For hundreds of years Italian peasants couldn't afford coffee beans, so they started experimenting with barley. Over the centuries they refined it and refined it untill they arrived at something pretty special. Caffe d'Orzo means Barley Coffee.
For years it was dismissed as a drink for frail old ladies (we were guilty of this too), but modern Italians have cottoned on to the fact that endless cups of espresso aren't such a good idea and that this drink from their childhoods can actually make for an extremely tasty alternative.
Having discovered this ourselves we returned to London confident that this was a city where you could buy anything, only to find that there may be barley-based drinks, but the top quality stuff was simply not available.
So back to Italy for a tour of orzo producers. On one day we drank over forty cups! Fortunately one producer stood head and shoulders above the rest. Leonardo is based just outside Siena. He uses the same wood-fired roasting machine that his grandfather bought, his company has been going since 1831 and we believe he makes the best orzo in Italy.
We love coffee, and there are some exceptional new roasts available. Our product won't open sleepy eyes! But at some point in the afternoon, and especially after dinner, nothing beats an Innocente. Put a pot on the table and everyone, from children to the elderly can enjoy a cup, because at some point you'll want to have sleepy eyes!