Few things feel more quintessentially Italian than ordering 'un caffè' at an espresso bar.
Around the world Italy is known for its coffee culture; something the nation now want to make official.
Italy is requesting UNESCO add espresso to its list of items of "intangible heritage."
Like beer culture in Belgium or Yoga in India, these items represent and encapsulate the culture of a country or nature.
"In Italy, coffee is much more than a simple drink: it is an authentic ritual," Italy's deputy agriculture minister Gian Marco Centinaio told Italian news outlet Sky TG24.
"It is an integral part of our national identity and an expression of our social relationships that distinguishes us around the world."
Application is far from a simple process. Despite the application being unanimously approved by the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, it will then need to be approved by the Italian National UNESCO Commission then the UNESCO headquarters.
While Turkey had 'Turkish coffee culture and tradition' accepted to the list in 2013, Italy has already failed once to get their espresso recognised.
In 2021 an application was denied by UNESCO, partly because two different agencies applied according to the Wall Street Journal.
the Region of Campania applied, claiming espresso was a quintessential part of Neapolitan culture. The Consortium for the Protection of Traditional Italian Espresso Coffee also made a bid and said the drink represented all of Italy.
In true parent style, UNESCO instructed the contending applications to reconcile and apply together the following year.
If the art of espresso making is accepted, it will be Italy's 16th entry on the list of intangible heritage items. In 2021, truffle hunting and extraction was added and in 2017, the "art of the Neapolitan 'Pizzaiuolo,'" or the making Neapolitan pizza made the list.
"The cup of espresso represents for all Italians a social and cultural ritual that is also reflected in literature and that fascinates the whole country, from Naples to Venice to Trieste passing through Rome and Milan," said Centinaio.
"This candidacy is all the more important in this historical moment when the restrictions due to the pandemic have penalized social relations, many of which were framed by the counter or the outdoor lounge of a [coffee shop] with a good Italian coffee in front of you."
Centinaio said he was confident the application would be approved.
A verdict will be made between March and May.