Italian coffee, or espresso, is one of the country’s most important gastronomic symbols. The standard blends used in its creation are the Robusta and the Arabica. Careful blending of these two varieties allows for a combination of extraordinarily complimentary characteristics obtaining a balanced product in line with Italy’s high standards of flavour. In northern Italy, people generally prefer sweeter blends with just a touch of bitterness, while in the south tradition calls for coffee of uncompromising strength, not bitter, dark-roasted with a higher level of robustness. After the coffee beans are mixed, they are toasted at above 200 degrees Celsius causing the series of chemical and physical transformations that give the beverage its distinctive aroma. The last phase of production is devoted to grinding, which for espresso is very fine, while that consumed at home with a moka is a little more granular.