A decaffeinated espresso called the police in Florence. A man disagreed with the price of Italy’s national drink. The café now has to pay a fine of 1,000 euros.

All over the world, Italy stands for outstanding architecture, dolce vita and of course its coffee specialties. But the latter has now called the police in Florence. A man alerted officers because he disagreed with the price of a decaffeinated espresso at a famous coffee shop. The British “Guardian” reports.

Florence: man calls the police because of espresso price

Up until now, you could get a good and cheap espresso on practically every street corner in Italian cities. Usually you paid the almost symbolic amount of one euro for this – Dolce Vita at a bargain price. However, things are different in the “Ditta Artigianale” in the center of Florence. The café has earned an international reputation for its coffee specialties – and accordingly charges a little more for a cup of the black gold.

So far, so normal you might think. A customer of “Ditta Artigianale” saw it differently. He ordered a decaffeinated espresso and was apparently shocked when he was asked to pay two euros for it. The man had probably assumed that the “Ditta Artigianale” would also stick to the unofficial price agreements for espressi.

However, the drink prices could not be seen either on or behind the counter – this was a problem for the café. The customer obviously felt cheated and called the police. The officials took on the case and saw the man in the right. The restaurant now has to pay a fine of 1,000 euros for not displaying the prices properly.

Francesco Sanapo, the owner of “Ditta Artigianale”, spoke up on Facebook, disbelieving the fine and defending his coffee. This comes from a small plantation in Mexico and his barista prepares it “with great care”. He argued that you could see the price on the digital drinks menu.

“They fined me because someone was upset that they had to pay two euros for a decaffeinated espresso. Can you believe that?” he asks in a video while holding the police letter up to the camera.

Sanapo broke with the price of one euro for an espresso early on

In the video, Sanapo emphasizes that his case is part of a structural problem in Italy. “Even today, someone can get so upset about [the price, ed.] that they call the police, who then find out that we’re wrong because of an outdated law. This law has to be changed, otherwise 99.9% of bars and restaurants would violate it.”

Sanapo and his café were already being criticized when they opened in 2013. From the very beginning, he emphasized that his coffee bar was the first in Italy dedicated to quality coffee. Even then, the restaurateur broke with the convention of offering espresso at the usual price of one euro and started the race with 1.50 euros. This has drawn both positive and negative criticism, but so far he has never been punished for his prize.

Nobody should be outraged that they now have to pay two euros for an espresso, says Sanapo. He referred to the problems that restaurateurs all over the world are currently dealing with: Due to increased raw material prices, inflation, problems with logistics and sometimes poor harvests, there is no alternative for many to a price increase. The days of the one-euro espresso seem numbered.

In the course of the past year, almost 70 percent of the cafés in Italy have already raised their prices. Consumer groups have already warned that the average price of an espresso could soon rise to €1.50. It is therefore questionable whether there will be more police operations in Florence because a coffee no longer costs one euro.

Sources: The Guardian, Facebook post