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Cafe Central Málaga

how to drink coffee the Malaga way...

The Cafe Central is indeed very central, located on the Plaza de la Constitución. The business originates from 1910, but in 1954 the then owner Jose Prado Crespo managed to buy the adjoining two cafes to the tiny Cafe Central, and expand it to the size it is today. The cafe's fame is derived partly from its longevity, but also from the ceramic depiction of exactly how to order your coffee in Málaga. This is much copied and can be seen in many Málaga bars, but it genuinely does cover the nine gradations of coffee to milk that you can order in Málaga cafes. He ordered the ceramic as he was inspired by the sight of seeing patrons tipping highly expensive coffee away in various amounts to achieve the balance they wanted as bars were in the habit of only serving one quantity of coffee. So patrons were able to order exactly the strength of coffee they desired. It's hard to imagine in the sophisticated coffee culture of today that someone had to work this out, but that's why the Cafe Central is a Malaga icon and its ceramic has immortalised how you drink coffee in Málaga. And it is just Málaga, because if you ask for a 'mitad' in Madrid, you will get blank stares!

The decor is agreeably retro, because it originates from the fifties, and there is a wide ranging menu for lunches and snacks if you want more than coffee. Its also one of the great people watching spots of Malaga with its prime position on the square.

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