Spilling the beans

Coffee in Rome is serious business

The people of Rome love their coffee. I mean, they really, really love their coffee. Whether it's normale (espresso), ristretto (a strong espresso), lungo (a slightly weaker espresso), corretto (with a shot of liqueur), macchiato (meaning 'stained' with a drop of milk, hot or cold) or cappuccino (come on, you know what this is...), you can always find an excuse to have a break, nip out and have a coffee. Normally, it's drunk at the bar, it's a quick process; in, pay, order, drink and out. Some like their coffee 'al vetro' which means drunk from a small shot glass, they swear it tastes different from your normal 'in a cup' version. Personally, I can't taste the difference, the only advantage I can see is that in a glass you get to peek at the full body of this extraordinary little beverage that will keep you going with a spring in your step for a couple of hours at least.

Going for a coffee in Rome definitely does not involve buying a litre of weak, tasteless brown stuff that comes in a polystyrene bucket with your name written on it. It also doesn't involve sitting around on comfy sofas, with your MacBook on your lap whilst the latest Mumford and Sons drivel is played over the loudspeakers. As a general rule, if you would like a less strong, longer coffee then you should order a 'caffé Americano' which is a shot of espresso topped up with hot water. This usually comes without milk (latte), so you may need to ask for some to go with it. If it's something more milky you are after, then try a 'caffé latte', which is a glass of hot milk served with a shot of coffee. However, I would strongly suggest that you leave all that aside on the tour and stick to each coffee houses' speciality.

Coffee in Rome is serious business, and that's why there are thousands of bars that serve it. Some have been around for hundreds of years, and a wide variety of brewing techniques are used, most of the historic coffee shops keep these a secret, but on the When In Rome Artisan Coffee Tour, you will be able to see, depending on the time of day, the roasting process of one of Rome's most famous coffee houses in action. One of the most famous bars in Rome is Caffé Sant’Eustachio who have been serving Romans since 1938. Today they serve over 6,000 cups of the finest Arabica blend wood-roasted coffee a day. Their speciality, il gran caffé, is a delightful creamy double expresso, served already sugared. Just next to the Pantheon is Antica Tazza D’Oro who since 1946 have been blending beans from all over the world to create several delicious types of coffee. You must try their granita di café, which is an iced coffee with cream on top, an absolute must on hot summer days.

When in Rome Tours will guide you to these and other coffee houses in Rome so that you can fully experience what the coffee houses have to offer. Trust me, having drunk coffee here in Rome, you will never go back to those awful high street chains that you find back home, even if they do change the CD.

Published on July 16th, 2013
© When In Rome Tours, article provided by James Elliott.

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