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Coffee Snob

June 22, 2012

My husband calls me a coffee snob.  I don’t think that I’m a snob per se, but rather I have certain expectations when it comes to my coffee, which became very apparent when we returned from our honeymoon.  We stumbled upon a coffee shop called Castroni Caffe while in Rome, and I swear I had died and gone to coffee heaven.  I am a dark roast fan, and I want my coffee to taste like coffee, and I often drink it in espresso form because I need the boldness, adding just enough cream to take any bitterness away.  The Castroni coffee was bold, strong, but smooth.  I needed little cream and no sugar.  I had found my coffee.

I bought two tins straight away.  I gave one of the tins of coffee to my mother-in-law and kept one for myself.  When we came back to the US and I had run out, I vowed that I would find a coffee here that was the equivalent of the coffee I had in Italy (I kept the tin, in case I was able to search and find this brand out here).

After our honeymoon, my husband and I missed the food that we had in Italy, so we ventured out to Little Italy here in San Diego.  Mona Lisa Italian Foods not only has a great restaurant, but they also have a wonderful little deli.  I asked the workers there if they have a recommendation for a coffee that equalled the coffee we had in Italy, as they did not carry the Castroni brand.  They recommended Illy, and I have been buying this brand since then (see my post on Espressamente, their cafe in Las Vegas here).  I had found the bold yet smooth taste I originally discovered in Rome.  It does however come at a price:  any regular supermarket that carries Illy prices their tins at $14 to 16, and Mona Lisa has theirs at $10.99 (the last time I checked).

For everyday use, I find it difficult to justify paying that much for coffee, which I go through very quickly.  So I set out to find a more inexpensive alternative for my daily use, and then I can have my Illy on the weekends.  After trying about a dozen or so brands, I had just about given up on finding a good, cheap roast and resigned to the fact that I just have to put up the cash for the coffee that I want.  After standing for over 20 minutes in front of the coffee aisle, I saw a tin with a price of $4.99 called Cafe Bustelo, a Cuban-style coffee.  I decided to try it, and if it wasn’t great, then I would have only spent about $5 and that would be the end of it.  I ended up enjoying this coffee for the bold taste.  Although it wasn’t as smooth as my first two choices, it tasted much better than the others I’ve tried and I could add just a bit more cream to take the edge off.

Recently, I found this article on Shine from Yahoo and promptly showed my husband.  The article was called “Brew a Cheaper Buzz with the Best Budget Coffee“.  Lo and behold, my cheap choice of Cafe Bustelo was one of their favorites as well, which I felt proved my uncanny ability to distinguish good coffee, therefore solidifying my refined coffee tastes.  My husband just looked at me and said, “Snob…” then walked away. 

Whatever. I won.

(Middle image courtesy of World Harvest Foods)

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Edyta permalink
    June 24, 2012 1:13 pm

    Hi, I like your blog :) I have been looking for blogs for 40 from ages!!!
    Well done!!!
    Regards from Scotland

    • June 24, 2012 10:33 pm

      Thank you Edyta! I hope you enjoy reading my blog and please stop by often!


  2. March 23, 2013 1:15 pm

    Some of the Vietnamese restaurants also use Cafe Bustelo for their Cafe Sua Da (iced coffee with condensed milk). The brand we like to use for VN style iced coffee (when we can find it at Ranch 99 or Thuan Phat) is Trung Nguyen.

    • March 24, 2013 10:37 pm

      I’ll have to try that coffee! I’m always up for new flavors, now that I’m getting re-addicted to coffee again, lol. Is that a good thing? ;)


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