The Unexpected Reason A Florence Coffee Shop Got A Huge Fine

Imagine that you're sitting in a coffee shop and have ordered your favorite coffee. Maybe you're having a chat and exchanging a few laughs with your friends. You've finished off that cup of coffee, and now, it's time to pay up. But, you realize, there's no price on the menu. What to do? Complain to management? Call the restaurant inspector? Or, perhaps, call the police? Typically, you'd simply ask an employee how much the beverage cost, rather than jump to the previously mentioned extremes.

However, the extreme is exactly what happened in Florence's Ditta Artigianale coffee bar. The restaurant, which is located in the heart of this famous Tuscan city that's well known for Italian dishes such as bistecca alla Fiorentina and drinks such as the Negroni (via Eating Europe), has had the unthinkable happen. This coffee bar opened its doors in 2013, founded by Francesco Sanapo, "world-renowned barista and coffee taster champion," and business partner Patrick Hoffer (via Ditta Artigianale). So, how is it possible that the celebrated and respected coffee bar that has won multiple competitions got slapped with a fine of €1,000 ($1050)? 

A patron called the police over an unlisted espresso price

According to The Guardian, a man who had ordered a cup of espresso in Ditta Artigianale was so upset over the fact that there was no price "on a menu behind the counter" that he did the unimaginable — he called the cops. The coffee bar was found "to be in the wrong due to an outdated law," the owner, Francesco Sanapo said. He went on to report that there was a price displayed, but it was on a digital menu. 

The cup of coffee in question was a decaffeinated espresso, which cost a mere €2 ($2.10), and Sanapo reports that making it "involves a water extraction process," which justifies the slightly higher price, as the average price of a cup of espresso in Italy is around €1 ($1.13), per Business Insider. Sanapo was quick to share his woes about the unexpected fine on Instagram, and his followers and Ditta Artigianale's patrons soon defended the beloved barista in the comments, with some of them suggesting that unfortunate incidents like this happen "when people don't know the real value of things." And because the coffee in Ditta Artigianale is made with such care and knowledge, perhaps an extra dollar is worth the better cup of coffee. Or, at the very least, not worth calling the cops over.