The Art of Italian Coffee: Caffè Baci in Downtown Catanzaro

Oh yes. This little shot of java will seep into your blood stream, tickle the tips of your typing fingers and flutter your heart with the greatest of ease. Coffee is an art.

No, seriously.

Coffee is an art. Check this out.

... mit viel Liebe gemacht
photo credit: antjeverena

I was Stumbling the Internet last week and found this page, with over 100 Stumble Reviews (that’s a whole lot!) and 15 coffee art images. I’ll give you three guesses which of these three pictures I took.


Although in an online writing course I took last spring, I was encouraged to write 300 words about coffee. And writing is art, too.

So, here’s the snippit I wrote about a caffè bar in downtown Catanzaro, Calabria …


Although it is only a three minute journey through the dark, humid tunnel that transports commuters to downtown Catanzaro, the pint-sized cable car pauses to rejuvenate and collect steam for the final upward battle. It takes a moment for my eyes to adjust to the brilliant sunlight, as I am ushered forward with the hurried steps of strangers speaking foreign words.

I take a moment to soak in my surroundings, and am drawn to the bar immediately to the right of the cable car station. The Condorelli Bar, one of two in the Catanzaro district, creates the creamiest caffe macchiato baci in the area, and the rich fragrance seeps into the street and tempts me with the delicate mixture of coffee and chocolate.

Although the area is closed to motorized traffic, I pause on the grey pebbled pavement to allow a young couple on a Vespa-like cycle to pass. Wind gushes through the cold street, and I stuff my hands further into my black wool coat to compensate for the drop.

My mouth begins to water as I enter the bar and am greeted with a friendly “buon giorno” from the barista. I look through the glass encasement and see freshly baked cornetti in all tastes and sizes … nutella, hazelnut, cream. Upon testing my will-power to the utmost degree, I order coffee, and wait at the bar with the locals. My miniature macchiato is topped with foamy, off-white cream and is sprinkled with powered cocoa and drizzling warm chocolate.

There is barely room for the spoon of sugar needed to complete the masterpiece. For a brief moment my eyes engulf the frothy liquid, until the aroma drifts upward and presses my patience. After thirty seconds, the coffee is gone, the chocolate is finished, and all that remains is a slightly stained porcelain cup and silver-plated spoon.

And now … on with the day.

Since we are on the subject of jumping java … what is your favorite? Do you prefer espresso Italiano or a tall mug of America’s mud?

4 Responses
  1. I love all strong coffee. I can do Starbucks, I can do a local cafe with espresso, I can do French Press.

    I can’t do watered down diner coffee or Dunkin Donuts. Bleck.

    Big fan of lattes and cappuccinos too.

    But I love coffee. And I *do* really like it when I get a nice piece of artwork in my foam. Hearts are best!

    Think I have to go make some now…..
    The only way I can do watered down coffee is with flavored creamers. I need “something” ya know?

  2. Junita Bechel

    The meaning of the phrase “ice cream” varies from one country to another. Phrases such as “frozen custard”, “frozen yogurt”, “sorbet”, “gelato” and others are used to distinguish different varieties and styles. In some countries, such as the United States, the phrase “ice cream” applies only to a specific variety, and most governments regulate the commercial use of the various terms according to the relative quantities of the main ingredients.

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