Rating: Standard, excellent Roman styled coffe.
The Cafe and Bar Voglia di Caffè is a hidden gem in the Monteverde neighborhood of Rome. The fact that the cafe is literally hugging the Osteria Palmira, a place always teeming with people after 9pm, might show for its popularity. Voglia di Caffè is a very small bar that’s overlooking a police academy and a large state run math school. It’s always packed with cops, students, and locals. The guy who runs this place, Maurizio Tarantello, is a gem and so is his love of coffee. It actually shows in the product he delivers.
Here’s what you get when you order a coffee:
Presentation: OK, if you’re lucky you’ll get a heart in it… I got it because, I will confess, I’m a regular there. So this is the first giveaway… this no frills place will gladly give you regular or sparkling water if you just nod for it.
Temperature of Cup: Cup is warm, taken from the top of the machine, not boiling. Actually, feels like the right temperature.
Quantity: Very good espresso shot, not long, nor ristretto. Short and right.
Temperature: Just right, can drink it immediately without being burnt.
Volume/Consistency: Here’s the trick. Through the E61 machine, you get a very syrupy, thick and nice coffee. The portafilter is given the right quantity of coffee, the grounds are packed just right, and a it results in a very nice, thick, expresso.
Crema: About 2-3mm thick, even and quite nice. Shows a hint of oil character, and its not charred (here’s a picture I took on a previous visit):
Odor: Strong, towards bitter, but not overly burnt beans.
Taste: Strong coffee, not pungent, right amount of bitterness, with some sweets coming in after the end. Not fruity, but definitely enjoyable. Not stale, but fresh.
Overall: This is a very good Roman styled stout coffee, actually let me qualify this, this is an excellent traditional Roman coffe. I am a regular there, and its THE best cafe in Monteverde. This is not Third Wave to any extent. However the bar uses Santos Caffè which is a decent roaster with lots of locales using their coffee. The trick here is in the setup and tuning of their machine.
The setup: Fiorenzato Grinder, a very nice one! The machine they use is a Royal Diadema 3-group, based on the classic E61 group-head. Its a no frills, no BS, machine that delivers consistently good and thick espressos.
The barista in action:
Sugar to taste.
If you’d like a coffee with Crema di Caffè, which they do excellently, just ask them! And you’ll get something along these lines….
Their Crema is very light yet chock full of sugar, so just a spoon completely changes the whole espresso.
Once you stir it, it’s like this…. and you’re in absolute heaven.
The bar used to have a double local, and recently downsized. It’s a small corner, but so worth a visit!
Here are some pictures I had to pull from the net as the cafe was simply to packed to take pictures of the interior when I was there. The cops and locals don’t like their pictures being taken!
Voglia di Caffè,
di Tarantello Maurizio
Via Abate Ugone, 27