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Caffemania

caffemaniaAs a first blog, I have been asked to write something about coffee, Italian coffee, Italians’ relationship with coffee, Italians without their Italian coffee and South Africans playing the Italians why they are having coffee.

It is going to be a fun task indeed!

First of all I need to warn all of you Capetonians about something crucial: If you want to sound and look Italian, you’d better stay away from ordering a “chokoccino”, a “ frappuchino”, a “mokkachino” or all these INO scenarios different from a plain CAPPUCCINO, correctly spelt with 2 p and 2 c.

QUINDI – SO – before we start talking about IL CAFFÈ I would briefly clarify a couple of things on the mishandled cappuccino character.

Yes Italians drink cappuccino and not just an espresso AL VOLO – on the go – but the point is not only HOW but also WHEN they drink it. I have noticed that you South Africans and foreigners in general, have a bit of awareness around the CAPPUCCINO matter but the sky is certainly not clear yet. You sort of perceive there is something, which shouldn’t be done, something to do with the timing of drinking it or the food to be accompanied with, but you wouldn’t be ready to bet on your families to get the actual rules. That is where I fit in!

RULE 1:
Shall I ask for cream on top? Yes? No?
I would strongly suggest to leaving the cream for cakes and weddings and stick to the easy and plain foam. There are a few theories on where the word cappuccino comes from. One of them (quite plausible to me) is that the foam is like a “cappuccio “ (hood) on the coffee. Which means it is not a thick winter sheep coat on it.

Are you getting the message?

RULE 2:
Shall we play with the foam? Yes? No?
I do like the creativity that you guys have in adding little smiles, funny faces, cute little rabbits, hearts, on the foam but obviously you need to know that the Italian time is not functioning like the African time.

If you want to understand what I am talking about, go to the bar at the train station in Milano and start counting how many coffees and cappuccino get placed on the counter per hour. Your answer is in front of you. We simply don’t have time to decorate coffee that is why we choose the best coffee to do the acting.

RULE 3:
Shall I treat myself with a cappuccino after a delicious meal? Yes? No?
If you are happy to be German or English or a foreigner having a good time in Italy and want to stick to whom you are, DO IT! If you want to act Italian, enjoy your cappuccino early in the morning or for brunch but don’t shovel it down with anything salty please and in the evenings. That is where the mistake occurs.

Italians would never drink cappuccino after a meal except a “sweet” breakfast (no bacon and eggs but only croissant, toast, jam etc.)

RULE 4:
Can I order a “LATTE” in Italy and feel Italian? Yes? No?
If you order a “latte” in Italy in a bar or in a restaurant, you get a glass of milk. Finish and klaar! Please do it for you children, milk is good for their growing but don’t do it for yourself, especially if you want to wake up.

RULE 5:
Is it ok if I get served an espresso without a saucer? Yes? No?
If you order an espresso and the waiter doesn’t make the effort to place it on a saucer and give you the correct silver tea spoon for it, you are dealing with a stingy or a lazy or a fake Italian.

I will leave you today with a quote by a very famous Italian actor from the 40’s and 50’s,Totò:

Prendo tre caffè alla volta per risparmiare due mance
I order 3 coffees at the time so I can save on tips

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