Caffè alla valdostana

Have you skied for the whole day? Are you in an high mountain hut? Are you tasting the regional specialties in a typical restaurant with your family or with your best friends?

Between Valle d’Aosta’s titbits, you will find something for you: “Caffè alla valdostana”, the typical regional coffee.

Pour one cup of hot coffee and one cup of hot grappa per person in the special container. Add an orange peel, a lemon peel and a spoonful of sugar per person and burn.

Sprinkle the spouts of the container with sugar: with fire it will candy and it will give a particular flavor to your hot drink. Add the desire to be together, the persons you like, those you love and you will have a perfect “Caffè alla valdostana”.

In fact, the wooden container of this drink is called “Coppa dell’amicizia”, “Friendship’s Cup”: in Valle d’Aosta, people say that persons who drink at the same “Coppa” will be united by an eternal friendship.

But there is a rule to observe: you must pass it around, “a la ronde”, and everyone must drink a sip from a different spout. And remember: it is strictly forbidden to put “Coppa dell’amicizia” on the table before having finished the coffee inside! Cheers!

Courtesy of the AIAT Gran Paradiso

Grolle – Photo ©


There are two ways to drink coffee in the Aosta Valley with the beaker or cup.

  • The friendship cup (in French , coupe de l’amitie) is a wooden container with lid and several spouts used mainly in the Valle d’Aosta .

It is often mistakenly called grolla, but that is taller and narrower.

  • The Grolla (name connected with the Grail), is a wine glass wood traditional Valle d’Aosta . It is usually made ​​from lathe and finished with hand carved. The wood most used is that of walnut followed by that of maple . These types of wood give a particular flavor to the contents without the risk of splitting for the heat.

Once used only for drinking in the company (à la ronde), is now used almost exclusively as souvenirs and trophies at various events.


There are two main variants to prepare this coffee:

First variant


For 4 people:

  • 4 cups of coffee
  • 4 cups of white grappa
  • 4 cups of orange punch
  • a cup of Génépy (liquor typical of the Aosta Valley, has always been appreciated for its remarkable quality aromatic and digestive)
  • 4 teaspoons of sugar
  • 4 cloves
  • orange peel to taste


  1. Pour directly into the loving cup cups of coffee (okay it is expresso to be prepared with mocha ).
  2. Sprinkle the rim of the cup with sugar .
  3. Apart from heat in a small pot cups of white grappa, the cups of orange punch, a cup of Limoncello , the 4 teaspoons abundant sugar, 4 cloves and peel ‘ orange .
  4. Once melted sugar, add to coffee filtered liquid.
  5. Carefully literally give focus to the content, and let the flame caramels sugar edge, wetting the same from time to time, with the help of a spoon.
  6. Pour the caramel got into the cup, close the lid and enjoy a drink with friends à la ronde, taking care to plug your thumbs spouts adjacent to that from which you drink, passing the cup and never place it on the table until after it is over the entire beverage.

Second variant


  • 8-10 glasses of grappa
  • zest of a large lemon
  • zest of an orange
  • 18 teaspoons of sugar
  • genepy and wine with


  1. Fill the glasses of grappa in the beaker, add the lemon peel and orange, 15 teaspoons of sugar, and possibly Genepy or wine.
  2. Put the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar on the edge of the wooden cup and spouts. Once ready pour the coffee immediately, still hot in the beaker and turn with a spoon to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Use the remaining glass of brandy to soak the sugar on the rim of the container of wood and set it on fire with a match. This process will seal sugar and alcohol will burn a little grappa. After a few seconds, close the beaker. This will turn off the flame and you can drink à la ronde Valle d’Aosta coffee.
    Text from Wikipedia.