Coffee + chocolate is a culture in itself in Turin, so it only makes sense that the city’s traditional drink, bicerin, is a mixture of those ingredients. Served in a rounded glass, bicerin is a hot drink with 3 layers: chocolate, espresso, and finally a cold layer of thick cream at the top. I know what you’re thinking…this type of heavenly drink exists? The ingredients together sound quite simple but let me put it this way. You know those Pinterest recipes you tried that just never ended up looking or tasting the way Pinterest portrayed it? That’s bicerin. You’ll never replicate it. Especially because the exact recipe is a secret to its original owners at Caffé al Bicerin.
The traditional drink is said to have been created at this historical coffee-house, Caffé al Bicerin, so of course, I took a trip. The vibes in this small, quaint café literally make you feel as though you’re taking a step back in time with its wooden paneling, candles, and small marble tables…The atmosphere, as well as the drink itself, seem to be unchanged by time. And if you’re a history nerd like I am, being in a café that is almost exactly as it was 250 years ago enhances the experience.
I sat down at the small table closest to the door and was greeted by friendly staff who brought me a menu. The menu is fully loaded with delicious items and although I could have ordered lunch like 80% of the patrons around me, I knew what I was really there for—give me bicerin or give me death am I right!? Well, they gave me the bicerin…and a croissant. As you sip, your taste buds fall in love with the coolness of the thick cream until you get hit with that hot espresso + chocolate mixture. In fact, I think my taste buds were dancing in my mouth with every sip. This drink is absolutely delightful and it was the perfect way to warm up on the cold and rainy day I was experiencing. Upon leaving the café I was full, energized, and happy. I’ll take an IV of bicerin every morning, please!
Pro tip: Although you’re offered a spoon with your glass of bicerin, don’t mix it! Let the flavors naturally hit you with each layer you consume.
If you love chocolate and coffee, or just have a really strong sweet tooth, trying bicerin needs to go on your bucket list. Pronto. And if you’re visiting Turin, make sure it’s at the top of your list. You simply cannot say you’ve experienced Turin without trying its native drink.
Don’t forget to visit Caffé al Bicerin’s candy shop next door! Remember your visit with a sweet souvenir. I bought torrone (honey+sugar+eggwhite nougat) with pistachio. Now if only they could package the bicerin…
Caffé al Bicerin is located in Piazza della Consolata directly across from the church. If you have time, I recommend visiting the Santuario della Consolata—it’s the most beautiful church I have ever seen and I promise you that upon entering you’ll be feelin’ some type of way.