Time for the next installment in our Espresso in Torino and Piemonte series.

On the north end of Alba, you can often catch the potent, sweet smell of chocolate and hazelnuts as the nearby Ferrero factory makes another batch of Nutella. Just past it, and just past the weekend flea markets at the northern edge of Alba’s old city center, Ben Tivoglio Cafè serves almost exclusively locals. It’s extremely popular with them, especially as they fight for space at the glass bar and a few modern tables inside.

Entrance to Ben Tivoglio Cafè Locals inside Ben Tivoglio Cafè

There’s quite heavy Illy branding. Using a three-group Leva 3 manual La San Marco machine, from local supplier Tuttobar, they produce a mottled medium brown crema of good density and some thickness. (This machine is oddly common at highly regarded cafés in the area that serve Illy.) It has the Illy flavor for a base, but there’s a greater robustness that comes from having more accessible/fresher Illy bean supplies in Italy. There’s also some herbal elements besides Illy’s usual flavor profile of pleasant, mild spices and some woodiness.

Just as the Gambero Rosso suggested (they were awarded 2 tazzine and 3 chicchi), they serve the best espresso in town. A deal at €0.90.

Read the review of Ben Tivoglio Cafè.

Ben Tivoglio barista working their La San Marco The Ben Tivoglio Cafè espresso

Ben Tivoglio proudly flies their Gambero Rosso accolades