If you want to imagine him as the main character on the set of a movie, the “Lecce iced coffee” would find its ideal place in Piazza Sant’Oronzo, sipped at the tables of a bar by a group of friends who, on the contrary, take shelter from hot summer.
There is a fact: in Lecce, as in the rest of the province, iced coffee with almond milk is almost as old as the statue of the patron saint overlooking the city.
The sacred rite is known to all villagers, young and old, and is practiced in every corner of the Salento peninsula, even the most remote. The tourists who come every summer to the land of sun and wind, on the other hand, are wisely “initiated” into the ritual of the fresh and thirst-quenching drink par excellence, a delicacy with which they fall so madly in love that, once they return from vacation, they become its ambassadors and sing its praises throughout the land.
But what is the real secret of Lecce coffee? “The undisputed goodness,” they reply in unison, happily sipping it by the sea or in village squares. Cold coffee itself enjoys great sympathy a little everywhere; The Made in Lecce version is unique because it is unmistakable. To the very hot and fragrant coffee (it can be prepared both with a mocha or with an espresso machine) and the coarse ice cubes, a base of almond milk (perhaps prepared at home) is always added instead of sugar or sweetener. A detail that made the difference so much that it brought the fame of Lecce coffee to the end of the world. Keep in mind that the coffee must be served in a glass ready to be enjoyed, along with a teaspoon to mix as desired; be wary of those who suggest doing the prep at the counter yourself. When to enjoy it? The exact time does not exist: it is drunk in the morning to start the day, perhaps together with a freshly baked pasticciotto; after lunch, on the warm Salento afternoons or at sunset. On the beach or in the city, the fun doesn’t change.
To know the tradition of Lecce coffee means for the tourist to acquire part of the identity of this territory: how to bring home a piece of Salento.
For the Salento people, on the other hand, and more generally for all Apulians who have adopted the good custom, drinking the first iced coffee of the season (often as early as April) means officially greeting the coming summer and, with the occasion, opening the dances, as well as the bottles of almond milk.
Tips and technical tips from the king of coffee lovers Angelo Segoni
His name is Angelo Segoni, he is from Pescara and a few years ago he moved to Salento to work. The 37-year-old is in fact the training manager for the company Quarta Caffè. An assignment came in the aftermath of an important victory, that of the Italian Barista Championship that in 2016 proclaimed him national champion. “After the title, I arrived in Salento to develop trainings about the world of coffee for young baristas and customers,” he said. However, the lockdown destroyed a pleasant routine consisting of meetings, trainings and trips: «When the courses were cancelled, I thought about how to continue my activity as an educator and distributor of the product that I absolutely love the most, coffee. I understood that I had to use the platforms that are very popular in terms of contacts and catchment area on the web: social networks ». In fact, after a couple of years, with 13 thousand followers on Instagram, a thematic channel on YouTube and the new challenge launched on TikTok, Angelo has become for everyone the “Coffee Detective” (this is his nickname), closely followed by those he is hungry for curiosity, advice and technical tips with a coffee taste. From training courses in the cafeteria to the Telegram channel for coffee lovers, from the community entitled “Let’s drink a coffee together” to the section dedicated to the Lecce variety, the young Salento has, by adoption, given life to the social knowledge of coffee: ” Tutorial, caroselli, anecdotes, technical performances and recipes; everything needed to spread the culture of coffee, a world about which very little is still known,” explained the influencer, who remembers how much still” we are still as a people to espresso and mocha, giving up a world of experimenting something new which, on the other hand, is easy to find in the wine sector » From London to Australia – where he trained – the 37-year-old popularizer then landed in Puglia, at the court of one of the most important companies in the area, with a precise mission: to work with the dignity of the professional figure. the bartender: “I try to teach young baristas how to best communicate their profession -; he said – the intention is to activate a mechanism that, for example, touched the figure of the chef, whose role and authority is now widely recognized ». Passion and knowledge, Angelo’s baggage enjoyed by all coffee lovers who follow the Detective daily on social media for tricks and practical advice: combinations, the secret of water, the history of the cappuccino, are just some of the topics proposed by the coach of the black drink with a timeless charm .