I am a coffee addict. Truth be told, I can’t function without my morning espresso or caffè as it’s called in Italian. It’s one of my vices. Since moving to Rome, 3 years ago, I’m forever on the lookout for that perfect cappuccino and caffè with a distinct crema, that caramel-colored layer of goodness that coats the side of the cup like syrup. Here are a few I’ve found that satisfy my coffee craving…
Castroni – An international specialty food shop and coffee maker, the Castroni family has a well honed recipe for success. With eight shops and counting, the Via Nazionale location in Rione Monti is fabulous. The espresso is sublime, true Italian style, full bodied and well-balanced. Cappuccinos and caffè lattes are skillfully poured. A great place to knock back a coffee, grab a quick lunch and buy gourmet gifts.
Paranà Caffè – An oasis from the chaos surrounding Termini, Rome’s central train station, Paranà Caffè is packed with people. Talented baristas churn out endless cappuccinos adorned with decadent latte art. The leaf and heart shaped etchings seem too gorgeous to ruin. Rest assured it tastes as good as it looks. It is a great place to savor a cappuccino and watch the world go by.
Sant’Eustachio Il Caffè – Top quality coffee, tradition and the frenetic atmosphere are just a few of the reasons that a dedicated local clientele and tourists keep flocking to this local. Sant’Eustachio’s legendary blend of one-hundred percent arabica beans is full-bodied and unique thanks to a traditional artisan approach and on premise small batch wood roasting. Regulars order the renowned “Gran Caffè”, a larger version of a standard espresso with a mysteriously dense and well executed crema. If you don’t take sugar be sure to order senza zucchero as the coffee is presweetened.
Sciascia Caffè – At first glance, it appears to be an old style Italian pharmacy frozen in time. Open since 1919, Sciascia Caffè is located off the beaten path in the affluent zone of Prati. Rigorous bean selection and unwavering devotion result in optimal coffee. Try the specialty, un caffè con cioccolato – espresso with chocolate – and you’ll quickly understand why coffee fanatics are addicted to Sciascia.
Tazza D’Oro – A stones throw away from the Pantheon, Tazza D’Oro, is one of the few on premise artisan roasters left in the historical center. The famous “La Regina del Caffè” blend served at the bar is an exquisitely balanced blend of one-hundred percent arabica beans. Standing at the bar, Romans and tourists alike indulge in a morning cappuccino adorned with a paradisiacal snow white froth and cherish an afternoon espresso.