Tag Archives: appartamento lago @en

Vietnamese coffee: slow and relaxed

For Italians, coffee is the object of national pride, but we are not the only ones unrestrained in its use, and nor are we the only ones who know how to make it. Unexpectedly, last night at the Appartamento Milan Brera, thanks to a lesson in Vietnamese coffee by friends from the RuNam Cafè, we discovered that Vietnam also has a coffee tradition, and it is no less intense than the Italian one.

RuNam cafè

And we learned many interesting things, like the fact that since 2012 Vietnam has been the main exporter of Robusta coffee, and even topped Brazil, more focused on the Arabica blend. And that coffee is the second commodity in the world, after oil.

But that this that surprised us the most is the ritual of Vietnamese coffee, which, a little like tea for the Japanese, is prepared and enjoyed slowly, very slowly. For that matter, RuNam is an expression that mean Ru – stream, litany, lifeline – and Nam – Vietnamese spirit – and perfectly expresses the Vietnamese philosophy according to which enjoyment of coffee requires a comfortable setting, good conversation and above all time, since the little cup fills up one drop at a time.

Mr Khanh

Mr Khanh, the owner of RuNam Cafè, explained to us that, like in Italy, coffee is the main drink in his country. A culture that was lost after the Vietnam War and is now re-emerging. His aim is in fact to reappropriate this tradition.

What do you need for a Vietnamese coffee? It takes very little, really: 25 g ground coffee (around two and a half teaspoons), boiling water, a Vietnamese filter, a measuring cup, a large container for keeping the coffee hot, a few coffee cups (since coffee is best enjoyed in company) and a pretty tray for serving it.

But you also need a lot of time. This is how it is done:

cerimonia caffè

1_Prepare the filter and maintain the coffee cup at the desired temperature

Put both the filter and the cup in the large container, pour boiling water through the filter, to clean everything thoroughly, and let the water drain. At this point, pour 25 g of ground coffee into the filter and gently shake to evenly distribute the coffee.

2_Expand the coffee

Pour boiling water into the cup and put the filter, full of coffee, above the cup in order to help the coffee
in the filter expand. Pour 25 ml of boiling water in the filter, slowing and with a circular movement to help prevent clumps and make any clumps that do form dissolve immediately. Cover the filter and keep cover for 40-45 seconds, until all of the water is absorbed.

3_Press and filter the coffee

After about 45 seconds, the coffee will have expanded to fill about 3/4 of the filter. Use the regulator to gently press the coffee grounds until a small amount of water comes out of the regulator. Pour the water into the cup. Put the filter in an empty cup and very slowly add 70 ml of boiling water in a circular movement. After a few seconds, raise the regulator and pull it back and replace the cover. The coffee will begin to filter into the cup and will be ready after between 5 and 6 minutes. Once the coffee is ready, clean the filter. Move the filter to the small bowl and pour hot water over it, in order to keep it hot until it is time to make the next cup of coffee. Serve the coffee on a tray, not forgetting sugar, condensed milk, ice, biscuits and whatever else you like with your coffee.

It is a long, fascinating process that inspires us to take life slowly, savouring every moment and tasting it thoroughly.

Radiobici, Maurizio Guagnetti’s interview of Daniele Lago

As we promised you last July, here is the video of the interview of Daniele Lago conducted by Maurizio Guagnetti, a Radio 105 journalist, while pedaling through the streets of Milan.


The interview is part of the Radiobici project, for which Appartamento Lago is a sponsor, considering the initiatives’ common values, like culture, sharing and sustainability. And given the travel theme that unites them both: one a journey through the outdoor spaces of Italy, the other a journey through the indoor spaces.

Appartamento Lago Bergamo

Daniele talks about how to grow in times of crisis, designing and producing sense, reopening the question of and rebuilding our Italian identity.

Happy viewing!

Transcription of Maurizio Guagnetti’s interview of Daniele Lago

Daniele Lago: For me, it is fundamental to produce meaning through every action …

Maurizio Guagnetti: And so, Daniele, what does thinking positively mean, doing business in Italy today?

Daniele Lago: For us, it means putting the individual back in the centre.

M: And when they ask you what Lago does, what is your answer?

D: We are trying to reduce the number of divorces, because we think that design is a kind of tool
for improving our impact on the world, for helping it change for the better. If you are talking to me
about atoms and matter … we are making furnishings, we are making furniture, we are exploring
new design frontiers from every point of view. Lago has always tried to build its path on a concept
of transparency and authenticity. We have tried to find new ways of getting the Lago product seen
and we thought that real homes could be an interesting driver, we invite regular people to open
up their personal living spaces … and they become for a year and a half or two years a kind of
ambassador for the brand in the city. Doing business today, especially in Italy, is a venture with a
capital V. In reality, we are growing even in Italy this year … we are growing probably because we
have focused on a series of factors that have proved to be significant.

M: But is this a kind of growth tied to the fact that luxury is growing in Italy or is it something

D: Beyond the fact that we do not position ourselves so high up, I have always sought out, in
the Lago path and process, an extremely noteworthy value-for-money relationship. I believe that
design needs to be concerned with an always increasing number of people, not an exaggerated
niche. La Dolce Vita is dead! What we need is to reinvent what it means to be Italian and also La
Dolce Vita.

M: And so a new way of being Italian?

D: Absolutely yes. We already have an advantage starting out, since, in my view, we have the
fortune of having a great deal of energy, but we really need to put back into motion and reopen
discussion about a lot of things. It is fundamental that there is support from all of the institutions
and a strong will to establish which three adjectives for Italy are the ones that need to be used to
attract. Planet Italy has great workmanship, a great capacity for craftsmanship … and so we are
creating start-ups that put bits and atoms into agreement, but we are trying to keep the atoms
in mind, since otherwise there is a risk of creating a parallel layer that, I think, would be a losing
venture, since creating a Silicon Valley in Italy is unlikely. In the last ten years, sustainability has
taken on a meaning that is almost always tied to environmental impact. I have a broader vision
of the measure in which the whole theme of sustainability is applied on a wide scale: human,
economic, environmental sustainability cannot however be relegated to a human aspect of the
human. In fifteen years of experience with Lago, or twenty, I have developed the idea that when
you work on projects, if these projects have even just a minimal balance between brain, heart
and instinct, they will work. This means that the human being needs X number of things and
sustainability needs X number of things. I am not enamoured with the cultural foundations of
businesses, because I believe that it is a little bit the PLC that need to be a cultural foundation.
It is useless if on one path I don’t look anything or anyone in the face and on another produce
culture. Returning to the theme of the Expo, I believe that there, too, what is needed is an Expo
more connected to processes than to seeing the statement of returns. I believe that what is
needed is a path where one puts into motion a mechanism of change. I was really struck by a
headline on the cover of the magazine for the Pistoletto foundation, which said: “We need to
change our way of changing”. It is in this nuance that the Expo can become an opportunity or one
among many failures.

Appartamento Lago and Radiobici

Culture, sharing and sustainability are values that have been inscribed in the LAGO DNA from the very beginning. And so when we met Maurizio Guagnetti, a Radio 105 journalist, it was natural for us to support his Radiobici project and recognise its closeness to our Appartamento LAGO project.

The reason? Travel. Appartamento LAGO is a project that involves diverse places and people, creating new connections, but it is also a journey through the interiors of Italy, from north to south and east to west. Each house has a unique personality, shaped by that of those who live there.

apt treviso

Radiobici, instead, is a journey through exteriors, in search of the beauty of the places visited, but from an unusual perspective. It is a trip across Italy with the aim of telling the stories of those who try, every day, to create value in spite of the economic crisis. And do it in a sustainable way.

Appartamento LAGO and Radiobici also share the participatory approach and desire to transform culture involving the whole country and all of its social groups.

Radiobici Massimo Guagnetti

Maurizio Guagnetti gets from one place to the next using ecological means: a bicycle. This strikes us as the perfect next chapter after Giacomo de Stefano’s Man on the river project, a sustainable adventure along the rivers of Europe.

With the interviewee pedalling on his bike, which is set up in a special way to accommodate guests, Maurizio interviewed mayors, philosophers, writers, athletes and contemporary personalities between March and July. The Radiobici spiritual guide is Philippe Daverio, who you can listen to in this video, talking about medieval Milan.

On Monday, 29 July, at 3 pm, after a visit to the Appartamento LAGO at Via Brera 30 in Milan, it will be Daniele Lago’s turn to make himself comfortable on the bike and start pedalling.

We will keep you informed. In the meantime, you can follow all the other legs of the trip.