In England they have tea rooms, but in Italy they have coffee bars where you can stand at the bar and drink a cup of coffee instead of a beer.
Before I arrived in Naples, I had no idea that Coffee was such a big part of Italian Culture. It’ s crazy that I never realized because I’ve actually written and sold articles about coffee. The espresso machine was created by a man from Milan called Luigi Bezzera. Cappuccino was also created in Italy. I’ve written about both these things more than once yet I never realized Italy has a “coffee culture” until I arrived in Naples and saw it for myself.
Most of the coffee bars in Naples are pretty small and if there is not enough room for tables they may have an extra counter to sit at next to the back wall. In a lot of them you’ll find there is someone sitting behind a till near the door. You’re meant to pay them when you enter. I never realized this at first and went over to order my coffee at the bar, but you live and learn.
The barista always gives you a glass of water with your coffee. In my ignorance, I thought this was for drinking after the coffee. Strong coffee always makes me feel thirsty, so that made sense. I was wrong again.
Apparently, the idea is to drink the water first so it can clean your mouth and prepare your taste buds for the sensation to come. That makes sense to me too so, heathen that I am, I’ve got into the habit of drinking half the water before the coffee and the rest after I finish.
An espresso generally costs 90-95 cents in Naples and you can buy a cappuccino for around €1.50. I find that very reasonable and like the coffee here. I’ll miss it when I move on. In Spain, I used to go out for a beer and tapas every afternoon. Here I go for a quick fix of coffee instead.
If you are Naples and want I good cup of coffee you will be spoiled for choice. The cups are smaller than you’d get at a Starbucks or Costa but the taste is infinitely better. I like Bar Mexico best and there are plenty to choose from. There are Bar Mexico coffee bars all over the city and lot of people will tell you the coffee from Bar Mexico is best.
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