Wendy Pojmann and Elektra

Rossella Bianchi @ 2021-08-27 09:24:22 +0200

Espresso: the Art and Soul of Italy

It is not an exaggeration that espresso is at the core of Italian culture and history. Millions of espresso drinkers around the world attempt to capture a special “made in Italy” feeling in their coffee cups each day. But few people are aware of how Italy became the world’s leading espresso country or understand why the Italian espresso bar is so difficult to replicate elsewhere.

Excerpts from "Wendy Pojmann, Espresso: The Art and Soul of Italy".
New York: Bordighera Press, 2021.


The relationship between Italians and their espresso goes beyond a momentary replenishment of the senses. It is a ritual that becomes history, thought and experience. It is the innate tension in a search for beauty and goodness even during the most mundane parts of the day, the art of living and surviving, individual pleasure that is sublimated through sharing and sociability.
Wendy Pojmann has grasped this intensity, this way of life for Italians that is both simple and complex at the same time.

Simple and complex, just like an espresso.

Alessio Pezzoni, CEO, Elektra S.r.l.

We are excited to talk with Wendy, Coffee lover, author of the book on the history of coffee and espresso in Italy.  

"I realized as looked around that the espresso bar was one main things love about Italy. Clamor of cups hitting saucers sounds coffee grinder machine and steamer smells fresh pastries counter filling with customers making a million different requests baristi had no trouble remembering ordered chaos people finishing their items then moving along next group arrived chatting laughing enjoying short time together at bar. Every its own characteristics some sought purposely looking for certain atmosphere or because especially liked crema di caffè others happened into they caught my eye while heading somewhere else.

When out family friends there never question if we would prendere un but usually discussion where. First took American college students to Italy careful explain how Italian works. Were after all used another routine. told them need pay in advance ordering place receipt on counter. Small tip cents be appreciated might get served ahead someone else it not. Wanted sit have order from server more included. Admire beautiful view such piazza Navona Rome lot paying table view. Visibly anxious having recall these details. None adapting said ruined bars could not fully replicated even New York city where many lived."


Photo: Wendy Pojmann orders pre-flight Roma Fiumicino airport her frequent trips between New York and Rome.