Hey, I get my coffee from a place in Nashville, TN that small roasts batches of coffee. Their Malabar Gold is the best espresso I've ever had. It's a soft been that takes a couple of tries at first, but once you get the hang of it, it's creama city. Plus it's a little bit cheaper than the Illy. They've also got many dark roasts that I enjoy as brewed stuff. The wesite is BeanCentral.com :lol:
I happen to really like Italian roasted coffees. Mocafe is a great creamy espresso and Fantini is if you really like a dark roasted coffee. You can get them at www.romaespresso.com. They deal in fine italian coffees. Happy tasting!
I think that any fresh r&g espresso blend (as long as the roaster is half decent and has good greens) should far and away exceed Illy. I am not saying Illy is bad (hummph), just that why drink canned, robusta rich blends when you can go down to your local roaster and buy a blend that was roasted fresh this morning, or yesterday morning. Good on ya donlp37... you are doing the right thing for your taste buds :grin:
It's always good to compare other coffees. Just because a company has a well established name doesn't mean their product is good to all. Personally I feel that no matter the name, if the coffee sucks, the coffee sucks. Although I'm not perfect, my blends have put many a big roaster out the door, and if I don't always pay attention to my product the same could happen to me. I guess it all comes down to personal taste. If you like Illy you'll continue to drink Illy, if you like Starbucks, you'll continue to drink Starbucks, and so on. But as A.E. said, go to your local roaster and get the freshest roast possible. If that doesn't work then continue the search