Florence, Italy is the perfect place for coffee and pastries. There are so many spots in town and the service is great. Between the locals and tourists, the lines can be long but the baristas are some of the hardest working people I’ve ever seen. They are efficient and very skilled at producing well made drinks. Today I decided to visit a few places.
We began at Finisterrae, a cafe and restaurant. It’s wonderful spot located in the Santa Croce Piazza. They offer a variety of drinks from standards like cappuccino to interesting options like ginseng coffee. There is usually a queue but the service is very quick. I ordered an 8 ounce single shot cappuccino and a croissant. The coffee was flavorful and well balanced. My croissant was soft and fluffy inside and crispy on the crust. It had a bit of crunch and sweetness from the sugar baked on top. Finisterrae has top notch outdoor seating. The view of the Santa Croce Church and plaza cant be beat.
Our Florence coffee crawl continued to La Loggia degli Albizi, a quaint little pasticceria located on a side street about a 5 minute walk from the famous Duomo (Cattedrale Santa Maria di Fiore). The displays are lovely. The presentation of the offerings is truly enticing. It was actually rather difficult deciding what to order. Everything looked great. I kept it simple. Another cappuccino and a mini canolo. I sat outside and enjoyed the cooler overcast Florence morning. The cappuccino was very well made. Big cloud like foam rested on strong espresso. The earthy flavor of the coffee was a perfect contrast to the sweet conolo. I’ve loved conolo since I was a kid. This one did not disappoint. Chocolate chips topped one end, candied orange on the other, served room temperature as I like. It must be noted that the service at La Loggia degli Albizi was stellar.
Our final shop on the coffee tour today was La Milkeria, locate 30 seconds away from La Loggia. I’ve walked by here many times but the long lines always deterred me from trying it out. Today the queue wasn’t too bad so I stopped in. La Milkeria is a small cafe, only two people were working this morning. When I set out this morning I intended to compare cappuccino from multiple shops but by this point I wanted something different. I ordered espresso con panna ( double shot of espresso topped with whipped cream). I haven’t had a con panna in years. It might become my go to drink. La Milkeria does it well too. The espresso was bold and intense. The flavor was complex and not at all bitter. Coupled with the mildly sweet whip cream the drink was a perfect treat. Not as heavy as a latte, not as sweet as a mocha, and packing the punch of straight espresso. I will absolutely return to La Milkeria for another.
After three coffees before the noon church bells, I decided that was enough for the morning. We’ll see what my next coffee tour will bring.