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Who knows Sant'Eustachio Espresso?
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Discussions > Espresso > blends > Who knows...  
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NobbyR
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Posted Fri Oct 26, 2012, 6:54am
Subject: Who knows Sant'Eustachio Espresso?
 

I just stumbled upon this Italian website, Sant'Eustachio Il Caffè, and was wondering if it was worth ordering a few pounds. Who has tried these beans yet? It's supposed to be a Roman institution. But are they a local microroaster, or is it rather an industrial brand?

I know from the site that there's an espresso bar in Rome by the same name that markets the coffee as well.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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TonyVan
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Posted Sat Oct 27, 2012, 12:09pm
Subject: Re: Who knows Sant'Eustachio Espresso?
 

As you say, Sant' Eustachio is quite the institution in Roma, and it's great fun to be there and have an espresso or their "Gran Caffe."  They definitely have their own (and secret) way of doing and brewing things, which appears pretty much untouched by the swings of style over time.  So if you're in Roma, it's definitely worth the trip (it's just a few steps from the Pantheon anyway) which will feel more like time travel than distance.  The whole experience of being there is great, although the coffee may not be the most important factor.

The coffee itself is very different - I didn't think bad, just different - than I'd normally make myself, especially since every shot is designed to be consumed with a partially dissolved sugar cube in the bottom of the cup.  I remember the beans being roasted very dark - a more southern Italian style than northern - and while certainly good enough, they didn't exactly scream "Cup-of-Excellence greens" at me.   When you're there it feels like they are a micro-roaster, but if you check the Web, they seem to have an enormous around-the-world mail-order business, Amazon etc., so while they don't need to roast in old oil super-tankers like Starbucks, they probably roast many times more kilos than goes to the caffe.  

And it's not exactly cheap either - there's clearly a premium for their famous name.  Maybe you'll really love it, but I'd recommend a smaller try-out quantity first ("a few pounds" is lasts a long, long time if it turns out not to be your style...)   One thing though - their dark yellow and white espresso or cappucino cups with the brown writing are among the prettiest (and beautifully finished) out there.   Classic shape and size, heavy porcelain to hold heat and withstand heavy use, but not at all clunky, they're up with the very best.
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NobbyR
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Posted Sat Oct 27, 2012, 10:53pm
Subject: Re: Who knows Sant'Eustachio Espresso?
 

Thanks for the information. Should I ever come to Rome (and I hope I will one day), I will certainly pay them a visit. But what I would like to know right now is if that mail ordered coffee is fresh, and if there's a roasting date on the package or can.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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TopoTail
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Posted Wed Oct 31, 2012, 4:54pm
Subject: Re: Who knows Sant'Eustachio Espresso?
 

Sant'Eustachio is definitely worth a visit if you go to Rome, but the espresso is quite strange. It is served with sugar, unless one requests otherwise, and has a very curious "crema," which has been likened to beaten egg whites. The really strange thing is that they have erected barricades around the machines so that the public cannot see how the coffee is made. There's no way the crema is a natural product of the extraction. It's just too light and foamy to be real.

When I asked about Sant'Eustachio at Tazza D'oro, another cafe in the same neighborhood, the manager lost it, saying "They do something over there, so they have to hide it. Here everything is in the open."

I did buy some beans at Sant'Eustachio many years ago, but when I got them home and attempted to make espresso with them, the results were less than stellar. My assumption at the time was that the beans I was sold were quite stale.
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nswelton
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Posted Wed Nov 7, 2012, 9:37am
Subject: Re: Who knows Sant'Eustachio Espresso?
 

I visited this place last year and was amazed at the crema. It's like mousse. I didn't think the taste was that great, though. I brought some beans home to see what I could do and I never pulled a stellar shot with them, nor was I ever able to replicate the mousse-like crema. I read somewhere that they put baking soda in the water to make the crema. Who knows, but I think if you concentrate, you can almost taste it. Tazza D'oro had a better tasting shot, but neither place lived up to the hype. Still, it was really fun to go and see what it's all about.
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ShooterMcGavin
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Posted Wed Nov 7, 2012, 5:36pm
Subject: Re: Who knows Sant'Eustachio Espresso?
 

from what i've read online, if you're trying to replicate their signature espresso drink:

as nswelton stated, the crema is really moussey, foamy (and you can see this in pictures/videos online)
they're also very secretive about their preparation
they also sweeten their espresso, and you can't order it unsweetened

it doesn't sound like great espresso to me, but it's the signature drink they're known for

the reviews on ROASTe are favorable though: Click Here (www.roaste.com)

if you do decide to buy a tin/bag, let us know how it is!

 
Daviiid
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alanmushnick
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Posted Sat Nov 10, 2012, 3:54pm
Subject: Re: Who knows Sant'Eustachio Espresso?
 

hi
I brought some home from Rome. You are better off with freshly roasted stateside coffee. It was a bit stale. It is interesting that that place is so famous and yet there is some secret ingredient or manuver they use since they are hiding the pulling of the shot. Definitely worth checking out if you are in Rome. I did.
The competing shop just across the plaza on the other side of the Pantheon is the Tazza D'oro. Both were excellent as consumed fresh. Next time I am buying Tazza D'Oro coffee to bring home.
Does anyone know what they really do at Sant Eustachio? It seems just crazy to me that this secret has never been "outed".

 
Alan Mushnick
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NobbyR
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NobbyR
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Posted Sun Nov 11, 2012, 2:36am
Subject: Re: Who knows Sant'Eustachio Espresso?
 

alanmushnick Said:

... there is some secret ingredient or manuver they use since they are hiding the pulling of the shot. Definitely worth checking out if you are in Rome ...

Posted November 10, 2012 link

They seem to be very proud and specific about their blend. From what I've read one of their trade marks is that they pour sugar in the cup before pulling the shot like ShooterMcGavin wrote. Also they seem roast traditionally over a log fire.

ShooterMcGavin Said:

... if you do decide to buy a tin/bag, let us know how it is!

Posted November 7, 2012 link

I guess I will give it a try. However, like I said earlier on I wish I knew if they give you a roasting date on their bags or tins.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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