Bad coffee is bad news. I’m rather particular about my espresso and find it increasingly important to have it served just right. As a result I have decided to keep this running blog of good espresso places and bad espresso places in Malta. Of course you should avoid the latter (for espresso). These two lists are not ranked in any specific order – I plan to keep adding more entries as I sample more espresso.
GOOD Espresso: A good espresso reminds me instantly of Italy. It should be short, just slightly dense, have a fair amount of surface brown foam/cream, it should smell aromatic and inviting and leave a super aftertaste. These are tell-tale signs that the variables of pressure, temperature and so on are under control and that the barrista knows his stuff.
- Sundays in Scotland, Valletta
- Charles Grech, Valletta
- Cafe Cordina, Valletta
- Dolci Peccati, Sliema (great Ionia blend) and now in Valletta too !
- La Sfoglia Restaurant, Valletta
- Rubino, Valletta – as long as Becky doesn’t prepare it ;)
- Palazzo Parisio, Naxxar
- Culto Cafe’, Valletta
- Cafe Ole’, Sliema
- I Monelli, Paceville
- And most interestingly a recent discovery: the coffee shop/bar located in the Upper Barrakka gardens in Valletta
- Cafe Royale, Valletta (although you wouldn’t guess from the decor)
- Giorgio’s Cafe, Sliema
- Soul Food, Valletta
BAD Espresso: I define bad espresso as having at least two of the following characteristics: (i) too watery, (ii) burned coffee beans spoiling the aroma, (iii) not ‘creamy’ to the right extent, (iv) more akin to instant coffee than espresso, (v) too damn hot, (vi) terribly cheap coffee beans making it tasteless, (vii) white foam instead of brown, (viii) served in Styrofoam or a cold glass cup, (ix) grit floating in the espresso or at the base of the cup, or (x) a cheap plastic stirrer rather than a teaspoon.
- Cafe ID, Sliema – They once had the best espresso in Sliema :(
- McDonalds Cafe – that’s an obvious one
- La Cave, Valletta (though I love their pizza)
- Trabuxu Wine Bar, Valletta (though everything else is awesome)
- Cafe Cuba, Sliema (what a pity !)
- Waterbiscuit – Intercontinental, Malta
PS. If you’re a restaurant owner or a barrista and reading this – please invest in your espresso. Your customers will love you ! And if you’re still green at preparing an espresso – read this.
Where do you sip your espresso? Drop a comment below…
Last updated: 9th October 2014