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Coffee Heaven – Taylor St Baristas and Caffe Sant’Eustachio

July 30, 2011
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Caffe Sant’Eustachio, Rome

I’m a self-confessed coffee addict and will travel or walk far for a good coffee.  In fact, I do a two and a half mile walk almost every day to enjoy a coffee at the Taylor St Baristas in Richmond.

I’d looked in the back of Source – a deli cum traiteur almost next door to Richmond station – a few times, but the coffee shop, set right at the back of the long shop, didn’t look a very inviting place to sit with a coffee.  However, when last year it was voted as having the best coffee in West London by Time Out, I decided I had to investigate. One sip of their signature Flat White and I was converted: there’s only one way to describe it, ‘love at first sip’. Since then, I’ve described it to people as the best coffee outside Rome … and by outside Rome, I mean a coffee in Caffe Sant’Eustachio, a well-known mecca for coffee lovers and described as serving the best coffee in the world by the New York Times.

I was there last September with my daughter. The coffee genes have completely bypassed Nicola but she is happy to pander to my caffeine needs and will often help by sourcing the best coffee shops for me wherever we are together. Last September she was happily exploring the ‘shop’ part of Sant’Eustachio to buy gifts for family, friends and more particularly Figaro-the-Cat-feeding friends, Amy and David. I meanwhile bought a ticket for my coffee Italian-style at the till then joined the crowd – one could hardly call it a queue – to get my coffee: their famous Gran Caffe. An American priest struck up conversation – only in Rome could this happen; Rome is – unsurprisingly – full of nuns and priests everywhere. You even see whole shops dedicated to clothes and footwear for them. The priest, obviously unused to a woman well practised at pushing her way to the front of a bar in an English pub or wine bar, started to give me advice on how to get served. However, I was in no hurry. I was very relaxed at the end of a two and a half week holiday in Italy and Rome was our last stop; one of our favourite places. When my Gran Caffe (a kind of espresso which they advise you have with a little sugar to bring out the flavour) was made and handed over, I’m afraid I turned my back on the priest. When there are only a few sips of this ambrosial drink to enjoy it’s one thing that is most definitely enjoyed better alone. And the taste … well, words fail me … it’s beyond description. There is no other coffee like it …

Until I found Taylor St Baristas. Now there is no coffee like theirs … no coffee that comes close to it … anywhere I know in Richmond, Twickenham or my local area. The friendly baristas are a font of knowledge about coffees and teas; I’ve heard them tell people about the amazing chocolate they put on top of their cappuccinos. It’s a coffee to savour alone – by this I mean, don’t adulterate the flavour by eating croissants or anything else at the same time. Just enjoy the purity of the taste: it’s rich, strong yet soft and full; never any bitterness. It’s a coffee made in heaven.

See newer post on Taylor St Baristas Richmond – click here – who have moved into new premises since I wrote this post and – believe it or not! – are better than ever. Give it a try if you’re in Richmond – it’s right by Richmond Station.

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