Who first came up with the idea of crushing ice and flavouring it to make granita?

The story goes that it’s all thanks to the Arabs who once ruled Sicily. They were fond of a frozen drink called sherbet that they flavoured with fruit and rose syrup. Snow from Mount Etna and the Peloritani and Nebrodi mountains was added to it by the Sicilians. During the summer months, they stored this snow in ice houses, which were the forerunners of our modern refrigerators. The drink that they created was called “Rattata” and it proved very popular.

The recipe was fine-tuned in the 16th century thanks to the invention of a bucket made of wood and zinc known as a “pozzetto”, where the snow and fruit juice were stirred with a handle to give more substance to the mixture.

Initially, the only flavours available were strawberry, lemon and orange. From the 17th century onwards they were joined by almond, pistachio, chocolate, mulberry, coffee and many other flavours, thanks to constant experimentation which still continues today.

In order to stay true to its origins and its innovative nature, we’d like to present a new recipe for coffee granita that has been masterfully prepared for us by chef Stefano Polato.


Manuel Caffè_cardamon and coffee granita



250 ml of chilled Manuel Caffè coffee

250 ml of water

100 g of whole, unrefined cane sugar 

2 cardamom pods


Pour the 250 ml of water into a small saucepan with the cane sugar, add the cardamom pods and bring it to the boil.

Take it off the hob, add the coffee, stir and leave it to cool. Pour it all into a glass container and put it in the freezer.

Every 40 minutes, take it out, stir it and then put it back in the freezer. Keep doing this until the granita has the ideal texture.


Manuel Caffè_cardamon and coffee granita2

Manuel Caffè_cardamon and coffee granita3


For this recipe, we used Manuel Caffè Equo Organic, a certified ORGANIC and FAIRTRADE blend with aromatic notes of chocolate and nuts. You can find it in our online shop.


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