The perks of Italian coffee

Learn why Italian coffee is such a novelty and how your used coffee grounds serve as a fantastic ingredient in our DIY hair treatment

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, Italy is the holy grail of food, olive oil, wine and what else? Coffee. If you were to go to any town – small or big – in Italy, there’s bound to be a bar ready to serve coffee, pronto. There’s a reason Italians love their coffee: it’s a part of their history, everyday lives and fundamentally their culture. And, if you love to make your own coffee at home, Italian style or not, don’t throw away your used coffee grounds – there are endless DIY beauty treats you can make from them! 

A brief history of coffee

An Italian gentleman by the name of Angelo Moriondo of Turin, Italy, is said to be the original inventor of the espresso machine. He was granted a patent in 1884 for the “new steam machinery for the economic and instantaneous confection of coffee beverage, method, A. Moriondo” – quite the mouthful for such a tiny amount of concentrated coffee. The moka pot, also known as a percolator, was invented by Italian engineer Alfonso Bialetti in 1933 and is still a success today. If you were step into any Italian’s person home today, we’re sure you’ll definitely see at least one moka pot around.

How to drink coffee like a true Italian

In Italy, you’ll most likely find the locals not drinking an espresso at a table but standing at a tall bench drinking it away in no more than 2 mouthfuls – straight into the café for a quick espresso and straight out. Although you can enjoy an espresso any time of day, have it with a pastry in the morning or after a delicious meal at lunch or dinner. Something you might want to avoid when in Italy is ordering a cappuccino any time after 12pm. Italians don’t really consume milk during or after lunch unless it’s in a dessert, so to avoid any strange looks, drink coffee like a true Italian and order an espresso!  

 Don’t throw away your used coffee grounds

If you prefer to make your coffee at home with your own coffee maker, be sure to hang on to your used coffee grounds. It may not sound like the most appealing thing to do but applying moist coffee grounds straight on to your skin has been proven to show many benefits. It exfoliates dry skin, can reduce cellulite and can even minimise the appearance of dark circles under your eyes. However, what we love about used coffee grounds is the fact that you can use it to enhance the richness of brunette hair colour and even to stimulate hair growth. If you have brown hair, try this DIY hair treatment and see the difference:

DIY coffee hair scrub and rinse treatment

Brew some coffee with at least 8 tablespoons of ground coffee. Let the coffee cool down. Once it’s cool, pour your coffee into a spray bottle.

  1. Cover your shower drain with a coffee filter to prevent the coffee grounds from blocking your drain. Hop in the shower, wet your hair thoroughly and gently massage the coffee grounds into your scalp and squeeze it through your hair towards the ends.
  2. Rinse your hair thoroughly and then shampoo and condition as usual. Ensure the coffee grounds are washed away.
  3. Take your spray bottle containing the coffee and spray it through your damp hair. Do this over your bathtub or sink to avoid staining your bathroom.
  4. Gather and cover your coffee-rinsed hair in a shower cap or an old towel and leave it for one hour.
  5. Rinse your hair with warm water and allow it to air dry.

The coffee grounds in this fantastic treatment can help stimulate hair growth by exfoliating and increasing blood flow to the scalp, which can help to keep your hair follicles active. The coffee rinse can also richly darken your brunette hair and give it a healthy shine. To see best results, try doing this twice a week.

We briefly mentioned that coffee scrubs can also reduce cellulite. This is because caffeine can temporarily tighten and tone tissue while also helping eliminate toxin build up – a cause of cellulite. The main difference with this DIY treatment is that we suggest using unused coffee grounds, so the mixture is extra coarse and more effective:

DIY cellulite reducing coffee scrub

  1. In a medium sized bowl, mix 1 cup of ground coffee, ½ a cup of brown sugar, 4 tbsp of Epsom salt and ½ a cup of olive oil. Mix well until the mixture is properly combined.
  2. Transfer the scrub into a sealable jar for easy access and storage.

Hop in the shower, rinse your skin, turn off the water and take about a tablespoon of the scrub at a time in your palms and rub the scrub in a circular motion on any problem areas. Rinse off with a small amount of your favourite N.A.E. shower gel.

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