One of my favourite places, here in the city of Genova, is Bar Boomerang.
Initially it was the name that I noticed. Then the fantastic, never-tasted-better cappuccino drew me back again and again. On this, my second visit to the city, I discovered that their aperitivo is the nicest aperitivo I’ve had so far.
The staff are friendly, clients are important to them and their passion for the work comes through in all that they do. If you are in Genova, I recommend you find your way to this cafe and decide for yourself.
In a small interview with Simona, the patient barista (patient in working with my New Zealand English), I asked a few questions about the cafe.
She explained that the name had orginated from a visit that Marta, the owner, had made to Australia. Marta and her husband enjoyed the trip so much that they named their Genovese cafe Bar Boomerang. I need to explain that what we would call a cafe in New Zealand is a bar here in Italy, although alcohol is served so perhaps it becomes something of a hybrid.
Open five years, the bar is located on via Porta Soprana, 41-43, not far from the ancient Genovese gate known as Porta Soprana. The gate, built in 1155, was originally intended as a defense rampart, with access for commercial traffic arriving via the interior, and acted as a barrier to would-be conquerors like Barbarossa and others. Today it stands permanently open, welcoming foreign creatures like me inside this ancient part of the city.
As a tourist, a sometimes shy tourist without l’taliano, I was a little intimidated about just how to order my coffee. Of course, it’s quite simple. You wander into the cafe, order your coffee, select something to eat if needed and take it yourself. In most bars, you can either pay a little extra and take a seat or stand at the bar and drink without sitting.
You pay as you leave.
At Bar Boomerang, their work is a passion and I’m sure that is what makes everything taste so good. Simona took me through the four steps required to make good coffee. Obviously you begin with good coffee, then you make sure your machines are clean. The third step involves making a good press and the fourth, well that surprised me, it’s about noting the humidity and any changes in the humidity. If it changes, the settings on the coffee machine need to change too.
The coffee is so very good. It’s one of the things I missed for weeks after leaving last time and I expect it will be the same this time.
Most people know Italians take their coffee very seriously. I asked Simona about the ‘rules’ and she explained that a typical Italian customer might have cappuccino or latte in the morning. Milk coffee is only for mornings and laughing she said, not before or after lunch or dinner. This is more of a tourist thing or maybe in winter, on a really cold day. Expresso is for all the time, after lunch or dinner particularly, as its role is to aid in digestion. You could typically follow the expresso with a liquer of some kind like limoncello, grappa or jagermeister.
I feel more relaxed when I wander into the bars here now, still imperfect and prone to crave cappuccino at inappropriate times but less worried.
Bar Boomerang is open from 7am until 9pm, 6 days a week – closed Sunday. They also serve lunches but that’s another post over on the blog.