There is a little pleasure recognized on the whole peninsula. A moment in the day that is sacred. You can be in a hurry, have lots of things to do, running from one place to another without rest. But if you pronounce that magic sentence.. time will stop, people will disappear, and nobody will ruin that moment. Or at least they won’t do it with the purpose of bothering you.
I – need – a – coffee.
That’s it! If you are working people will say.. “ok, take your time, I’ll wait for you”.
And there you are. In a bar, facing the bartender. You, him, and that little, hot treasure. No matter if you sit on the chair or take it standing. All you need is three minutes to taste it.
Coffee for us is Espresso. That means: short, dark, and hot. You can have a normal espresso, a double (longer), macchiato caldo (with warm milk), or macchiato freddo (with cold milk). There is an Italian law that states that if you take the espresso standing in front of the bar.. you always pay the same amount. At the moment an espresso costs between 60 and 85 cents. More is illegal.
There is a funny tradition in some parts of central and south Italy like Rome, Napoli.., You can ask for an already paid espresso. It means that someone before you pays for an espresso and leaves it for any customer who does not have money to pay for it. You enter the bar and ask “C’è un caffè pagato?” (is there any paid coffee?) and if there is, you’ll have your coffee. Of course, it would be nice of you to return the favor next time.
I love pure espresso not too long, not too short. Sometimes with a drop of cold milk. I normally put a bit of sweetener into it. I drink a bit of water first, to prepare the mouth, then drink the coffee, and then I have a little piece of dark chocolate.
three minutes in paradise and then back to life.