Trieste has historical relationship with its coffee. For over 200 years the city has imported, roasted and produced a succession of widely-appreciated blends, and the aroma of freshly-roasted beans or freshly-made coffee is always in the air. It is part of a mitteleuropa tradition that has had a profound influence on the cultural life of Trieste. The connection started in the 18th century when the city became a free-port and received coffee beans from plantations around the world to satisfy the Austro- Hungarian Empire's thirst, and by the 1800's Trieste had became a world centre of coffee. Writers such as Stendhal, Joyce, Svevo and Saba loved to spend whole days sipping coffee in the local coffee-shops and cafés.
This is a habit inherited by Claudio Magris, because in the right place there is always a story to be told. It is not hard to find a somewhere - the historical cafés which are part of the coffee culture have become tourist attractions in their own right. So much so there is a special carnet - Trieste in tazzina, which is distributed along with a map which helps increase the pleasure of tasting a capo in b (small cappuccino or coffee with a dash of milk served in a glass), goccia (coffee with only a drop of milk) or even cafè de cogoma which is prepared in an Italian moka coffee pot.
Point of interest
There are numerous initiatives linked to the world of the roasted bean: from the University of Coffee, founded by a famous local coffee company, to the Trieste Association of Coffee which organises courses on coffee-related themes, to guided tasting tours, to the event called Le vie del caffé, the Streets of Coffee which enlivens the historical cafés of Trieste with concerts and theatrical performances every December.