Our Espresso in Torino and Piemonte series takes us back to Alba, Italy for Golosi di Salute — a café that’s certainly known more for its edibles than anything you can drink here. But that doesn’t mean the espresso is a slouch.

Entrance to Golosi di Salute At Golosi di Salute, did someone say 'confections'?

Luca Montersino is famous for making pastries and sweets with natural and local, healthy ingredients. His pasticceria here in Alba, attached to the Albergo San Lorenzo, is considered the best in town. We were definitely not ones to disagree. They may not be the best at espresso (though they did tie for the best with Ben Tivoglio Cafè in our ratings), but they make the best lemon sorbetto I’ve ever had. And I take my lemon sorbet seriously. (Though they may call it gelato, it’s made without milk — making it sorbet.)

Stand back - only trained lab technicians can handle lemon sorbetto this good Espresso setup at Golosi di Salute

With employees decked out in white lab coats, you’ll think you stepped into a Cafe Madeleine. The front of the shop is filled with various sweets, pastries, and, later in the day, a selection of gelato. (Here they seem to treat the Italian gelato like the American martini: “none before noon, thank you”.) At the back is a rather regal seating room with a few tables and chairs.

They swear by Filicori Zucchini‘s Club Kavé coffee, from Bologna, and they use a two-group La Spaziale S5/Caffè d’autore machine to produce an espresso with a light to medium brown crema of some thickness and a lighter density. Flavorwise, it exhibits soft tones of rounded, mild spices and some herbal notes.

Served in Club Kavé-logo IPA cups, with an obligatory small glass of water on the side (nice touch), and — when served in the front — an insane selection of four different sugars to use: zucchero di mela, d’agave, d’uva, and d’acero (i.e., sugar made from apples, agave, grapes, and maple, respectively). A show and a shot for a mere €1.

Read the review of Golosi di Salute.

Golosi di Salute's back room Close up of some of the details in Golosi di Salute's back room

The Golosi di Salute espresso - at the counter with four types of sugar and a glass of water Having a Golosi di Salute espresso in the back room