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A tutto rinunzierei fuorchè a questa tazzina di caffè presa fuori al balcone...

Eduardo de filippo

Coffee : drink and culture

Napoletan people are used to go the bar and ask for coffee, “un cafè”, at least three times per day. When I say coffee I mean the very very short and strong one. Once a Belgian friend told me: “Italian coffee is like a bomb in the mouths”. Always and I underline always it will be served with a side glass of water.

 If you want one teaspoon of sugar could be added to the cup, “a' tazzulella”. Otherwise, it is drunk bitter!


Il caffè si beve amaro! Amaro come la vita!                                                                                                                                                             

The coffee is drunk bitter! Bitter as life

Anonimus Italian

Ma comm' !! a vit' è già amar' ! Amaro pur o cafè? Mitt sto Succhr!

The life is so bitter already! Should be bitter the coffee too? Put the sugar in it!!

Anonimus Napolitan

The hot coffee goes straight from the machine into the cup and slightly caramelizes the sugar. Be careful when you hand your cup, most probably it will respect the rule of the three C: “Comm Cazz Coce”. Literally translated from dialect to English sounds: “ it is fucking hot”. To make sure that the coffee is drunk hot, also the cup is very hot.

When you go to Milan, the story is slightly different. If you ask for coffee you will have a very short and strong coffee in a normal cup without the glass of water.

When we move abroad the situation becomes very confused.

The question becomes:“How should I ask for coffee?”. It seems to be a simple topic but actually, it is not! If you ask for coffee in London, you will have an extremely long coffee. If you would like to drink a very short coffee, you must ask for an “espresso”. If you ask for espresso in Bruxelles, you will have an extremely long coffee. If you would like to drink a very short coffee, you must ask for “Moka”. If you ask for Moka in Italy, very likely you would go away from the bar with the coffee maker. If you ask for a Moka in Copenhagen, you will have a very long drink based on coffee and chocolate. In Copenhagen instead, you should ask for the espresso.



Many people struggle to know which is the secret of Italian coffee. Since I live abroad I always take with me the coffee from Italy. I use to drink coffee from very common brands, nothing very special. Few mounts ago I finally found out why I do not like the coffee in the north of Europe. Apparently, there are two kinds of roasting of the coffee beans. In the north, the beans are roasted to have a coffee more acidic while in the south are roasted to have a coffee more bitter. So the secret is the coffee! When you will decide to make a perfect Italian (Neapolitan) espresso (see the DoC article) remember to buy a coffee powder that is roasted with the purpose to be used in a Moka machine (check in here: Moka).

I like bitter coffee!

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