Monday, November 22, 2010

Da Portare (Coffee To Go)

The Espresso Break:  One form of coffee break that flourishes in Naples is  the caffe da portare or caffe to go.  At any cafe-bar, a customer can ask to take coffee on the go, in which case the barista makes the caffe in a plastic cup the size of a tazzino, putting the plastic cup right under the machine next to the tazzino, then providing a packet of sugar and a clear plastic stirrer.  

But another bustling sight on the Naples landscape is always the coffee waiter who carries a tray of plastic coffee cups, filled with hot espresso and carefully covered on the top with aluminum foil.  Businesses may call in to order these drinks for delivery. Bus drivers may have a coffee served to them at a stop.  At any given time throughout the day, a store clerk, a museum tour guide, or even a barista will stop everything for a moment to take their own caffe riposo.  In these few moments, everyone knows that they must wait until the coffee moment is finished – then, and only then, the frenetic bustle of the Neapolitan service sector may strike up again.

1 comment:

Gil said...

The first time I saw that was when I was on a grade school trip to Boston, MA with my young son. It seems that some of the restaurants in the North End of Boston (Italian section) didn't have coffee machines. About fifteen years later my wife and I were visiting with our daughter while she was studying in Florence. We were headed to Sarno where my paternal grandfather was born and got a flat tire. The shop that was fixing it offered us coffee and low and behold the tray that you pictured above showed up.