The Beloved Italian Beverage That Was Once Featured On USPS Stamps

Facts are facts: We're living in the digital era. And while it's projected that we will send "376.4 billion daily e-mails by 2025," per Statista, snail mail is still the preferred method of communication for some people. But you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, and you can't send a letter without some stamps. That's why the United States Postal Service (USPS) issues Forever Stamps. These "first-class stamps are non-denominational," and the first ones were issued back in 2007, according to Liveabout. And some pretty gorgeous stamps were previously available in USPS' postal stores.

For example, "O Beautiful" Forever Stamps showcase captivating vistas throughout America (per USPS), while the "Delicioso" set features illustrated depictions of traditional foods such as empanadas, ceviche, tamales, and chile relleno (per Linns). Thrillist reports that earlier stamps also featured country fair foods such as cotton candy, fruits such as pears, strawberries, apples, and Meyer lemons, and Arnold Palmer, a non-alcoholic mixture of lemonade and iced tea. 

And in 2021, USPS issued new Forever Stamps that also depict beverages — in this case, the beloved beverages originate from Italy.

USPS' Forever Stamps showcased four styles of Italian coffee

Americans really love drinking coffee. Statista reports that "in 2020, Americans drank an average of 1.87 cups of coffee per day." So it's no wonder that the USPS wanted to feature coffee on a set of stamps. Artist Terry Allen created the original artwork for the stamps, modeling them after "1920s and 1930s advertising," while art director Greg Breeding adorned the stamps with "Art Deco-style lettering." The retro stamps are available in four designs depicting various types of coffee: espresso, cappuccino, caffe latte, and caffe mocha, per La Cucina Italiana.

If you're a fan of coffee, you probably already know these four styles of Italian coffee. If you're not that big of a fan yet, let's do a quick recap. Espresso is made by "forcing hot water at a high pressure through finely-ground coffee beans" (per Eldorado Coffee), while cappuccino is made with "equal parts espresso, hot milk, and milk froth," notes Full Coffee Roast. Caffe latte, on the other hand, consists of espresso and steamed milk (per Britannica), and caffe mocha is just a chocolate-flavored caffe latte (per Everyday Delicious). 

Now that you know all about this delicious Italian beverage, we suggest you take a break from e-mails and all those messaging apps. Why not pick up some stamps and send an old-fashioned letter to a person you love?