Bitter Taste: Malaga bids adios to its iconic Café Central after more than a century of making coffee on Spain’s Costa del Sol

ONE of Spain’s most iconic cafes, famed for inventing the terms for different strengths of coffee that are second nature to Malagueños, has closed its doors.

The Cafe Central in the heart of Malaga which was managed by the Prado family, was about to turn 102-years old.

Back in the 1950s Jose Prado – fed up with constantly tipping out coffee to add extra milk for customers – came up with nine  terms now used all over the Costa del Sol when ordering a coffee.

So, to ask for a coffee on the Costa del Sol, you can ask for a Solo, Largo, Semi Largo, Solo Corto, Mitad, Entre Corto, Corto, Sombra y Nube. 

Cafe Central
Cafe Centrals guide to know your desired coffee (image: flickr)

These range from the solo (without milk) to the nube (with just a few drops of coffee).

“He did it for the economy, but also for a bit of fun,” says son Rafael Prado, who has run the business for 22 years. An unaffordable rent rise has forced him to close the doors.

Prado explained that rather than reduce staff and raise prices and thus lower quality, it was better to shut up shop completely.

The future of the premises is uncertain, but a fast food franchise is being considered. 

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