Bicerin Coffee is the perfect indulgence for any coffee lover who enjoys the rich and sweet flavors of chocolate combined with the strong kick of espresso.
With its rich, creamy texture and indulgent chocolate-coffee flavor, Bicerin coffee is the perfect way to treat yourself. Plus, it’s served in a clear glass, so you can Instagram the heck out of it and make all your friends jealous.
In this article, I’ll dive into the history and preparation of Bicerin coffee, and maybe even uncover a few secrets to making it at home.
What is Bicerin Coffee?
Bicerin coffee is a layered beverage made with three ingredients: espresso, hot chocolate, and milk foam. On the bottom, there is freshly brewed espresso, followed by a thick layer of hot chocolate milk, and on top, there is frothed milk foam.
It is a classic Italian coffee recipe that is believed to be originated in the 18th century from Caffe Al Bicerin in Turin, Italy.
There is good news here, as the cafe is still there with all its glory and rich history. If you are in Turin and what to treat yourself with classic Bicerin coffee you can go there.
The word “Bicerin” is derived from the Italian word “Bicchiere,” which means “glass.”
The name comes from the way the drink is served, in a glass with a narrow bottom and a wide top. The layers of espresso, hot chocolate, and whipped cream can be seen through the glass, creating a beautiful and inviting presentation.
Bicerin Coffee has a rich history and is still popular today, both in Italy and around the world.
The drink has even been mentioned in the literature, such as in the novel “The Leopard” by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, where it is described as a “perfect synthesis of the pleasures of the palate and of the spirit.”
The Ingredients of Bicerin Coffee
Bicerin Coffee is made with only three ingredients that are easily available and a staple in households: Coffee beans, Chocolate, Milk, and whipped cream.
Coffee Beans: You can use any of your favorite coffee beans. However, I recommend using Fresh Medium-dark or dark roasted beans as they pair well with the sweetness of chocolate.
Chocolate: A high-quality dark chocolate with a cacao content of at least 70% is a popular choice for Bicerin coffee. It has a rich, deep flavor that complements the coffee and milk foam.
However, if you prefer a sweeter, creamier taste, milk chocolate or white chocolate can also be used.
Milk: Whole milk or Half and Half milk is a common choice for Bicerin coffee as it has a rich, creamy texture that complements the other ingredients.
I prefer using half and half milk as it adds extra creaminess to the drink.
The espresso is the base of the drink, providing a rich and bold flavor. The hot chocolate is made with melted chocolate and milk, adding a sweet and creamy texture to the drink. Finally, the whipped cream is the finishing touch, providing a light and airy topping.
Together, these three ingredients create a perfect harmony of flavors and textures in every sip of Bicerin Coffee.
Making Hot Chocolate for Bicerin Coffee
Although you can use ready-made hot chocolate to prepare Bicerin Coffee, I always recommend preparing your own hot chocolate at home for the best flavors.
To prepare hot chocolate, Heat the milk over medium heat in a small saucepan.
Add the chopped chocolate, Cornstarch, Vanilla Extract, Cocoa Powder, and a pinch of salt to the milk and constantly stir until the mixture become homogeneous.
Using Half and Half milk is preferred to preparing hot chocolate. If you are using simple milk I recommend adding some Cream to it.
Whipped Cream or Milk Foam?
Some cafes serve Bicerin Coffee with whipped cream on the top while others serve it with thick milk foam on the top.
For preparing whipped cream, add sugar or Vanilla extract to the cream and beat it with a whisk until it becomes thick and velvety.
To prepare a milk foam, add the milk to the steaming pitcher and steam it with the steaming wand, as the milk heats up, move the wand in a circular motion to create a vortex, which will help to create a microfoam. Continue steaming until the milk reaches the desired temperature (around 140-160°F).
Recipe of Bicerin Coffee
- Espresso machine
- Coffee beans (Dark Roasted Preferred)
- Milk (Half and Half Preferred)
- Vanilla Syrup (Optional)
- Dark Chocolate
- Cocoa Powder
- Corn Starch
- Prepare Espresso: Prepare a double shot of espresso using an espresso machine and pour it into a clear glass.
- Create Layers: Pour Hot Chocolate in the glass over a freshly brewed Espresso shot and add a layer of whipped cream or milk foam on top.Use a piping bag or spoon to create a smooth and even layer of whipped cream.
- Garnish with chocolate shavings: Sprinkle some chocolate shavings on top of the whipped cream layer. You can use a chocolate bar and a vegetable peeler to create thin shavings. Make sure the shavings are thin and delicate. They will add a nice crunch and texture to your Bicerin.
- Serve and enjoy: Serve your Bicerin coffee immediately and enjoy it while it's still hot and creamy.
I have personally tried making Bicerin Coffee at home using this recipe, and I can attest to how easy and delicious it is. The key to a perfect Bicerin is to make sure each layer is poured gently and separately to create distinct layers of flavor and texture.
No matter how you choose to make it, Bicerin Coffee is a delicious and indulgent treat that is perfect for any coffee lover with a sweet tooth.
The Taste and Flavors of Bicerin
The taste of Bicerin Coffee can be described in three words: Rich, Chocolaty, and Creamy.
The layers of espresso, hot chocolate, and whipped cream blend together to create a heavenly taste. The flavors of Bicerin Coffee are well balanced, and none of the ingredients overpower the other.
The espresso adds a bold and strong flavor to the drink, while the hot chocolate and whipped cream add a sweet and creamy taste. The overall taste of Bicerin Coffee is smooth, velvety, and indulgent.
In addition to the traditional recipe, there are also variations of Bicerin Coffee that you can try. Some people add a splash of liqueur, such as Amaretto or Baileys, to give it a Corretto twist.
Others use different types of chocolate, such as white chocolate or dark chocolate, to change the flavor of the drink. The possibilities are endless when it comes to Bicerin Coffee, and you can experiment with different ingredients to create your own version of this delicious drink.
I personally love the combination of dark chocolate and espresso in Bicerin Coffee, as it creates a deep and complex flavor profile that is hard to resist.
One of the great things about Bicerin Coffee is that you can adjust the sweetness and intensity of the drink to your liking.
If you prefer a sweeter drink, you can add more hot chocolate or whipped cream. If you want a stronger coffee flavor, you can add an extra shot of espresso.
Overall, Bicerin Coffee is a decadent and delicious drink that is perfect for a special occasion or as a treat to yourself. With its rich and indulgent taste, it’s no wonder that this classic Italian drink has stood the test of time and remains popular today.
Final Thoughts on Bicerin Coffee
To sum up, Bicerin Coffee is a classic Italian coffee recipe that has stood the test of time. Its simple yet delicious combination of espresso, hot chocolate, and whipped cream has made it a favorite among coffee lovers around the world.
Marocchino and Cafe Mocha are similar Italian chocolate espresso drinks that you might have heard of. But I am sure you’ll love Bicerin’s unique taste and layered effect.
Making Bicerin Coffee at home is easy and requires only a few ingredients.
So, why not try this delicious and indulgent coffee recipe today?
Related Espresso based drinks
Does Bicerin have alcohol in it?
No, traditionally Bicerin Coffee is prepared without any alcohol in it.
However, some cafes in Italy serve Alcoholic variations of Bicerin with a shot of liqueur-like Amaretto or Baileys.
Is Bicerin Coffee Healthy?
Bicerin Coffee is not considered a healthy drink due to its high calorie and sugar content.
A typical Bicerin drink can contain around 300-400 calories, which is about the same as a small meal or snack.
However, it can be enjoyed in moderation as an indulgent treat.