In a 2009 profile of then-Cardinal Jose Mario Bergoglio, Spanish magazine La Nacion dropped this juicy piece of gossip about his infrequent work trips to Rome (translated): “I like to walk the Italian capital and take ristretto in cafeterias, leaning against the counter.” NPR reports that the new Pope, now a full-time Rome resident (obviously), likes to cook for himself, and while it’s doubtful he can still take those solitary walks around the Eternal City, Pope Francis has established himself as a kind of “People’s Pope” – he has a Twitter account, for example, and he’s chosen to live in a modest apartment instead of the grand Papal Quarters in Vatican City. So who knows? Maybe this is the Pope you most want to have a cafe corretto with.
Popes loving coffee is nothing new. In fact, it was Pope Clement VIII (Pope from 1592-1605) may have been integral to the influence of coffee’s popularity (pope-ularity?) Take it away, Wikipedia:
Coffee aficionados often claim that the spread of its popularity is due to Pope Clement VIII’s influence. Being pressured by his advisers to declare coffee the “bitter invention of Satan” because of its popularity among Muslims and it being a sort of antithesis or substitute for wine (which was used in the Eucharist), upon tasting it he instead declared that, “This devil’s drink is so delicious…we should cheat the devil by baptizing it.” The year often cited is 1600. It is not clear whether this is a true story, but it may have been found amusing at the time.
We like to think of this Pope as going on sitcom-esque jaunts around the city solo, much to the chagrin of his kindly and frustrated Papal body guards. Slipping into Sant’Eustachio il Caffe for a ristretto with a kiss of sugar, ducking down the narrow passageways of the Travestere with a pack of hip young revelers, and who knows, perhaps enjoying a late-night espresso & grappa at one of the many clubs near the Colosseum? YOPO – You Only Pope Once!