How to order a coffee according to your palate

It was in Malaga, in southern Spain, that the way to order a coffee based on the coffee-milk ratio that the consumer came up with want.

There are many people from Malaga and visitors who wonder why so much coffee in Malaga, and not so many who know that such a name started only 60 years ago (in 1954).

José Prado Crespo smiling It was post-war times, when obtaining certain raw materials was very complicated, it was the case of coffee which was also expensive. At that time D. José Prado Crespo, owner of Café Central, worked non-stop behind the bar and saw that customer after customer had to either throw coffee, or make another one to adapt to their tastes.

José Prado Crespo. Archivo Familiar

After much thought, and as a practical man he was, he set to work to put order in the tastes of your clients. His intention was none other than to make a poster identifying each of the tastes he saw behind the Cafe Central bar. In his attempt he went on to complete up to 9 denominations from coffee only to the cloud, more as they did not fit him to make a poster with two rows he was looking for one more, asking regular customers, ... until one of his employees who was a gypsy , he gave him the solution that was missing was "don't wear it", and since Don José loved jokes he decided to incorporate grace into the useful poster of the coffees.

Malaga Coffee Mosaic Measurements

Mosaic detail with the measurements of Café Central, A. Ruiz de Luna 1990. The measurements of the coffee and their names are a registered trademark © All rights reserved.

The proportions vary according to the following standard: Only (100% coffee - 0% milk) , Long (90% coffee - 10% milk), Semi Long (80% coffee - 20% milk), Only Short (70% coffee - 0% milk), Half (50% coffee - 50% milk), Between Short ( 40% coffee - 60% milk), Short (30% - 70% milk), Shadow (20% coffee - 80% milk), Cloud (10% coffee - 90% milk), Don't wear it (0% coffee - 0% milk).

Additionally, due to its popularity, different versions have emerged of the mosaic that have made it a symbol of Malaga and that identifies the people of Malaga.

Tablecloth measures 2015

Mosaic detail of coffee measurements. Rafael Prado FdezBaca 2015

Photo Measurements Coffee Central Málaga

Photo of the measures of the Café in the central café bar. Photograph: Drew Kaplan