Wednesday, June 21, 2006

CC: Hausbrandt

What's a Coffee Commentary?


Location visited: 15th St, Philadelphia
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 3+ [see key]


This coffeehouse I had not caught wind of until recently, when they were dubbed City Best coffeehouse 2006 in Philly. I decided to give it a whirl even though I am always suspicious of AOL cityguide's "Best of" (in the same "best of" for the coffeehouses, they placed a faux coffeehouse in the top ten...) as well as other "best of" rankings due to the ambiguity of criteria.

Last week, two friends and I embarked to Center City to hang out, and as we were driving we decided to see if Hausbrandt was open. We caught them 5 minutes before closing and they were happy to serve us (fortunately).

Taking a look around, I noticed that they had no formal menu, which I guess means that they have a java-wise clientele. Taking a look at their own beans, imported from Italy (so not as fresh as local-roasted) I decided on an americano (mainly because they had no coffee left 2 minutes before closing). I have to say it was pretty good.

I looked at the tea as well, it was bagged (as apposed to free leaf) and called Kronen. Nothing fancy (I'm pretty sure it was a Hausbrandt product as well).

Overall, I can't say I was "wowed" by this chain from Italy. It was good, but best of? Maybe I missed something...

Update 2/24/08

In retrospect and after a bit more review, it seems like I didn't miss anything. The coffee comes off with an obvious mediocrity and the espresso impresses similarly (a bleh sharpness). I must say that my opinion of the operation has definitely deflated since my original writing of this post. Oh well.

Update 1/3/10

Though this update is long overdue (I keep forgetting to update this), Hausbrandt is no longer an active cafe, but it seems that they are still plugging along with their Academia Del Cafes.


BrassInPocket said...

Thought you might find this interesting - you dont have to post - just didnt know how else to contact you :) Thx!

Academia del Caffé Designed As Ultimate Authentic Italian Café Experience

Café Hausbrandt announces the opening of Academia del Caffé, a new Italian café experience with three convenient Center City locations.

The 1800-square foot location at Penn Square, 1 South Penn Square, will open in April 2007. Two additional smaller locations open in February at 620 Chestnut St. and 2400 Market St. In addition to the original Café Hausbrandt at 207 S. 15th St., Philadelphia palates will recognize the taste of Hausbrandt coffee from some of the finest establishments in Philadelphia, including The Pyramid Club, Gayle, RAE, Capogiro, Vintage, La Viola, La Fourno and Le Castagne.

Academia del Caffé, an extension of the Hausbrandt Café, distinguishes itself as an authentic Italian cafe. Modeling themselves after the cafes in Italy, they import all of their coffee and many of their products from the country. Academia del Caffé was established to educate consumers on coffee and the coffee process while giving them the opportunity to experience a true Italian espresso or cappuccino. All furniture, fixtures and equipment are also made and imported from Italy.

The beverage menu at Academia del Caffé includes Italian staples like cappuccino, espresso, latte, and macchiato, as well as a wide variety of teas, smoothies, and iced coffee drinks. The café will also offer pastries including croissants, danishes, and scones.

Additionally, the menu will offer a wide variety of traditional Italian salads, sandwiches, and 30 varieties of Panini. Salads include the Torino (mixed greens, bleu cheese, apple, walnuts, and carrots) and Milano (mixed greens, buffalo mozzarella, tuna, tomato, and mushrooms); Panini includes Montanaro (Italian prosciutto, brie, champgnon mushrooms, and mayonnaise), Rustico (pancetta, scamorza, and tomato), and Canadese (smoked salmon, goat cheese, and arugula).; and specialty sandwiches include Valtellina (Bresaola – Italian air-cured beef, arugula, tomato, mushrooms, lemon, and pepper) and Merano (Speck – smoked prosciutto from Northeast Italy, prosciutto di parma, herbed prosciutto, provolone cheese, Swiss cheese, and artichokes).

The original Café Hausbrandt opened in 2003, bringing the ambiance and coffee of an authentic Italian coffeehouse to Philadelphia. After noticing the familiar brand from his hometown of Trieste, Italy, Massimo Taurisano, 38, and his wife Carrie Lapp, 33, purchased the shop and founded the U.S. import company in 2004. A year later they brought in two friends & partners from Italy, husband and wife Nicoletta Pavanello Stocco, 31 and Massimiliano (Max) Tuccone, 39, who, with several years of experience in Milano, Italy, join them in expanding the business with three new locations and a mission to bring International café culture to Philadelphia.


Hausbrandt USA is the exclusive importer and distributor for Hausbrandt HTS 1892 of Italy and its related coffee products in the U.S. Hausbrandt USA operates through a network of different companies to import, distribute and sell its varied lines of products, coffee beans, ready to use grounded coffee, accessories, teas and special line of orzo espresso, the real decaffeinated option to coffee. In addition to the growing chain of company-owned coffee shops, Hausbrandt USA distributes high-quality coffee beans to coffee houses, restaurants, businesses and individuals.

All Hausbrandt products are made in Italy using the world’s most significant coffee producers including Brazil, Colombia, Kenya, Central American Republics, Mexico and Jamaica. Once in Italy, the best batches undergo further scrutiny — even a single unripe, woody or fermented bean can compromise the taste of ten cups. Hausbrandt’s exclusive quality control system uses equipment that analyzes each bean up to 30 times and eliminates any unsuitable beans or impurities. Beans that pass the test then proceed to the roasting phase and is vacuum packaged to increase product longevity. For more information on Hausbrandt, please call (215) 238-9195 or visit

Anonymous said...

A little inside information ---

Massimo Taurisano and wife are business hacks. The company Hausbrandt USA is actually a non-entity, and they dont own the exclusive rights to any coffee from Italy, they're just lieing about it.

Also dont ever work for them because they consistently bounce employee checks, thats if you even get your check on time. Also they have burnt so many vendor bridges, they are running out vendors to go to --- they can only do COD from vendors, because vendors dont trust them in paying on time.

Their distribution/service center is also going down the tubes, because of incompetent people repairing machines. Granted they do have some individuals who actually know what they're doing in their business, but their hands are tied because Massimo Taurisano financially mismanages the money he brings in.

Oh yea, the coffee they use isn't always Hausbrandt. Massimo switches their brewed coffee with a cheaper type, and then charges the same high price.

He has no ethics.

Anonymous said...

Would love to find out more about these guys, they are screwing us for thousands of dollars and we are not the first, but hopefully we'll be the last.

Anonymous said...

Have to agree with the last posting - we are also out thousands of dollars - don't get involved with them - once you do, you can never get in touch with them and they never return phone calls.

Anonymous said...

Massimo Taurisano and
Carrie B Lapp
2237 20th Street
Philadelphia, Pa 19145
Massimo works in Hoboken NJ
Carrie works for Astrzeneca

Anonymous said...

Hausbrandt espresso is currently being retailed at Also for wholesale contact John Yancigay at 631-495-7005

Anonymous said...

how come none of you have sued them?