To the Italians, coffee is not just a hot beverage, it’s an art. Brewing the perfect cup takes know-how and there are a host of rules to which one must abide. No italian would order a cappuccino after noon and tourists are given critical looks for doing so. And the thought off a mint frappucino would bring them into a cold sweat – they don’t muck around with their coffee. The first time I ordered a coffee in Rome, I couldn’t believe how tiny it was. I was accustomed to a tall mug of steaming coffee with a splash of milk. What I received was a minuscule shot. I came to learn that a standard coffee in Italy is an espresso that the locals will quickly see-off, leaning on the bar counter, before getting back to their day. Getting coffee isn’t an ‘event’, it’s an integral part of daily life. The coffee that I knew before is not Italian at all – in Italy it is called the americano, an American invention. Italians lengthen their coffee with milk and the varying ratios of foam to milk determine its name. For example: Capuccino = equal parts espresso coffee, milk and foam Caffè latte = 1 part espresso, 5 parts milk (! be sure to order a CAFFE latte and not just LATTE or you’ll end up with a mug of plain milk) Macchiato = espresso topped with a thin layer of foamed milk
Sant’Eustachio il Caffè is said to make the best coffee in Rome and attracts a steady crowd of locals throughout the day. It’s a tiny café, located on a pizza a few hundred meters from the Pantheon, and its always full to bursting with coffee cravers. There is some seating outside, however, I advise to drink you coffee and be on your way – it’s rather hectic, plus, sitting down will cost you extra.
The coffee served here is a house brand. Note that coffee is automatically sweetened, so if you don’t want sugar, you’ll need to tell them.
There is a wide selection of coffee drinks on offer, both hot and cold. Their Gran Caffè is the most famous and a popular choice.
Try their unique mousse caffè which balances bitter coffee and sweetness into a fluffy cloud. The cooling coffee granita is another great choice for the summer months, (but it’s a little too cold now).
Sant’Eustachio il Caffè
Piazza Sant’Eustachio, 82 Rome T: +39 (0)668802048 www.santeustachioilcaffe.it Open 8:30-1:00am (Sun-Thurs), 8:30-1:30am (Fri), 8:30-2:00am (Sat)