Johnny Di Francesco, founder and head chef of 400 Gradi (recognised for some of the best pizza in the world) also knows a thing or two about coffee. We caught up with the barista considered a king of caffeine, for a sneak peek into the coffee trends he believes we’ll all be trying this Summer. And, while he may be a bean-purist, these are four that he definitely approves of. Plus, an espresso martini recipe just in time for National Coffee Day on October 1!
Ice Ice Baby
Typically, this version of coffee is created by infusing nitrogen into a liquid, which creates microbubbles and imparts a cascading, frothy texture to the coffee.
“Nitro cold brew is on the rise, providing a smooth and creamy texture that counteracts the bitterness of coffee. Infused with nitro gas, this trend is a delightful addition to the coffee scene,” says Johnny.
Italian Summer Classics … Closer to Home
With many longing for a taste of Italian summer this year, Johnny expects Italian coffee specialties to take over. “I’m calling that classics like affogato (vanilla gelato drowned in espresso) and Crema Di Cafe (whipped coffee after dinner) will make a comeback.”
Coffee in a Can
Convenient and portable, Johnny predicts that the popularity of ready-to-drink coffees will rise to coincide with the rising mercury. “Coffee in a can or bottle will be a hit over summer as it can be transported in your bag to have later at the beach,” he says
Hydration Heavy Brews
Finally, Johnny points out the trend for a growing number of coffee shops to infusing their iced coffee with electrolytes. Or coconut water to help customers stay hydrated in the heat.
Johnny’s Magical Espresso Martini recipe for National Coffee Day
While Johnny can appreciate the uniquely Australian approach to coffee (“I can’t fault Aussies for their taste for quality cup,” he says) he loves that coffee in Italy is also an all-day drink. “We just change it up and add some grappa or liquor as the sun sets. In Italy, it is normal to spot us drinking our coffee well into the night. Which is where the espresso martini was born. Because why not add liquor to the best drink? And the translation of coffee into a cake (tiramisu) is ultimately another testament to how much Italians love their coffee!
15mL coffee liqueur
15mL sugar syrup
30mL espresso coffee
3 coffee beans to garnish
Pour coffee liqueur, vodka, sugar syrup, espresso coffee and ice into a cocktail shaker.
Shake all ingredients and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with 3 coffee beans.