part of a healthy
and balanced lifestyle, is good (on multiple levels).
- Starting the day with a coffee: a series of small daily habits that Italians learn from a young age. It is not a mechanical routine, but rather a real ritual.
- Coffee is one of the undisputed protagonists of a healthy Italian breakfast. However, only 1 in 4 Italians is convinced that they are having this important meal correctly.
- Having breakfast together with one’s is a core part of the Italian identity. It is important for people of all ages, especially for children. Here is why.
- Eating habits formed during adolescence persist through the years. If the parents set a good example, young people will follow.
A good investment
Everything begins and ends in a cup: this is the “coffee paradox” - as already discussed when talking about coffee grounds. On the one hand, coffee is an aromatic drink, the tasty culmination of a long journey that starts with small grains. On the other hand, it is also the beginning. Of what? Of everything, in hindsight: of a meeting, of an occasion, and even of a day. Coffee, in fact, is one of the stars of a healthy breakfast. Now common in so many parts of the world, starting the day with a coffee is an all-Italian ritual, with unique flavor and symbolic value. It is a sound investment, and here is why.
Morning coffee: the tuning fork to calibrate your day
There is something magical and ancestral in starting the day with a coffee. A series of small daily gestures that we learn in our youth and that soon become natural, a part of us.
Getting out of bed and going to the kitchen, opening the cupboard where the Moka sits and starting to prepare it. The water in the bottom chamber, the ground coffee in the filter, the ignition of the stove. And then the wait, during which you set the table for yourself and for those you love. Finally, that unique and unmistakable sound, tying together a full experience of the senses. The coffee is ready: it is time for breakfast.
Be warned though: starting the day with a coffee is no mere mechanical repetition.
It is a real ritual that almost suspends time itself.
A good morning coffee is like a tuning fork that calibrates your day. For the other passages of the symphony that is your day, coffee will always follow the rhythm. What about variations on the motif? They are more than welcome, because it is the philosophy that counts - as espoused by those who prefer the capsule espresso machine over the Moka.
Starting the day with a coffee as part of a healthy breakfast
Espresso is one of the undisputed protagonists of a healthy Italian breakfast. It is among the must-haves, alongside latte and cappuccino. It shares the table with toasted bread, cereal, biscuits or croissants, seasonal fruit or orange juice. According to a recent survey¹:
- 9 out of 10 Italians say breakfast is the first happy moment of the day;
- 13 minutes (even though the number is increasing) are spent on average for breakfast;
- 84% of Italians say the ideal breakfast is one you have at home.
However, only 1 out of 4 Italians is convinced that they eat breakfast in the right, healthy way². The main reason is the lack of time, as breakfast becomes the meal that can be consumed fast (in less than 5 minutes) and often while standing up. Nonetheless, experts reiterate that breakfast is an essential meal that should not be overlooked. Let alone skipped. Especially for youngsters. Scientific evidence from various sources confirms that an adequate breakfast improves both cardio-metabolic parameters and cognitive performance, while also reducing the risk of obesity. But the benefits of coffee, in the context of a healthy breakfast, do not end here.
Off to a good start
Starting the day with a coffee and having breakfast with loved ones holds strong symbolic value and strengthens family ties.
Experts agree that the first meal of the day is a precious opportunity for listening, discussing and sharing. In short, coffee on an empty stomach swallowed quickly before leaving is banned. Rather, it is better to make the time, for yourself and for those you love.
Understanding how to have a healthy breakfast also involves considering this group-aspect, which is important at all ages. First of all for children, because, as pedagogists remind us, they need rituals and stability. With the collective custom of breakfast they can gain energy and enthusiasm to face the big and small challenges of their day. But they can also find a safe harbor in the act.
Breakfast time is an opportunity for listening and sharing
Setting a good example and having breakfast together with your family is not just an Italian ritual, but also introduces a healthy habit that you will then likely maintain throughout your life. As nutritionists have repeatedly emphasized³, eating habits are developed in early childhood². These then strengthen during adolescence. And, in this delicate phase of transition, the "family factor" plays an essential role⁴. In short, parents must set a good example. Especially because:
- skipping breakfast during childhood and adolescence can persist as an incorrect habit even in adulthood;
- in families where parents have breakfast, in most cases so do their children (81%).
Therefore, starting the day with a coffee and "taking the necessary time" for a healthy, complete and balanced breakfast has multiple benefits. In the midst of this all-Italian indulgence one can also have the pleasure of (re)finding themselves and listening to others. Therefore, starting the day with a coffee is always a good investment.
¹ Source: BVA/Doxa and Innate Motion surveys for Mulino Bianco.
² Research on the habits of the Italian population in terms of home breakfast, conducted by the Everli marketplace.
³ Source: Linee guida per una sana alimentazione, CREA.
⁴ Source: survey La prima colazione in famiglia? Fa bene alla famiglia, Doxa-AIDEPI Observatory Io comincio bene