Acqua Sporca

Posted by Massimo Marzo on

How do you trigger an Italian? You already know how to do that… Talk about pasta! What if I told you that there is another topic that makes us snap the same way? That’s right, it’s coffee. For us, coffee is strong and rich espresso, that’s it. It must be served in a hot as hell espresso cup, not room temperature because the thermal shock between the coffee and the ceramic alters the taste. The espresso cup must be kept on top of the espresso machine covered by a cloth, and it must be made of ceramic. Before working for Wolf vs Goat I was a barista myself. One day the bar owner had the brilliant idea to replace the espresso cups with fancy glass cups. It’s hard to describe how customers looked at me that day, but in their eyes you could read, “You have dishonored our culture,” plus other things that I can’t say in a blog. Now you’re probably thinking, “Man, Italians are so closed-minded!” But no, we accept the new (occasionally). And when I say “new”, I mean Cappuccino. Wait, not the Cappuccino served in bucket-sized cups they sell in American coffee shops, Italian Cappuccino cups are 150 milliliters (½ cup), which is the perfect size. According to who? Italians of course!


I’ve been in America twice and there are dozens of options on the coffee shop menus, including one called Mocha which has four different ingredients. Those are two ingredients more than an Italian can handle. Anyway, there are dozens of coffee types and it is impossible for an Italian to remember them all. That’s why we came up with a name that represents them all: “Acqua sporca,” which literally  means “Dirty Water.” This comes from the way American coffee is made.

As I said before, Italians love espresso, and not as a drink per se, but as a little moment of daily happiness. We have an average of three espresso per day: one in the morning to start the day, one around 11 am and one after lunch to avoid pasta coma. That’s also one of the reasons we do not drink Dirty Water, because we would have an heart attack before the end of the week. Unfortunately, times are changing and old grumpy Italians must deal with reality. Starbucks dared to open a bar in Milan, and young people are going there! For every Frapputhingh they make a barista dies inside. We Italians get triggered very easily when it comes to coffee, but nothing is worse than ordering a 80 euro cents espresso and paying with your card. I would like to tell you what happens, but I don’t know anyone who survived to tell the tale.