Italian cafe fined £850 after customer called police over charge of £1.70 for espresso

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A cafe in Florence has been fined £850 after a customer called the police and complained they were charged £1.70.

The disbelieving customer claimed the Tuscan town’s Ditta Artigianale cafe charged him €2 after brewing his espresso, but did not display the price on a menu at the bar.

The owner of the award-winning cafe protested that all prices were displayed online and that the unusually high fee, although around 70% above average for an espresso, had to cover the cost of supplying coffee beans a particular plantation in Mexico. .

But the police refused to accept his reasoning and fined Francesco Sanapo €1,000.

“They fined me because someone got offended for paying €2 for a decaffeinated coffee. Can you believe it?’ said annoyed Sanapo in a video posted on Facebook.

“Even today someone can be so angry that they bring in the police, who decided that we were wrong because of an outdated law,” he protested, holding up the notice. police fine.

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

Francesco Sanapo, owner of the award-winning cafe, protested the fine in a lengthy video posted on Facebook

He argued that his award-winning coffee came from a small plantation in Mexico and that the cost of the espresso covered the cost of supply and shipping and the filtration process for decaffeination.

The disbelieving customer claimed that the Tuscan town's Ditta Artigianale cafe charged him €2 after he brewed his espresso, but did not display the price on a menu at the bar.

The disbelieving customer claimed that the Tuscan town’s Ditta Artigianale cafe charged him €2 after he brewed his espresso, but did not display the price on a menu at the bar.

Sipping espresso is an integral part of Italian culture and cafes in Italy are renowned for serving good coffee at traditionally low prices.

Although supply chain issues and cafe closures due to Covid have seen many Italian businesses steadily raise prices in recent months, the average price of an espresso is still around €1 in most cafes. .

Ditta Artigianale has always sold its coffee at full price – the price of an espresso when the café opened in 2013 started at €1.50.

But Sanapo argues that an extra euro is a small price for coffee lovers to pay.

‘[A police report]simply because I hurt the nerves of someone who felt offended for having paid two euros…for a decaffeinated coffee from a small plantation at 1600 meters above sea level in the region of Chiapas, a deca made exclusively with a water filtration process,” Sanapo said in a four-minute video shared on social media.

‘Sorry, I’m angry. He felt offended because he paid two euros, because the barista weighed the coffee, ground it, prepared it with the best machines on the market.

“It’s difficult to make people understand that there are coffees that can cost more than one euro. Coffees produced by people who work hard to create a coffee that will become a unique experience. It’s not just producers, but there are also baristas who study to extract the best possible coffee, yet no, we are offended because we pay more than a euro for that.

“That’s why the Italian coffee industry is in decline, it’s dying.”

Although supply chain issues and cafe closures due to Covid have seen many Italian businesses steadily raise prices in recent months, the average price of an espresso is still around €1 in most cafes. .

Although supply chain issues and cafe closures due to Covid have seen many Italian businesses steadily raise prices in recent months, the average price of an espresso is still around €1 in most cafes. .

'Sorry, I'm angry.  He felt offended because he paid two euros, because the barista weighed the coffee, ground it, prepared it with the best machines on the market,” protested Sanapo.

‘Sorry, I’m angry. He felt offended because he paid two euros, because the barista weighed the coffee, ground it, prepared it with the best machines on the market,” protested Sanapo.

Sanapo concluded by saying he was heartbroken by the fine and was railing against Italy’s old law which requires all prices to be clearly displayed on an on-site menu.

“Today, I believe, no bar, café or restaurant in Italy is capable of displaying all its prices behind its counter. Of course, we have a QR code, you can display anything you want on it. But that is not enough for them.

“It is not possible to have a law from the 1950s that tells us that all prices must be displayed.

‘Espresso and the Italian coffee industry must be reborn in quality. And quality pays off.

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