The coffee experience in Naples, Italy: Local coffee culture might be different from what you expect

Naples, Italy. While this city might not be a popular mainstream attraction such as Rome or Venice, it certainly stands out as one of the most culturally interesting cities in the country.

Historically, Naples has been one of the most important harbors on the Mediterranean, and it has been one of the world’s most culturally diverse cities for centuries. Neapolitan culture is not only related to its southern Italian roots, but also to the influence of Spanish, French and Arabic colonists who dominated the area over the century.

Naples is famously highly regarded for its cuisine. It is home to various specialties that made their way across the world, including pizza and mozzarella cheese!

Even in Naples, coffee machines such as Tassimo are highly sought-after, thanks to some unique design quirks including the Tassimo pods holder technology, which contributes to a perfect cup every time. The city is also well-known throughout the country for its coffee culture, which went on to influence coffee drinking all over the world.

Where does the coffee come from?

Neapolitans love coffee with a distinctively bold, earthy aroma. Locally roasted coffee is often sourced from Latin American countries such as Brazil and Colombia.

While coffee sourced in Africa is known for its fruity properties, Latin American blends are often appreciated for their creamy, rich taste, often compared to hazelnut or dark chocolate. Coffee roasting company “Kimbo” is known as one of the most popular coffee brands available in the area, and it is known for his quality South American coffee blends.

The roasting style

Neapolitan coffee roasters often prefer a medium/dark roast, which highly complements the coffee they use and highlights its natural quality. While some coffee drinkers prefer to highlight the fruity nuances of coffee, Neapolitan coffee experts prefer coffee with a bold, rich and creamy aroma. A medium/dark roast leaves enough room for the natural qualities of the coffee to shine through, yet it adds a bold and decisive flavor to the mix.

The Coffee Ritual

In Naples, and in most of Italy, people refer to coffee shops as “bars”. This might cause some confusion and might mislead foreigners, who might understand the “bar” as a place where you go for a pint of beer at night rather than for a shot of espresso”.

The fact that Neapolitans refer to coffee shops as “bars” actually shine a light on how coffee is normally enjoyed.

People seldom spend some time sitting at a cafe, and often prefer to enjoy a shot of espresso quickly, straight at the bar, and move on to enjoy the rest of their day.

People do occasionally sit down at bars and grab a table, but this is considered quite a luxury in Naples. When sitting down at a table in a bar, snacks such as peanuts, crackers or candies are often complementary. Sparkling water is also often offered to customers. Prices on the “table” menu might actually be more expensive than “bar prices”, but customers often receive a rather luxurious treatment, especially in bars in the city center. Some bars have actually been around for centuries and patronizing them is truly an experience to remember!

Popular Choices

High-quality espresso is usually affordable and even the most expensive and elaborate coffee drink is generally going to be cheaper than most countries. While most people prefer to drink straight up espresso shots, many other options are also very popular, including macchiatos, cappuccinos or lattes. However, most people will only include milk in their coffee drinks in the morning, and seldom after lunch. In the afternoon, sweet coffee drinks are popular as a “merenda”, or afternoon snacks. Locals love “caffe del nonno”, a sweet iced coffee made with milk, cream, and sugar.

 

The coffee experience in Naples, Italy: Local coffee culture might be different from what you expect