Italian custom and etiquette dictate that a proper cappuccino is never consumed past breakfast time. We can always spot non-italians by the cappuccino quaffers in the afternoon, post dinner/lunch etc.
Italians, well, they just don't. If you want to cheat like an Italian, order instead a macchiato anytime of day (basically a mini cappuccino), and you won't get a look of scorn after dinner from your waiter.
But there is something about those lofty peaks of froth, that creamy coffee deliciousness, and the grand finale when you reach the sugary bottom (bonus if its still crunchy) that begs to be consumed!
When its time to dive in and have this Italian specialty in all its glory, in our area, there is only one place.
The Cappuccino King. Yes, that's really the name. Il Re de Cappuccino.
A little history: When Giuseppe and I met in 2009, it was in Monsumanno for a market tour before the cooking class, which was held later at his olive oil mill nearby. He took all 10 of us to The Cappuccino King for coffee after the market shopping.
It wasn't until a few visits later, that I truly appreciated the intricacies of THIS cup of deliciousness. Not one, not two, but three different milks are used. It is carefully stirred, caressed, added to, re-stirred, graced with cocoa, the froth gently folded over and over to create a unique pattern, and finally graced with an impossible heart.
I have never before, or since seen the artistry put into a cup of coffee. Watch, learn, be amazed.
To say its off the beaten path would be an understatement.
With its vintage FAEMA machine in the window, and the walls lined with cyclists racing jerseys, its an unlikely home to this one. amazing. coffee.
If you have the chance, stop by. Its a nostalgic favourite for Giuseppe and I.
Spolier alert: Travel up the mountain road just opposite and you will find the medieval castle ruins, and panoramic overlook, where Giuseppe and I had our first kiss.
Cappuccino and Amore. Two of the best reasons to come to Tuscany!
Il Re de Cappuccino
via Garibaldi 151
51015 Monsummano Terme
Open 5am to 8pm daily