Serving Coffee at the Bar According to the Rules of Etiquette

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Serving Coffee at the Bar According to the Rules of Etiquette

galateo per servire il caffè al bar in modo corretto

Where do I put the spoon?
It might seem like a simple, almost banal question, but it is one of the nightmares of every bartender.
In fact, there is a precise Bar Etiquette that Professional Bartenders must know and respect.

Etiquette for Serving Coffee Correctly at the Bar

Espresso and Cappuccino: how to position the spoon correctly

No manual talks about the perfect position, but we can start from some principles that will guide us in the most suitable choice of spoon positioning.

4 main rules:

  • the spoon must NOT hit the cup when you pick it up
  • the spoon must NOT obstruct the cup handle grip
  • the spoon must be easily accessible
  • the spoon must be designed for a right-handed person (if you know that the customer is left-handed you can reason accordingly)

Having said that, my choice is to place the cup on the saucer with the handle on the right, the spoon in front of the cup, parallel to the handle, with the concave part on the left and its handle on the right.
In this way it is easy to grip (also comfortable for a left-handed person) and does not hinder the grip of the cup.

What if the customer drinks coffee without sugar?

It is always recommended to serve espresso and cappuccino with a spoon even if the customer prefers to drink his coffee without adding sugar. This is because:

  • the spoon can always be useful for swirling and stirring the drink in the cup
  • in the case of cappuccino, it is valuable for enjoying the creamy effect of the foam

>> Do you know how coffee is drunk in the rest of the world? <<

How to serve sugar correctly at the bar

Absolutely avoid serving an espresso with sugar packets on the same saucer.
This happens very often in restaurant table service, but it is much more elegant to use a small container, or even a saucer, separately, with an assortment (if any) of different types of sugar, perhaps together with a glass of water.

Never serve honey with coffee!

Should water be served with espresso coffee?

Water should be served in a glass, still and at room temperature.

It rinses the mouth and prepares it to taste the aromas of the coffee. It should therefore be drunk before tasting the coffee and not after, as this would risk reducing and modifying the aftertaste of the coffee, which should instead remain for a long time (as tradition imposes!).

Talking about water… which water should be chosen for the preparation of the Perfect Espresso?

Pinky finger raised when drinking coffee

It is often debated whether or not it is elegant to raise your little finger while drinking a cup of espresso.

It may seem a bit of a snobbish position, but it is a very natural movement. Concentrating on the gesture by straining to keep your little finger down, surely creates an annoyance to our brain that distracts from the perception of the sensory characteristics of coffee.

The act of tasting coffee should instead be a moment of maximum abandon, pleasant, relaxing, natural and to be enjoyed fully.
So yes, free your little finger and if it runs upwards, so be it!



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