Bad Coffee in Roma

I’m beginning to think that the Italians’ reputation for good coffee is nothing but a myth. What I thought would never happen happened, not once, not twice, but three times. We’re talking about bad coffee! Admittedly, the 3 incidents happened in or around Roma Termini train station, so perhaps the locals there think that with so many tourists, serving bad coffee doesn’t at all matter. But, of course, it does.

On the first two occasions, my espressos were burnt. Too bitter to actually taste the coffee. The third incident was even more alarming. Walking into a joint that looked like one of these relics from a bygone era, I was expecting at least a half decent cup. The old guy working the machine would really know his stuff, right? Wrong. My cafe Americano (long black) was no better than the filtered version. I damn nearly gave it back and give the guy a dressing down about what he was doing wrong. My senses, thankfully, didn’t quite lose themselves and I remained there sipping this black stuff and momentarily pining for the near-perfect cups that I usually have back home.

And as if all that wasn’t bad enough, in Florence, where I am now, I had the worst pasta I’ve had in a long time. It was barely cooked, being still slightly brittle. The cheapo chianti didn’t help either. So tonight, I’m off to find some place better, probably in a back alley that I’ll just stumble into.

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