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The Turin Bicerin: history and recipe

The Turin Bicerin: history and recipe

Dark chocolate, coffee, fresh cream: are the three layers of sumptuousness  which make up the Bicerin, the classic Turin drink that, in the course of its long history, it has literally conquered famous personalities such as Puccini, Cavour, Picasso, Nietzsche.

But what are its origins?

We will discover them in this article, together with the recipe for tasting an authentic specialty, ideal for fall afternoons.

The Bicerin: the name and the origins 

Of all the symbols of Savoy gastronomy, it is impossible not to cite the Bicerin: recognized in 2001 as a “traditional Turin drink ”, with the publication in the official bulletin of the Piedmont region; its origins date back to 1764, when it was invented at the Caffè Confetteria Al Bicerin, which is located within the Roman Quarter of Turin.

The recipe of the Bicerin, which in Turin dialect means “small glass”, originates from the “bavareisa”, made of coffee, chocolate and foamed milk, which was served in small round transparent glasses  and it was a drink which was traditionally drunk at breakfast. 

Where to drink the best

Besides Camillo Benso Conte di Cavour that we mentioned before, the writer Alexandre Dumas also particularly loved the Bicerin, which can still be tasted today in almost all the cafes in Turin (and not only there). The original recipe is still kept by the Caffè Confetteria Al Bicerin, in Piazza della Consolata, but the “imitations” are no less tasty. 

The right glass 

A mouth-watering, appealing drink in which the different flavors of coffee, chocolate and fresh cream are blended to perfection, the Bicerin must absolutely be served in small glasses or transparent glass cups, so that it is possible to see the different layers of the drink, which create shades of color owing to the different densities of the ingredients. After all, look matter too!

The Bicerin recipe

The season of fresh fruit smoothies, creme di caffè and frappè is drawing to a close, while the days are gradually getting shorter: a fall day requires nothing more than to be warmed with a mouth-watering drink.

If you are not in the Turin area, but you still want to taste this delicacy, you can make it for yourself using just a few ingredients: fresh cream, a good blend of coffee  blend of coffee and a bar of dark chocolate or gianduja (soft hazelnut chocolate). 


  • O.85 fl oz of fresh cream for whipping 
  • 0,88 oz of dark chocolate or gianduja
  • a shot of espresso coffee 


  1. First of all, whip the cream (which must be cold) and keep it in the fridge.  
  2. In a small saucepan, using a bain-marie melt the chocolate, adding milk to taste to dilute it. 
  3. Prepare your coffee.
  4. In a glass cup, delicately pour  the melted chocolate, the boiling hot coffee and the cold cream, taking care to keep the three layers separate from each other. 
  5. So there you have your Bicerin ready to taste. If you want to respect the Turin tradition, accompany it with a slice of hazelnut or chestnut cake: a genuine  pleasure. And be careful not to confuse it with another Piedmont delight, the liqueur of the same name based on gianduja chocolate (soft hazelnut chocolate), which however has nothing to do with coffee. 
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