Don’t call it “espresso” call it “caffè”

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Or if you’re in the Naples area: “cafè” with one “F”.

The coffee (meant as the cup of …) it’s a very important matter in the whole Campania Region but most in Naples. Songs, sit – com, movies and even theater have moments dedicated to the coffee. Very famous in the whole world is the coffee scene in the “Oh! These Ghosts” by Eduardo De Filippo, where the protagonist – Pasquale Lojacono – explain how to make a good coffee at home.

The coffee kit at home
The coffee kit at home

Indeed the matter is not easy. And in Naples we don’t make it as in the rest of Italy. Traditionally at home we use a coffee maker: not less then 3 cups of it. It’s the minimum amount of coffee per day :-). Then we use a coffee pot where to put sugar while your’e waiting for it. Don’t add sugar in the cup! No … no. It’s not neapolitan. We add it in a coffee pot: one teaspoon of sugar for cup plus one for it … Yes! we’re generous! 🙂 When the coffee is coming out take few drops of it and mix the sugar. There will be a smooth  hazel cream on the top of your coffee.  Then take your time: even if you’re in a hurry take few moments to sip it. It’ll make your day!

Speaking about public places where you can have a coffee, easily you can find everywhere around the city a very good one. Absolutely don’t ask for an “espresso”: they will understand immediately you’re not from the city. There is: no espresso, no long, no short … just “un caffè” (a cup of coffee) or at the most: “macchiato” (with few drops of milk). Almost everywhere the cup (small) will be hot, very hot. They keep them in a boiling water and it makes sense because the coffee has to be hot when you sip it, otherwise the taste is different. If you put it in a cold cup the temperature drops. So pay attention to that if you want to keep your lips safe!.

Nowadays the basic coffee is evolved to follow trends and globalization, so you can find also sugars flavored: you can have – for instance – a coffee with nuts flavor. … But it’s not coffee, it’ something different … good, but different.

The coffee time in Naples is a kind of ritual, both if you take it at home or in a “Bar” (no, i won’t call them “coffee shop”!) ;-). It’s a way to make friends, to keep friendship, to take a break, to keep you calm in the crazy life. Yeah! Don’t know that?  The caffeine in Naples gives you a relaxing emotion: if you’re angry or sad take a “cafè” and the life will be smiling again! 🙂

However, the coffee is a social matter but in the mean time is also a inner moment. You will take a coffee with a friends, chatting until the cup is in front of you. Then the silence will descend upon you: you need to be alone to take a coffee … to taste it, to breath it … after all there are only two sip of coffee in a cup! So it’s not a long silence time!

Ok … coffee time! I’ll talk to you later about the “Caffè sospeso” … The Pending coffee…

2 Responses

  1. Jim

    I had always heard that the caffè was better in Naples. So I went there and verified the claim. It’s true. Considerably better. By mid-morning, I was so jittery I could barely hold the tazzina still enough to drink my 10th caffè.

    Here’s what I noticed:
    = They use a different type of machine (lever rather than electric pump)
    = The beans are toasted darker
    = The “miscela” is different (tipo Kimbo invece di Danesi a Roma)
    = The grind is finer (less coarse)
    = They put more grounds in the port-a-filter (braccio)
    = They put a stronger “tamp” on the “cake” of grounds
    = They run water through the head (which cools it) prior to pulling the shot

    Apart from all of that, pure “mettono il cuore” come possono fare soltanto i Napoletani.

    And yet…

    And yet, they tell me that the caffè is better in Naples — because of the water!

    True story.


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