This is why you want to order an espresso con panna

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Almost crazy simple, but so delicious: espresso con panna is what we’re talking about. This drink slash dessert is a textbook example of what the Italians are so good at: creating a lot of flavor with few ingredients.

But what is it actually?

Anyone who speaks a little bit of Italian has quickly made the translation: espresso con panna simply means espresso with cream. Nope, that’s all. It sits at the same angle as an affogato , that delicious dessert where vanilla ice cream is topped with hot espresso.

If you’ve ever had an affogato like this, we don’t need to convince you that the combination of bitter coffee with sweet-smooth cream is a golden duo.

Not traditional

This is just as true with espresso con panna. Is it super traditional, in the sense that Italians drink it all day long? Not that. Italians already drink quite a bit of dairy with their coffee anyway, and coffee with milk after 12 noon is already swearing in church. But hard tradition or not, espresso con panna is certainly very tasty.

Fun fact:

Espresso con panna

Although we see espresso con panna popping up more and more in coffee bars here, we think it’s especially genius for at home. When you feel the urge for something sweet around four o’clock while working from home, for example. Or as an easy Italian finish after a risotto or pasta.

In that case, brew the best quality espresso (if you want to appeal to your inner Italian, use a Bialetti ) and make your own whipped cream. Believe us, the difference with whipped cream from an aerosol is big.

For homemade whipped cream, simply whip cream with an electric hand mixer (or train your biceps and use a whisk). If you want, you can add some icing sugar to counterbalance the bitterness in the coffee.

Ask your barista about it

Still too much effort? Ask for it at your favorite coffee bar. Because although it is not (yet!) on the menu everywhere, there is a good chance that the barista can prepare one for you. Didn’t we already say it was that simple?

Source: Culy by
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