From The Roaster
MR. ESPRESSO’S STORY
Carlo Di Ruocco's passion for espresso began in his hometown of Salerno, Italy. When he was a young man, he apprenticed there under a coffee-roasting master, learning the art of bean selection, blending and the craft of roasting by oak wood fire.
After immigrating to San Francisco, Carlo Discovered that there were few places where he could find a true Italian espresso. Inspired, he founded Mr. Espresso in 1978 with the vision of bringing authentic Italian espresso and the wood-fire roasted tradition to the United States.
He quickly gained a cult-like following in the restaurant community with influential figures at the forefront of California cuisine. Chefs like Alice Waters, Bradley Ogden, Paul Bertolli and others wanted to offer an authentic espresso at the end of their meals. As a result, legions of coffee fans experience the enjoyment that a well-prepared, delicious espresso can bring, and it has become a critical element of American culinary culture.
Mr. Espresso continues to thrive. A second generation of Di Ruoccos have joined their father's company, blending Old World tradition with modern tastes to establish a reputation that spans the country. Mr. Espresso coffee is still gently roasted as it was in Italy over slow burning, oak wood logs that are hand-selected, perfectly seasoned, and sustainably sourced. The Di Ruocco family skillfully combines the inspiration of their Italian heritage with contemporary innovation to bring you a coffee like no other.
WHAT MAKES US UNIQUE
While gas is most commonly used to fuel the roasting process, we are one of the first and only contemporary coffee roasters in the United States to roast exclusively over fire fueled by oak wood. Unlike cooking with a wood oven or grill, where the smoke imparts a flavor to the final product, the main difference between wood and conventional roasting lies in the quality of the heat delivered to the beans.
Heat derived from wood has a high moisture content and is better suited for slow roasting, and this moisture helps to preserve oils throughout the long roast, resulting in a more exquisite final flavor. The slow, gentle roasting ensures the coffee is lower in acidity and higher in body and sweetness. The result is most apparent in our espresso, yielding more crema, fuller flavor and a smoother finish — characteristics that are essential to the classic Italian style of espresso.