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From left; Fathers Bruno Rossi, Bruno Soppelsa and Raffaele Sandona outside Caffe Bruno (Photo by Denis D. Gray)
Tea Leaves

Catholicism and caffeine in Thailand's hills

Priestly trio serve up mix of pastoral care, pizza and cappuccino

DENIS D. GRAY, Contributing writer | Thailand

What might three lively Roman Catholic priests from little villages in northern Italy be doing in a far-flung community in the hills of northern Thailand? Brewing some superb Italian-style espresso, of course -- and serving it at their own charming premises, Caffe Bruno.

Father Bruno Rossi, one of the priests-cum-baristas, explained how caffeine and Catholicism mix. Well, first of all we are Italians, he said -- his countrymen reportedly knock back 14 billion espressos every year. Then, there are the children the priests look after. And third, he continued: "Who knows who might stop by for a cup and inquire what lies behind our roadside cafe?"

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