Caffe Sant'Eustachio is arguably Rome's most famous coffee house. It is considered by many locals to serve the best coffee in the city. It started life as a coffee roaster in the 1930s, serving a unique blend that was prepared in a wood-fired roaster. Little has changed over the decades; it is still a small hole-in-the-wall and roasts its beans and prepares its caffe' in the same way. The beans are obtained through fair trade cooperatives.

The recipe and process are closely guarded. The espresso machine is shielded from view like top secret technology. The owners say that it's a combination of things that make the coffee so good: water from the ancient aqueduct, the correct pressure of the machine, the blend and roast of the beans, and the skill of barista, along with the secret creamy sweetener they put into the cup. It all combines for a perfect pick-me-up in a truly Roman setting. Senators, secretaries, and tourists mingle together in this tiny joint, which is named for the 1000-year old church in the piazza of the same name.

The staple specialty is the Gran Caffe' (or Gran Cappuccino, if you want frothy milk added to the mix). Other tasty treats include the granita di caffe', a frozen coffee slushy that is topped with whipped cream; rich, dense hot chocolate; or a homemade coffee liqueur, using Sant'Eustachio's own coffee, of course.

The little locale sells its coffee beans along with chocolate covered beans and other candy items. Caffe' Sant'Eustachio is open from 8:30 am until 1:00 am for morning crowd as well as the late-nighters.

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Address in Rome:

Piazza Sant'Eustachio, 82.

Ph. (+39) 066 880 2048.

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