Rating: Standard, mid to low-end Roman Coffee
The Carra Snack Bar Caffè, or more commonly known by locals as the 'Dei Pari Snack Bar Tabacchi’, or the ultra generic name for ‘café’ here in Rome, is right next door to a newer and preppier, and for some, cooler café. But whatever, it means that the younger, preppier, and wannabe yuppies of Rome go there, and the normal working folk go here. I walked in and I got very nice courteous service. It’s a mono-locale, with a shallow space inside. You walk in and you almost run into the counter. Here you have a counter with lots of food and two baristas kicking out the sandwiches and cafes.
This is what I got served:
Presentation: Oh yeah, nice little 1950s inspired logo that I had encountered near Termini. The cup was of a shape that I like and it was clean, crisp and on the spot. The spoon was non-descript and apt to spoon though a chunk of sugar as normal Romans do. No water was offered, but here, in this locale it’s ask what you want or you won’t get northin’….
Temperature of Cup: Yup, freaking hot. That’s why it was ‘gleaming’ white cup!
Quantity: Solid single espresso, not long not short, on the mark.
Temperature: Yup, freaking hot…. Again! I had to wait a good 5 minutes before I could go at it. I’m sure it’ll be ‘extra tasty’.
Volume/Consistency: It was thin, watery, runny and not to substantial.
Crema: It was like an active volcano going through its lifecycle… It was cakey like an old lady’s face caked with ½ inch of makeup. And then the bubbles…. However, there was enough robusta beans in this brew to make the crema persistent and thick.
Odor: Charred death in a cup. No bullshit here.
Taste: It wasn’t as bitter rancid as I imagined. It was a flat taste, bitter but not strong nor pungent, and it simply gave a uninteresting bitterness to the whole experience. The fact that it was a light affair and not heavy, made it bearable. With some two spoon fulls of sugar… like folk here do, I’m sure it would have been a different thing all together.
Overall: It was a mid, to lower end Roman coffee. Nothing horrible, nothing spectacular. In a December afternoon, with a somewhat cold breeze, it did the job and got me going on my way.
The setup: They had a nice Spartan Wega espresso machine based on the E61 group head. The grinder was a nice silver Mazzer, and the coffee was Betty Caffè, a south-east Rome-based roaster that does dark, Palombini styled roasted coffee.
Carra Cesare Caffè
Carra Cesare SAS
Via 20 Settembre 24
Tel. 06 488 5629