2/25/2013 10:02:00 AM

Philly's Rim Cafe Goes for Guinness World Record for Strongest Espresso

On the left, a regular espresso basket; on the right, a special, high-capacity version
Rene Kobeitri has one mantra: make it happen! Step foot inside the city of Brotherly Love's small Rim Cafe, shrouded in exotic European penumbra at the bottom of the Italian Market, and you’ll hear it at least half a dozen times. “Make it ‘appen!” he shouts in a French accent, as he insists you sample his housemade sweet chili syrup, and offers a salted caramel cappuccino before you even have time to order.

What he’s making happen this time is something big - he’s aiming to score a Guinness World Record for the strongest-ever espresso. Representatives from the company are due to arrive in Philadelphia to certify his claim within the next two to three weeks.

Espressos are usually made with seven to eight grams of finely ground coffee, resulting in one-and-a-half ounces of rich, creamy liquid. A double espresso is common, and contains 14-16 grams, made with twice as much water. Triples also exist. But Kobeitri is going for something different. He is pulling a single shot through a whopping 52 grams of coffee.

“You end up with a shot that’s almost entirely crema,” he explains, “It’s so thick you can eat your espresso with a spoon!” Though it sounds outrageous, we can personally attest that it actually works. And that - at least if you have Rene as your barista - it is delicious.

The 52-gram shot we sipped was less viscous than expected, but the most surprising thing was the total lack of bitterness. It almost slipped by without seeming like liquid - instead it was like inhaling coffee essence. If you’re an espresso fan, you might want to head to 9th and Federal to try the creation. You can’t get it anywhere else in the world... yet. After the Guinness certification, there are sure to be copycats (215-465-3515).


  1. This is something they would only do in India ... and should stay there.

  2. I am really proud and blessed to have you in South Philly. It doesn't surprise me that you made the world's largest espresso shot. I always get the Godfather Cubano espresso, but now, with the 10 shot espresso in one, the first chance I'm coming to get mine!!!

  3. Put aside the thoughts that this is a gimmick, its actually a phenomenal espresso. There is so much crema, the espresso has a caramel like finish. The only downside(maybe)is the massive jolt of caffeine that will have you rather alert for hours! I'll be back in for one soon!

  4. Having been the recipient of one of these amazing creations, I can say it was one of the smoothest, non-bitter espressos I've ever had. Fortunately, years of shift work prepared me for an espresso this strong and I found myself thinking, "Where has this been all my life."

  5. This is Rene's tribute to the American "go big or go home" attitude. He treated me to shot for my birthday and, it was really something different and special. the shot was wonderfully viscous and had extraordinary flavor. On top of that it packed a jolt of caffeine that probably isn't recommended for heart patients...but what a way to go. I do shift work and it sent me flying. Sure, anyone can go for a record for the sake of going for a record and this country is littered with the "worlds largest" whatever...but it seems like the record was secondary to making something extraordinary.

  6. i just can't believe, 52 grams of coffee in 1,5oz
    in French we say mes Compliments Don René

    un bon Ami à toi, Jean Pierre

  7. When I stepped in to RIM Café I got exactly what I was look for and more. That is when I met Rene and he opened my eyes to what coffee and chocolate were all about. I ordered his strong espresso shot that was beyond fantastic. 52 grams or about 2 ounces of coffee makes up this thick, rich, full bodied insanely delicious cup of coffee. There are not enough words other than to say go and try it, it will not disappoint and to Rene, Perfecto!