Carlo Di Ruocco and his family; wife Marie-Francoise, sons John and Luigi, and daughter Laura.
“We at Mr. Espresso remain committed to bringing you the best of this Old World tradition. We encourage our customers to take care, take time, and take pleasure in our coffees.”
Carlo’s love affair with espresso coffee goes back to his hometown of Salerno, Italy. Schooled and trained as an electrical engineer, Carlo worked for a coffee roasting company at first only to make pocket money. Unhappy as an electrical engineer, however, he became a full-time protégé of the proprietor of the company, a master coffee roaster. He learned bean selection and blending and, most important, roasting with oak wood. He worked in Paris for several years before eventually making his way to the United States, where he started a business importing and selling espresso machines out of his home in Alameda. People asked him where they could buy great coffee beans to use in their machines. Carlo put two and two together and realized there was a need for a local company that made fine espresso. He went back to Italy to hone his skills and familiarize himself with current coffee business practices. In the early days of Mr. Espresso, Carlo supplemented his income by working for an elevator company.
Mr. Espresso has since grown into a thriving business, now with an established countrywide reputation. Carlo, Marie-Francoise, and the next generation of the Di Ruocco family work together in the Oakland showroom and roasting facility to ensure that what they began thirty years ago will endure.
Mr. Espresso roasts its coffee in traditional old roasting machines fueled with oak wood. Mr. Espresso blends beans only after each varietal has been roasted individually and brought to its fullest flavor.
Contrary to popular belief, espresso does not mean quick, or “express.” Rather, the word refers to the fact that this densely flavored brew is made “expressly” for one person. It is crafted to be a refined expression of the essence of coffee itself.
Carlo and John choose all the beans at Mr. Espresso. Both were trained in Italy where the bean selection process uses espresso instead of an infused coffee in the tasting process. This method aims to achieve a rounder, milder balance in the finished product. Additionally, they travel overseas frequently to monitor bean quality and stay current with the world coffee market.
Length of relationship with Oliveto
Since almost the beginning
Near Jack London Square in Oakland
CCOF and Fair Trade Certified
Restaurants and hotels; some retail