Rating: Good, as close as I’ve gotten to Third Wave coffee in Italy!
Here’s a nice surprise, a very nice surprise if you happen to be south of Rome, quite south of Rome on your way to Cassino, or simply exploring small towns in the Lazio area. In the beautiful town of Isola del Liri (Fr) you’ll find Caffè Martino. I saw from the window that they had an Astoria machine, and the interior looked very inviting. Man what a great surprise!
Ask for a coffee and this is what you get:
Presentation: First, let me admit that the photo of this espresso is the 3rd coffee I had there. The first espresso I didn’t take a picture of, as I wasn’t planning on adding this place to this blog. The first espresso was dialed in perfectly. This one was just a notch below, but still outstanding. They bring water automatically (but it is in a plastic cup).
Temperature of Cup: It was just right. Already looking at cup while I held it in hand I was persuaded to smell it as it really was giving off a great perfume!
Quantity: I would say a great shot, very short, not ristretto, very good.
Temperature: Very good, excellent.
Volume/Consistency: Aha! An espresso south of Venice that’s dialed in and thick and creamy! Nice shot!!! Finally!!
Crema: The crema in this photos is good, it was better in the 1st of the 3 espressos I had there. This one we see some complexity, but it was a tad bit warmer than the first shot.
Odor: Yes, it’s there, coffee can have really good fruity odors! Here we have a hint of berries, and lots of traditional coffee smell.
Taste: Complex, hinting at more, not bad, strong coffee nonetheless, but wow, we have something that’s worth tasting and keeping in your mouth.
Overall: Above is the picture of the 3rd espresso, the second was a macchiato (see below) but here’s a picture of the first espresso I had.
As you can see, it was darker, richer in its crema. It was really as close to a Third Wave coffee as I’ve ever been here in Italy. And it was definitely a place that if possible, I’ll return to!
The Macchiato was good, a bit too much milk, but very decent.
Here’s the brief story on their espresso: They purchase their beans from a local roaster in the nearby town of Sora, who apparently is a Brazilian and does her own artisan roasts. The blend used at Caffè Martino is proprietary, so you won’t find it anywhere else. What a great place to visit and enjoy coffee. Their pastries and other things are really great too…
Their setup: As you can see a lovely Astoria. Speaking to the Barista, she let me know that she’s aware how important it is to dial in the machine properly, to keep the temperature controlled (and even complained that in the afternoons, the sun hitting the machine distorts the temp, and tends to make getting those golden shots that much more difficult!) … yes, somebody that cares about what they’re serving, what the taste is like and what the art of brewing coffee is all about. Bravo to Caffè Martino!
The locale serves as a lounge bar in the evenings, and is filled by hipsters in the weekends. They have a big cocktail menu.
Here’s their back room.
Here’s the beautiful Isola del Liri, really a place worth visiting!
di Antartide S.R.L,
Corso Roma, 24
Isola Del Liri 03036 (FR)