Here in SF, we’re sometimes way too busy holding our noses because a coffee shop doesn’t use Blue Bottle or Fair Trade certified coffee. (In our personal case, sometimes it’s just too few places that use Barefoot.) To put things a little in perspective, here’s a story today from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation: Police bust Italian espresso gang – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).
Police in Naples said they had smashed a lucrative mafia coffee distribution business in an operation code-named “Caffe Macchiato”, seizing assets worth 600 million euros ($797 million).
Prosecutors said the bugging tipped them off that the Mallardos were forcing cafes in the region to use a particular brand of coffee, whose sales were controlled by a relative of Feliciano Mallardo [suspected boss of a clan tied to the Napoli crime syndicate, the Camorra].
Coincidentally, we’re currently planning a trip for around this time next year to head back to Napoli and sample the local espresso among the city’s scugnizzi and the original pizzaioli. Repeat viewings of the 1963 Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni classic, Ieri, oggi, domani, will of course be required. Repeat viewings of Gamorrah being a bit harder to take.
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