The espresso is a ritual. No self- respecting barista fails to know every detail of what's going on in the neighborhood, skillfully becoming the confidant, confessor and friend of regulars; able to spot at a glance everyone's tics, obsessions and habits.
Around the espresso coffee cup, deals are made, love affairs are born, friendships are reinforced or restored.
The bar counter is Rome's true public square and the stage for mid-morning and post-lunch breaks.
Ristretto (short) or lungo (long), the perfect formula is with a dense, even cream, free of bubbles or holes, with notes of citrus, chocolate and honey, creating a perfect balance of bitterness and acidity on the palate.
For purist, espresso is not something to be sullied with sugar.