In Naples coffee is a “sacred” drink, if you want to be well awared of the Neapolitan culture and if you want to live like us, get ready to have a lot of coffee!
In our city the meaning of this drink is something that goes beyond the simple pleasure fo the taste, it is something deeper and tied to cultural roots and customs.
The first thing you need to know is that Neapolitan coffee is expresso, very strong and very concentrated. A Neapolitan will never like a long coffee, the cup is really small because it has a strong and concentrated taste so that we take it in small quantities. You can have it at the counter if you are in a hurry and it costs less than 1€, while if you drink it sat the price can vary from 1,50€ to 2,50€ depending on the bar you choose.
As we were telling you before in Naples coffee is not just a drink, it is much more, it’s a real cult; in our culture refusing a coffee is perceived as an offense.
In Naples there is also the “suspended coffee“, this expression refers to a tradition that developped during the second world war, when someone paid two coffee instead of one, this gesture was done for the poor people, who passing by the coffee bars used to ask to the waiters if someone had left a suspended coffee. Nowadays, even if times are changed, suspended coffee still exists; when someone loves a friend leaves him/her a coffee at the bar. It’s a generous gesture that goes beyond the drink itself.
Drinking coffee has begun a real ritual eventually, it is also an “excuse” to meet a friend or a collegue and have a chat with him, or it is a way also of inviting someone to a date.
A little curiosity that you need to know is that in Naples you always have coffee with a glass of water (which you don’t pay), you always need to drink water before coffee and never ever after it, this because your mouth will taste it better. Lastly we advise you to have bitter coffee, with no sugar or sweeteners.