The association between cycling and coffee has been going for years, but up to a few years ago, caffeine was one of the substances banned in professional cycling.Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant and is the world’s most consumed psycoactive drug, used in nearly all parts of the world. In athletes, moderate doses of caffeine can improve sprint, endurance, and team sports performance, but the improvements are usually not substantial. Some evidence suggests that coffee does not produce the performance enhancing effects observed in other caffeine sources. The formation of culture around coffee and coffee houses dates back to the 14th century in Turkey. Coffee houses in Western Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean were traditionally social hubs, as well as artistic and intellectual centers.
Many social aspects of coffee can be seen in the modern-day lifestyle. A coffee break is a moment of pleasure to break up a day’s work and “Let’s meet up for a coffee” is quite a common saying. In the cycling world the social aspect of coffee is growing more and more, with new cycling cafés opening daily. Many cyclists and cycling clubs organise their rides starting and/or finishing at a local “cyclists friendly” café.
Watching a cycling race from a café is quite popular, particularly when the café is on the racing route.
As an Italian living in the UK and being often in foreign countries, I sometimes struggle to find a good coffee that is up to our Italian standards. In most big cities it’s easier to find a good espresso coffee, but in smaller towns it’s often impossible.
I love a good short espresso the Italian way, however at home I like to make my coffee with the Moka. It’s a tradition that goes a long way in the Italian culture. The preparing of the Moka, filling up the filter with the right amount of coffee, the sound of it and then the taste……Delicious!