It’s been a long time coming. After three years of laziness, I found a clean way to add non-SF espresso bars to the online database without having them muck up the SF sorts and ratings. It’s not a lot, and there are still a few kinks to work out, but it’s progress.
And the timing may not be better, given that the city of San Francisco has canceled Halloween and declared itself closed for the evening. As SF Mayor, the honorable Burgermeister Meisterburger, put it bluntly, “Halloween costumes are hereby declared illegal, immoral, unlawful and anyone found with a pumkin in his possession will be placed under arrest and thrown in the Kink.com Armory!”
So take heart, San Franciscans. We begin with virtual travel out of this closed city by featuring the first non-SF café with this new resource…
San Tommaso 10 represents the birthplace of Lavazza, dating back to 1895. This café has also represented Lavazza’s flagship café to this day. This despite the Lavazza chain cafés around the world and their more recent Espression offshoot — both replies of a sort to Illy‘s Espressamente cafés. But make no mistake — this is no grand caffè. It’s all about modern design here.
Other than some branding revisions, this café has changed little since our first visit in May 2004 — when Lavazza had just started offering their èspresso mutation. It has a relatively modest façade on a mild-mannered street of downtown Torino. You can fetch your own pastries on the right in the glass case as you walk in, walk up to the tiny front bar with room for two (or by the single-person bar on the side by the newspapers) and have your morning breakfast. Though there is more stool seating further back, among the heavy Lavazza advertising section right before the lunch café starts.
The place is decked out with serious Lavazza accessories, especially centered around the Lavazza BLUE home/pod system. The space is now painted a sort of creme green/blue color scheme — and it’s still surfaced with many mirrors to make it seem larger than it really is.
Back behind the bar is a lone three-group La Cimbali. From it, they pull shots with a highly textured, speckled dark and medium brown crema that’s only hindered by it’s modest depth/thickness. As it is, it’s served more like a natural ristretto. Thus its flavor is relatively bold — suggesting the typical Lavazza profile, but stronger and also with some roasted woody spiciness. It also has a good, robust aroma. The cappuccini are large and have excellent microfoam. Served in Lavazza-logo IPA cups. A reasonable deal at €0.90.
Read the updated review of San Tommaso 10.
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