Rating: Standard, good quality Roman style cafe
Bud Cafe 8 is located literally just around the corner from Castroni cafe. This might reflect stupid business sense on the owner’s part, or it might show that there’s room and demand for better coffee than what Castroni’s putting up. I think it’s definitely a case of the latter! The bar has a California, surfer-ish style about it, with the Q ball logo trying to say something of what you’ll find inside…
Here you can order your coffee directly at the bar without having to pay first.This is what you get.
Presentation: The cup is a bit bigger than Castroni’s, but has the right feel. No water offered, but in this place you don’t get this type of treatment, straight up coffee and no BS.
Temperature of Cup: Taken from the top of the machine, it was the perfect temperature, not hot, nor cold, straight warm. This is good.
Quantity: Very good espresso shot, just enough, they have the machine tuned.
Temperature: Hot, but not boiling. Drinkable immediately.
Volume/Consistency: Great consistency, not thick, but given the good temperature, it felt thicker than it was.
Crema: Look for yourself. It was even, no jokes, and showed some traces of freshness. You can read they use ‘Marziali Caffe‘… we’re on to something with this coffee house!
Odor: Sharp odor, not burnt, straight coffee smell, but not fruity.
Taste: Stout, not overly bitter, but can’t taste anything after this. This belies rather darkly roasted beans.
Overall: Good Roman espresso, definitely a step ABOVE Castroni. Given the choice of one or the other, this cafe being cheaper by .10 cents, and the quality of espresso, I would make this my daily cafe. Worth skipping over Castroni to come here.
This is another reason why:
Yes, they have Crema di Caffè straight on the counter for you to customize your coffee as you like. Naturally, I ordered 2 espressos. Castroni does NOT offer Crema di Caffè… what type of Roman bar is that!?
The consistency of the Crema was perfect, sitting there at room temperature, and just a bit of it transformed the espresso into a heavy-thick complex drink. Very nice. After a stir it looks like this:
Definitely a place to frequent regularly. Hell, the espresso is good, you can make it your own with adding Crema di Caffè, and the baristas are nice to boot.
The machine is a La Cimbali M39 Classic, semi-automatic that looked clean and cared for. On the left you’ll see the grinder, it’s not chock-full of grounded beans, meaning that the baristas are dosing the coffee to the amount of clients coming in, insuring that the grinds are fresh.
Here’s what the inside looks like:
Would I return here? Yes. Is it a Third Wave quality coffee place? No. Do they care about what they serve in the cup? YES. Definitely one of the better Traditional Roman roast and quality cafes I’ve had here. Will visit again.
And by the way, this place was constantly packed with locals throughout the 25 minutes I spent there. Tons of movement, lots of happy consumers…. while Castroni, in turn, was a ghost-town!
Bud Cafe 8,
M & R Food Hall SRL
Via Ovidio, 12/14/16