How to order a coffe un Malaga

This way of ordering a coffee, with a certain proportion of milk and coffee, which we designate with a simple name, is something that really distinguishes us from other provinces. Many Malaga people have passed us once, that when going to breakfast outside Malaga and ask for our shadow or our cloud, the waiter is left with the face of few friends and surprised asks you ¿queeeeeé ?, or at best you He says … you’re from Málaga, right? Well, did you know that these denominations were created in the Café Central of Malaga in the 50’s?

¿Cómo se crearon los tipos de café típicos de Málaga?

These were postwar times, of ration cards, in which import products such as coffee were expensive and difficult to obtain, and were widely used in contraband products. Within this framework, the owner of the Café Central, Don José Prado Crespo, was working, and for many hours at the bar he was concerned about what some of the customers were like. Once they had made the coffee they asked for either a little more or a little less, which made him have to prepare another coffee or throw the leftovers. Until then most of the customers asked for their coffees pointing with their finger and of course, it was quite imprecise. Faced with this problem of communication, Don Jose went to work to put order in such different and varied tastes. He wanted to make a sign that would help customers decide exactly how much coffee they wanted.

The anecdote:

Don Jose already had the 9 tastes that make up the types of mosaic coffees that adorn our walls, but he lacked one to complete a poster with even coffees (so that the poster was “round”) and so with his sketch he was asking The clients and the tertulians, who populated the place at that time: what coffee do I lack? … Without obtaining a satisfactory answer. Finally one of his waiters, who was a gypsy and with much grace, answered boldly: Don Jose, who is lacking is the “do not put it on me”. And so Don Jose, who loved the jokes, completed his Poster of the Cafes.

¿Cómo se extendió por toda Málaga?

The Central Coffee of that era, as now, was a meeting place, a must visit for those who “went down” to Málaga to do paperwork, and soon the denomination spread throughout the province. Later, one of the most famous coffee roasters in Malaga, Cafés Santa Cristina, seeing the enormous utility of the classification created by the Central Coffee, asked permission to use it in advertising, to which Don Jose gladly accepted. This campaign was undoubtedly a success (still today it is still used) and all Malaga people have seen more than once, both in mirrors and denominations, napkin holders and types of coffee. Now, Santa Cristina eliminated the do not put it and the single short.


The way to order a coffee in Malaga has become over time a sign of identity of the Malaga. There is even a group on Facebook that is called “How are asked for the coffees in Malaga”, created independently of the Central Cafe which has a very large group of followers. Many reports have been made of the coffee, but undoubtedly, what is most striking is our mosaic and the variety of coffees with milk. As a result of this we would highlight the articles Café de los Cafés (vueling magazine) or the City of Coffee (Helitt flight magazine).