Last weekend I headed off to Madrid and took advantage of this sight-seeing winter break to visit a few speciality coffee shops. Although I did some research before leaving most of them were recommendations of friends and local (or not) coffee contacts, and I must say this helped me very much! 3 days aren’t enough to explore the coffee scene but I got the chance to visit a few very nice cafés spread over the Spanish capital:
–> HANSO CAFE, located in hip and buzzing Malasaña barrio, is a cozy and bright space where the friendly barista/owners are truly dedicated to their art/science and very knowledgeable. Right Side Coffee was on the menu (always a good point!) for espresso and filter – they offer v60 for one (made with 20g of dry coffee) or to share (using 30g of coffee). Their Colombian filter made me return a second day and I simply loved my two breakfasts there, with a special mention for their oh-so-Spanish “pan con tomate” (grated tomato and olive oil/garlic/sea salt toast), that was simply the best I had. Ever. Do not miss their cortado neither. Mine (take-away) was perfectly made – sweet and nutty. The perfect start on a the chilly Madrid winter morning!
Instagram @HansoCafe (closed on Mondays)
–> SANTA EULALIA Boulangerie Patisserie, is, as its name says, a French bakery that sells artisan bread, cakes, tarts but also home-made sweets. In the back of the shop, a large venue is used as a café. Another recommendation from my local friend that hit the spot! Very close to the city centre (Plaza de Sol or Plaza Mayor) it is a relaxed and dimly lit space, where coffee is treated with as much care as the food. Roasted by Spanish roaster D’Origen, 2 espressos were available during my visit at Santa Eulalia : the one I had (on the fruity side), served black, and another one that suits better milky coffee drinkers. The barista knew his job well and a range of brewing equipment was available to purchase, as well as beans, to take home. A hidden gem!
Address: Calle Espejo 12, 28013 Madrid (Closed on Mondays)
–> BIANCHI KIOSKO CAFFE, as its name doesn’t say, is not a kiosk but has the size of it. Set up by couple Neus Solé and Sandro Bianchi, it is a take-away shop with two small benches outside, perfect to enjoy the sunny weather and people-watch in the heart of Malasaña, right near a busy square filled with bars, restaurants and boutique shops. The minimalist and woody interior offers a laid-back and friendly vibe, an extended hot drinks menu and good-looking (haven’t tried them) organic snacks. Well-made espresso is rotating (blends and single origins) and sourced from local roasters, while Mahlkönig grinders and LaMarzocco are shouting on the bar. Cold-brew is said to be a hit in the summer…a good reason to return on hotter days.
–> 1000 CUPS, recommended by a friend living in Madrid, is a café that I nearly missed and feel so glad to have discovered! Roasting their own coffee or sourcing it from local roasters, 1000 cups is located in Chamberi (residential area just north of Malasaña). Their venue boasts several rooms and many seats, but has a very cosy and unpretentious atmosphere where it is easy to feel at home. A v60 station welcomes you as you enter, and it is how I choose to have my coffee (a very smooth and balanced brew from Dominican Republic), but Aeropress or Chemex are available too, and there is a real effort inside the shop to promote the soft-brew methods and educate the coffee drinkers as well. The staff was knowledgeable, VERY friendly and service was prompt. Add to that a simple yet delicious breakfast menu, 1000 cups has it all! Last but not least, they also offer coffee workshops, cuppings and barista training classes.
More info on 1000cupscafe.com
–> TOMA CAFÉ was the first speciality shop that opened in the Spanish capital, back in 2013 in Malasaña. Packed every time I went there (Saturday morning and Sunday evening) with a local and a more international crowd, I loved its buzzy and warm atmosphere. Located in small yet well-arranged space, they offer 2 espressos and a filter coffee (pour-over V60, aeropress or Chemex on rotation). The former one was roasted by the barista himself, Nolo, in a site nearby. A really beautiful Guatemala El Socorro that woke me up as I just was arriving in Madrid from Barcelona. The vibe at Toma Café is very friendly and laid-back however coffee is obviously taken very seriously, and food is available too, from avocado toasts to carrot cake.
–> CAFELITO is an oasis in an area (South of the Centre of Madrid) where speciality coffee is simply non-existing. Make sure you pay these guys as you visit Lavapiès area (mine was after the El Rastro Sunday buzzy and colourful market). No filter at Cafelito but espresso, from rotating Spanish roasters, is well-made and the space is charming and homely, with many seats and a vintage yet unpretentious deco.
–> LOTS COFFEE HOUSE was my last stop before heading to the Atocha train station. A take-away shop (a little revolution in Spanish culture) run by smiley and passionate baristas, where espresso and a full range of slow-brew method is available: v60 (I had an intensively fruity natural-processed Ethiopian), Chemex, Aeropress, Syphon or French Press! Lots Coffee House is a small yet educative space where several coffees are available and changing (roasted in Madrid or Berlin); moreover, they do direct-trade with Guatemala. Open in May 2015 in Salamanca, north of the city centre, it has become a new type of neighbourhood cafe where a (mainly) young crowd of professional and students come everyday to get their speciality coffee fix. Closed in the weekend.
Instagram @lotscoffeehouse (closed on weekends)
–> Because Madrid has many other wonders to enjoy (architecture, parks, museums and galleries, open-air markets, incredible food and vibrant nightlife) – and sometimes just bad luck (a few cafés closed their doors in the weekend or on Mondays) I didn’t visit all its third-wave coffee shops and therefore probably missed other gems! A good reason to come back soon…