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Puntos de vista - a personal Spain blog

Musings about Spain and Spanish life by Paul Whitelock, hispanophile of 40 years and now resident of Ronda in Andalucía .

Early Morning Coffee
Saturday, September 11, 2021 @ 6:22 AM

Spanish workers, the unemployed and senior citizens love to go for a coffee (and a chupito) first thing in the morning. Whether it’s to watch the TV News, to catch up on the local gossip or to have an early breakfast, there’s something for everyone.

Pablo de Ronda, who is a regular participant in this ritual, casts an eye over this very Spanish custom.


I first started going for an early morning coffee when I adopted Berti, sadly no longer with us, and used to take him for his first walk of the day, ending up at the Hotel Don Benito in Fuente de la Higuera, Ronda. A cup of Campanini always hit the right spot. And meeting and chatting with the other early risers was fun too.

Then, when I moved to nearby Montejaque to work on my house, Casa Real, I got into the habit of going for one at Bar Perujo, the only place open at 7.00 am.

Andrés, also now deceased (from Covid-19), served a delicious coffee, also Campanini, with grace and gentility. His son, also called Andrés, sometimes did the honours and equally well. This was the time for finding out what was going on in the village.

When Andrés died, the bar closed, never to re-open. It is now an apartment. Sadly.

At this point, Álvaro, of the Hotel Palacete de Mañara, took on the role of early morning coffee provider. The same people came, the same drinks were consumed and the same kind of gossip passed from one to another.

Then, in August, Álvaro stopped opening at 7.00 am because his hotel guests were complaining about the noise from below their rooms so early in the morning.

Disaster for us caffeine addicts! What to do?

Well, jump in the car and nip down to Benaoján, the next village.


Here there is a choice of two excellent early morning bars, El Encuentro and La Palma. La Palma, with barman Fran, opens at 7.00 am but El Encuentro opens its doors even earlier – at 6.00 am. Inma is in charge here. Ideal for insomniacs like me.

Both bars offer delicious coffee (Campanini again!) at 1€, chupitos at 1€, TV News and plenty of bonhomie.

¡Viva el café madrugador!

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