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Five Facts About The Unique Coffee Culture of Naples


It is said that the Neapolitans drink more coffee and have more coffee bars per square kilometre than any other Italian region. Introduced locally by the Habsburg Queen Maria Carolina in the eighteenth century, Neapolitan coffee culture has evolved along its own unique path. Here are five of the many interesting aspects of Neapolitan coffee culture.

Miscela

The Neapolitan blend or ‘miscela’ has unique characteristics which differentiate it from Italian coffee. Using different origins of bean and roasting longer, Neapolitan coffee is bolder in flavour and higher in caffeine delivering a thick ‘cremina’ (as opposed to the ‘crema’ of Italian-style blends).

Volete Un Caffè ?

If you are offered a coffee in Naples, it’s considered rude to refuse.  Traditionally prepared on a hand-pulled machine, your coffee will be served very short in a scalding hot cup (said to ward of the risk of cholera in older times). Before drinking, its customary to ‘turn’ the coffee with a spoon to mix in the cremina, usually accompanied by the addition of sugar.

Sfogliatella

Naples is famous for giving the world pizza. Less well-known is the equally delicious sfogliatella, a shell-shaped pastry which may be filled with orange-flavoured ricotta, almond paste and candied lemon peel. The sfogliatella is the perfect accompaniment to a morning coffee in Naples.

Cuccumella

image credit: Maritè Toledo, Per un buon caffè napoletano...

Also known as the Napoletana, his stove-top coffee pot was invented as early as 1819.

Instead of using steam pressure, like the moka pot, the cuccumella extracts using gravity. This can produce a gentler brew akin to filter coffee, which gets stronger when finer ground coffee is used.

Caffè Sospeso

This is the principle of buying a coffee but paying for two, leaving the second cup for a less fortunate person in need. Despite the harshness of life at the time, the principle of ‘suspended coffee’ originated in the working class cafes of Naples over a hundred years ago. In recent years, the practice has become international with the global spread of Italian coffee culture. Caffè Sospeso has seen a renaissance in Naples in recent years, especially after the advent of Covid.

Piano Coffee is delighted to partner with Kimbo, Il Caffè di Napoli to offer you the chance to taste Kimbo Extra Cream, an outstanding coffee blend. The Neapolitan Method of production delivers coffee which is high in flavour and adds great depth of character to any cappuccino or latte.