I was fined £850 after an angry cafe customer called the POLICE over the £1.70 price of espresso


A CAFE customer was so pissed off at the cost of his £1.70 coffee that he called the police – and they fined the owner £850.

Coffee expert Francesco Sanapo said he was “heartbroken” by the sanction and complained he had been hampered by “outdated” laws.


Cafe owner Francesco Sanapo was skimming £850 police fineCredit: Instagram/sanapofrancesco
He said 'It can't pass, it can't happen.  Help me!'


He said ‘It can’t pass, it can’t happen. Help me!’Credit: Instagram/sanapofrancesco

Cops were called to his award-winning Ditta Artigianale bar in central Florence, Italy, on Saturday.

The customer was grumpy at being charged €2 for a decaffeinated espresso, reports Firenze Today.

Most cafes and bars in Italy charge around €1 or less if you stand at the counter.

Francesco insisted that the high price was due to the grain supply from a plantation in Mexico and the complicated extraction process.

But he had a sour aftertaste when officers hit him with a €1,000 fine.

It wasn’t for the price of the espresso, but because of a law requiring cafes to display prices behind the bar or in a physical menu.

Ditta Artigianale displays some prices, but others, including decaf, are only available online or via QR code.

Three-time Italian barista champion and world championship runner-up Francesco asked for help in a furious Facebook video.

He foams: “They fined me because someone was offended for having paid €2 for a decaffeinated coffee.

“It can’t pass, it can’t happen. Help me!

“Even today, someone can be so angry that they mobilize the police, who find us at fault because of an outdated law.

“This law needs to be changed because otherwise 99.9% of bars and restaurants would easily fall for it.”

In a follow-up video, he said he would pay the fine, but railed against Italians expecting cheap coffee despite rising supply and labor costs .

“Think about it: with a euro you cannot pay a sustainable salary to those who produce coffee, you cannot pay for the professionalism of those who are trained to a high level in the hotel industry”, he said. he told Repubblica.

“With one euro we generate poverty all along the supply chain, we create illegal jobs or underpaid workers even when everything is going well.

“A one-euro cup of coffee is using poor quality products.”


Francesco opened his bar in 2013 and said it was ‘groundbreaking’ for charging €1.50 at the time.

“There have been negative and positive reactions, but until now I have never received a fine,” he said.

“No one should be scandalized anymore to pay €2 for an espresso.”

Supporters rallied to his defence.

A regular said of the man who called the cops: ‘If that client went to London he would implicate the FBI.’

Alessandro Vittorio Sorani, president of the Florence Small Business Association, said: “This is something that makes me deeply embittered.

“There is a lot of work to be done to produce a quality product. Quality pays off and benefits everyone.

Italy is not the only country with similar laws.

In England and Wales, the Price Marking Order 2004 requires cafes and restaurants to display prices behind the counter or on a menu, inclusive of all taxes.

Failure to comply could be considered unfair trading, a criminal offense punishable by a fine of up to £5,000.

Francesco’s €2 espressos are a bargain compared to some rip-off tourist traps in Italy.

In 2018 we told how a holidaymaker was charged £38 for two coffees in St Mark’s Square in Venice.

And last week a British mother and her teenage daughter were charged £510 for two drinks and snacks in Mykonos, Greece.

Award-winning Florentine cafe Ditta Artigianale charges two euros for an espresso


Award-winning Florentine cafe Ditta Artigianale charges two euros for an espressoCredit: instagram/dittaartigianale
Coffee expert Francesco Sanapo buys his expensive coffee beans from small plantations


Coffee expert Francesco Sanapo buys his expensive coffee beans from small plantationsCredit: Instagram/sanapofrancesco

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