Rating: Standard, good Traditional Roman coffee
The Café du Parc is just literally a hop away from the amazing Tram Depot, so it has quite a reputation to keep up, or given that this is probably been here longer than the Tram Depot, this latter has stiff competition in order to distinguish itself. The Café du Park takes on the same free-standing kiosk structure as the Tram locale, and it’s a proper-clean place to look at. But, I will say, that the place is packed 10 feet deep with cops, bus drivers and other public social workers all the time.
Anytime I pass by this place, there’s a policeman there or some other public service worker. So it must have something to it. This is indeed a fabric of what ‘typical’ Roman coffee culture is. If there was a place in NYC where all the cops hung out, then you’d say this is a staple of that city’s culture, so likewise, here we have a piece of traditional Roman coffee life. So, without the fear of being locked up for criticizing this place, let’s actually see what’s the scoop with their brew.
So asking for a cup of coffee gets you this:
Presentation: Got this nice, short, fluted coffee cup that I generally like. No water offered, but the barista was extra nice. So surely would have offered if I asked. Yet I do have to say that he did offer some crema di caffe for my coffee, it was a tender touch, I liked it. But given I was doing this to review the espresso, I was forced to decline. Next time I’ll take it that way.
Temperature of Cup: It was a scorching day outside, and yet the cup was at the right temperature- good sign.
Quantity: The cup was very small (look at the size of the sugar spoon), yet the shot was super short, almost ristretto, I was a happy camper! (In the US this size espresso would have been the defacto definition of a ristretto).
Temperature: Ahh, yes… good temperature, perfect to taste it.
Volume/Consistency: Silky, dark, deep coffee. I was indeed happy still.
Crema: Very light, this is probably due to the ratio of Arabica/Robusta and roasting, than to flaws in the honing in of the machine. All parameters pointed as they were on the spot.
Odor: Almost no odor, but a hint of being roasted past what I would prefer.
Taste: Very bitter, almost rancid, but it wasn’t. It was extremely stout coffee for the size of the shot. I liked it a lot.
Overall: Very good Roman punchy coffee. Not rancid, bitter yet highly controlled, and this speaks good of the coffee being brewed, especially since this seems to be the unnamed flagship store of Caffè Tintori (more below)…
So let’s look at the setup:
They had a very nice Astoria machine, when you look at the website from the coffee they brew, you realize that it’s the machine that comes with the coffee. It’s a one stop shop. The grinder looks like a Mazzer Major, ready to make some serious damage day in and day out. So the setup is top notch, none of the snobby Third-Wave ‘LaMarzocco or die’ stupid attitude we see everywhere in the world.
The coffee was interesting, it was a good strong Roman coffee. And looking at the sugar bags, which you can see have the Pyramid of Caius Cestius (which is just opposite the café on the other side of the Gate into Rome), you have the address of Tintori Caffè. It is actually just down the street and very near by.
So it looks like this might be their ‘covert’ flagship store. At least this is the looks of it by the paraphernalia that they have!
So, when comparing the two, the Tram Depot and this, we’re comparing apples and peaches. The former has very good coffee, best so far in Rome, from the perspective of a foreigner and somebody that’s looking for Third Wave coffee. The latter, the Café du Parc, is giving us a very traditional and excellent version of Roman coffee. Hell, at least this is what the daily slew of social workers think! I won’t tell an Italian cop he doesn’t know a thing about his coffee, that’s for sure.
Café du Parc,
Da. Fa. S.N.C.
Piazza di Porta San Paolo SNC