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Note: I am not a coffee connoisseur or anything, I just like good coffee. I don’t know the coffee lingo or the ways to describe flavour, but I have done my best to do so. If you actually know what you’re talking about, please don’t laugh. The intention of his post was to find good coffee shops to save you having to suffer bad coffee. I hope they help. Happy travels! xx
I’ve been told Romans like their coffee strong, fast & scalding hot. They throw it down, on the run, without sitting.
So it’s no surprise that the Roman coffee culture is set around bar-style service. I actually didn’t realise that you can pay almost 1/6 of the price if you have your caffe at the bar rather than sitting. So learn from my mistake friends; if you’re on a shoe string, stick to bar service or you might end up paying up to 6 euors for an espresso – yikes!
Although I had a list of 8 places to hit, due to the August shut down almost all were closed. I only managed to get to 3 cafés, all in the historic center of town – I hope to be back to Rome one day to finish the series.
Location: 4/5a Piazza del Popolo
Coffee (5/5): I ordered the espresso (I almost died when I saw it was 6 euros) but it was bliss in a cup! Beautifully smooth, strong but not bitter and had a perfect crema to coffee ratio. It had a complex and rich fragrance which I kept sniffing at like a total weirdo. If I hadn’t been hitting so many places in one day, I could easily have had several more.
Atmosphere: I came mid morning and it was very quiet. Although it was a touch stuffy, the atmosphere was relaxing and calm. You could easily spend an entire morning mulling over coffee and the paper.
Seating: They have plenty of tables & chairs outside overlooking the Piazza del Popolo and an elegant coffee room with loads of seating.
Service: Friendly, polite and a tad stuffy. Who needs to be served coffee by a waiter wearing a tux?
Food: Full menu.
Owned by Nazzareno Giolitti, i’ve been told he likes his espresso in a small, glass cup so he can feel the temperature in his hand, see the color and ensure the creamy layer is just the right depth.
In Giolitti, tourists from all over the world mingle with politicians which is why the café has been nicknamed the “second parliament”.
Location: 40 Via Uffici del Vicario
Coffee (4/5): I ordered the espresso in a glass cup but ended up being served the normal style which was a tad annoying. It was very strong and had a nice layer of crema but it was nothing special. Although the standard in Italy is very high so it was still very good!
Atmosphere: Inside was rather busy due to their gelateria but the street seating had a nice feel to it.
Seating: They have a handful of seats outside overlooking the street and more inside.
Service: Although they weren’t busy the service was exceptionally slow.
Food: Full menu.
Located in front of the Pantheon, it roasts its own coffee and ships it across the world, even as far as Australia (yay for me!). The master mix is the Queen of Coffees, made from eight Arabica varieties.
You can enjoy your caffe while taking a glance at the colorful boutique right behind the bar – selling coffee packages and blends.
Location: via dei Pastini 11 (Pantheon)
Coffee (4.5/5): I ordered a cappuccino which was smooth and fairly low in acidity meaning the flavour was rather mellow. Although as this was my third venue for the day I didn’t mind. I also ordered a biological espresso which was perfection. It was deeply earthy and nutty which coated my tongue like a hug.
Atmosphere: This café was the more typical type of coffee shop I expected to see in Rome. Teeming with locals and buzzing, it was quintessentially Italian. The vibe was great but it wouldn’t be somewhere you lingered all day.
Seating: They have a few bench seats but not many.
Service: Friendly and quick. Due to the language barrier I can hardly complain my barista didnt sit down & have a chat with me.
Food: Pastries, snacks, lollies, chocolates.
Travelling Europe for a bit? Don’t miss these coffee guides.
Anisa – The Macadames. xx
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