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Coffee from Altrei

Thanks to the favorable climate the village Altrei is known for a culinary specialty, which isn’t very typical for South Tyrol: coffee. To be precise, it isn’t a coffee bean, but a kind of lupin. Together with barley or wheat its seeds served (and still serve) as affordable replacement for coffee.

In Southern South Tyrol this hot beverage, which is still known as coffee from Altrei, has a centuries-old history? In order to maintain the botanical and historico-cultural peculiarity for future generations, there was launched a local project focusing on the history, the cultivation and the use of this coffee.

Basis for the coffee from Altrei is a plant that bears the Latin name Lupinus pilosus and that is a genus in the legume family. The annual plant is up to 120 centimeters high, they have many hairy leafs and blue flowers with white, yellow or pink spots. However, the most important parts for the coffee are the large, flat and brown spotted seeds.

Especially during the 19th century they were a reasonable and easily cultivable replacement for the daily drink in the morning and in the afternoon, because many families weren’t able to afford real coffee. The seeds were dried, roasted, grinded and made coffee together with a blending of wheat, barley or figs. Thanks to the mentioned project you can still try this particular drink during guided tours and tastings in Altrei