Standard Rathing


Rating: Mid to upper range Roman Coffee

In the little labyrinthic streets north of Piazza Navona, you’ll find Papa’s Caffè. A corner locale that seems sleepy and unassuming. When I walked in it was dead quiet, a couple of dudes on the outside chilling, and when I approached the bar some guy chatting up the barista. He left, and another took his turn after a few minutes. Also chatting her up… They were speaking in Romanian, and couldn’t figure out what they were up about. The barista was a woman in her late 40s with a real presence and attitude that I can’t quite describe. Let us say, she seemed like she could have been orchestrating from behind the bar quite a lot more things than espresso and sandwiches. Either way, she was super polite and took care when making the espresso.

This is what she served:

Presentation: Well, I like the odd shape of this cup. Fun, small, round, and the saucer is what does it all. It was presented well and everything was clean and in order. No water was offered, but I’m sure that if I asked kindly the barista would have been able to hook me up with a glass.

Temperature of Cup: It was good, warm, not boiling white hot.

Quantity: Short shot. A solid espresso, 25-30g.

Temperature: It was warmer than the cup, and something that is normal now when I see that the cup is not scalding hot. Brewed on the upper range, but not hitting the top as if not it would have been simply damned scalding hot.

Volume/Consistency: Oily, thick, rich, and full-bodied. Very nice, a drink you could almost bite into.

Crema: It was light, uniform. Very thin, well done, full of oils, and persistent. It was so delicate that I don’t think it added much to the espresso texture but it was done in the right manner, so very good.

Odor: Dark deep roasted charred wood-stuff. Nuff said.

Taste: It was a surprise. I usually cringe when walking into a bar and see ‘Danesi’ on the counter… but this was different. It was a bitter strong start, didn’t get anywhere near rancid, nor astringent. It was bitter, mono-chromatic in taste (flat) and yet had a nutty finish that was very nice.

Overall: It was a very good Danesi espresso. It was a mid to upper range. Had it been a bit more oily and complex in its taste, I would have given it a better grade, but as is, it was a decent and definitely repeatable espresso experience.

The setup: If you serve Danesi coffee then you have to swallow the whole package. Here they have the proprietary Danesi machine, that I still haven’t figured out who manufactures… coupled with a nice Mazzer grinder super Jolly. The coffee, yes, Rome-based Danesi Caffè. I don’t care much for it, but when prepared right, as it was done here, it can actually be very good. So I take back my words about cringing when I see this coffee.

Papa’s Cafè
Di Scotto Antonio
Via dell’Orso 75-76
00186 Roma
Tel. 06 6813 5494

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