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Best Espresso in the World?

Cafe Sant’Eustachio. Rome. Fair use

After all these books and reflection we really need a break. What about a good Italian espresso? Read this here:

“The espresso at Sant’Eustachio in Rome is so well-regarded that William Grimes of the New York Times advised those in the US seeking the perfect espresso, “…When the need for a real espresso becomes overpowering, buy a ticket to Rome, tell the taxi driver to head straight for the Sant’Eustachio cafe. The espresso will be perfect. A little expensive, but surely worth the trouble.”

This original article by William Grimes is so funny in his frustrated search for the best espresso in New York, and provides a lot of infos on a great town and on coffee. I agree. Sant’Eustachio’s espresso is actually great, and we cannot but be flattered that this NY guy appreciates it. Thank you Mr. Grimes, really. It can even be worth a flight to Rome, no kidding.

The only thing though being this: YOU ARE TOTALLY WRONG MR. GRIMES. I’M SORRY.

I mean, why don’t you US guys ask Italians first before writing such things? I know Grimes asked a few, but I mean the people of the street in here, in this country. If you’d asked them before, every Italian (or 90%) would have replied that the real best espresso in the world is not made in Roman Sant’Eustachio café (where they just perform inspired tricks, that crema etc.). The real best espresso in the world is made in Naples.

The truth is how can Romans compete with Greek cousins in food, pastries and general refinement of life? In Neapolis they have dozens, even hundreds cafés where espresso is much better than Sant’Eustachio’s, even in the poorest suburbs where camorra rules.

So, apart from the real pizza (which in Rome is not bad but hasn’t got the original Neapolitan taste) and apart from a choice of pastries whose quality is definitely unknown in Rome (sfogliatelle, babà, pastiera etc.) where is then the best of the best espressos?

It is served in Il Caffè del Professore, 46 piazza Trieste e Trento, in the heart of Naples. There they make their own blend or miscela of a superior quality so they can serve you the best of the best of the best. No tricks. Only real sublime coffee from a superior sublime miscela. Then of course they also do tricks and variations on the theme. How? In ways and varieties that can make the guys at Sant’Eustachio get pale from depression.

More on our Greek Cousins, the Neapolitans, who can provide a lot of surprises, not only coffee or food. It will be our duty to relate some of this in other posts.

About Man of Roma

I am a man from Rome, Italy. I’m 60 and a Roman since many generations. In my blog, manofroma.wordpress.com, I’m writing down my meditations. The idea behind it all is that something 'ancient' is still alive in the true Romans of today, of which few are left.

4 responses »

  1. Oh dear…I went to Sant’Eustachio café for the double treat of visiting the Caravaggios in the church and the espresso. It was the best I have ever had outside of a wonderful cafe in Vancouver. I guess I’ll have to make my way to Naples. Meanwhile, I make my own as best I can.

    You really can go a little crazy with this search for how to make the “best.” In the end, however, those pale arabica epigones at Starbucks have a point when they say, “The best coffee is the coffee you like.” See my post on Mr. Illy:

    http://iamyouasheisme.wordpress.com/2008/02/07/engineer-priest-of-espresso/

    Reply
  2. I’m a teacher in an Italian coffee school. I have tasted, of course, the espresso in Sant’Eustachio. For me the blend of coffee is not special, also, I can say that is quite bad, with a lot of robusta coffee and quite rough.
    Three coffees that I love in Italy are small companies, still very “hand made” Cerrini, Paoletti and Mokaflor.it
    The secret (not for the italians) of Sant’Eustachio is that they add, on the top of the espresso, a sugared cream made with the very first, very creamy drops of the espresso. Is a trick, but the quality of an espresso came also from the blend!

    Reply

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