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Sant’Eustachio: A Gran Caffè

In Rome, Italy, Sant'Eustachio il Caffe is a legend, a destination, a reason to celebrate. It has been a place of pilgrimage for coffee lovers since 1938.

It's a small coffee bar in the center of Rome near the Pantheon, where the freshly roasted scent of coffee beans wafts through the narrow alleys. Roberto Ricci, Sant'Eustachio's owner, slowly toasts his secret blend of coffee beans using a wood fed and centuries old machine. He does this every Saturday morning, unless he is traveling to Brazil, Guatemala, Mexico, Tanzania, Dominican Republic in his perpetual quest for the perfect Arabica bean.

"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, " wrote New York Times food and restaurant critic William Grimes this past July as he bitterly complained about the lack of good coffee in New York and in the US. ('Eus.shtml).

Sant'Eustachio has sold its coffee in cans for many years, and it now it is available in the United States at Whole beans, drip grind, espresso and decaffeinated varieties come in 8.8-ounce tins, $19 a can. Each can will yield 35 cups (Beatrice at counted them), so it's a little more than 50 cents a cup. Compare that to a ticket to Rome!

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