Friday, January 9, 2009

Goodfood in Italy Part 7: The best coffee in Italy

Espresso Love near The Pantheon

"Where do you get the best espresso in New York City ? The answer is, you don't. You catch a flight to Rome, and once there, tell the cabbie at the airport to go straight to Sant Eustachio Caffe, near the Pantheon ..."
William Grimes, former food critic, New York Times

I had many espressos during my two weeks in Italy in many different cafes. Make that many, many espressos. They were always very good. Often they were excellent. But nowhere was it as good as at Sant Eustachio Il Caffe in Rome, just a block away from The Pantheon, where I went pretty much straight from the airport.

I as hit by a blast of aroma as soon as I entered. The cafe was jammed with people and I had not yet mastered all the techniques outlined in my previous post , so it was a bit of struggle to get my espresso at first.
But was it worth it, oh boy. I had to scoop out the head with a spoon, it was so thick. The body was rich, aromatic, velvety, sweet without any sugar, creamy without any cream. The aftertaste deep and lingering. A shot, a moment's ecstacy, a delicious jolt and a nuclear-powered, invincible, indescribable feeling. Delicizo.

Most coffee connoisseurs ( and there are many in Italy) rate this the best coffee in Rome, possibly in Italy. The formula for Sant Eustachio's Grancaffe is such a secret that the Barista performs the operation behind a partition.

Sant' Eustachio il Caffe
Piazza Di S. Eustachio
00186 Roma (RM),
Ph: +39 06 68802048

Goodfood in Italy series so far
How to drink espresso
Piazza Del Campo at night
The Colours of Siena
Chef Vincenzo's Ragu Bolognese
Positano, Amalfi coast and John Steinbeck
Making Limoncello in Positano

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