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Bicerin Recipe - Creamy Piemontese Cocoa-Coffee - Bicerin

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Bicerin, Torino's Sinfully Delicious Drink

Bicerin, Torino's Sinfully Delicious Drink

Kyle Phillips Licensed to About.Com
If it's cold out, few things are as nice as Bicerin, a sinful drink prepared in Torino from coffee, cocoa, and whipped milk. A little goes a long way -- the word bicerin means little glass -- and if you like it you'll be joining august company: Alexandre Dumas, Italo Calvino, Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso were all Bicerin fans. The caffés of Torino keep their versions secret, but you might try with:

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes


  • Hot Chocolate (thick and creamy)
  • Espresso Coffee, sweetened to taste
  • Hot milk whipped to a creamy froth
  • A thick-sided glass, ideally stemmed, whose volume is about a cup (per person)


Begin by filling the glass 1/4 full with espresso. Follow the espresso with hot chocolate, again a quarter, and finish up with the hot frothy milk (if you have an espresso machine, heat it with the steam jet) -- also a quarter, making for a glass about 3/4 full. You'll have a thick dark layer surmounted by a creamy layer (don't stir), and you shouldn't be at all surprised if people clamor for more.

Some history?
Bicerin derives from an older drink, called Bavaresia, which was popular in the XVII century; unlike bicerin, it was stirred. Bicerin made its appearance in the 1840s, and enjoying a bicerin at the caffé in the morning soon became a ritual in Torino. The above is a full bicerin, what one gets if one orders un pô ‘d tut. Ordering pur e fiôr results in a coffee-and-milk bicerin, whereas pur e barba will yield a coffee-and-chocolate bicerin.

If you visit Torino, the Caffé Al Bicerin in Piazza della Consolata is the place to go to enjoy a Bicerin.

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