Spanish cafés A Coffee Lover’s Guide To Spain
The third wave of coffee, as it is known today, began in the late nineties, when independent coffee shops in the United States began to strive toward offering higher quality and complexity in their cups, drawing comparisons to the winemaking process. For newcomers to specialty coffee—as it is also known—this means a more nuanced brew with a crisp flavor profile, Arabica beans rather than robusta, and a focus on origin and the role of the professional at each step of production.
Today, third-wave coffee shops can be found the world over and no two are the same. In recent years Spain’s specialty coffee scene has blossomed, giving rise to a slew of coffee shops throughout the country that aim to change the national coffee culture—torrefacto begone! Here is a selection of the best places to enjoy your coffee drink of choice in different Spanish cities with thriving independent coffee scenes.
Madrid jumped on the specialty coffee bandwagon in 2012 and hasn’t looked back since. It all began with Toma Café, opened by Santiago Rigoni and Patricia Alda on calle La Palma, in the heart of trendy Malasaña. Its laid-back atmosphere, international staff and selection of cakes and sandwiches has made it a favorite with visitors to the city, a leisurely walk away from four-star hotels in the city center, such as the hotel in Madrid Iberostar Las Letras Gran Vía. It recently opened a second location in the nearby neighborhood of Chamberí, on calle Santa Feliciana, a testament to their continued popularity.
Located within the Iberostar Las Letras Gran Vía, Gran Clavel Restaurant and Bar offers a trip to the most genuine Madrid, a city that worships coffee in good company. In its 'Vermouth' facet, it offers some very Madrid breakfasts in which coffee is paired with 'pinchos' of tortilla, sandwiches of Nocilla (the Spanish Nutella) and the famous churros. In addition, its location and views make it the best option to start the day connected to the city's main artery.
Hola Coffee burst onto the scene in 2017 and immediately raised the bar for specialty coffee houses nationwide. The brainchild of the 2016 Spanish Barista Champion Pablo Caballero and Nolo Botana, an expert coffee roaster, Hola’s attention to detail is unparalleled. Everything from its graphic design to its custom-made ceramic cups has been carefully selected to enhance the coffee-drinking experience. Pablo describes it best, “We strive to be a cutting-edge specialty coffee shop that is also focused on human connections.” While they serve a variety of original drinks such as homemade kombucha and fruit shrubs, the star of the show is of course, their coffee, which they roast themselves. Don’t leave without trying their famous muscovado-and-cinnamon toast or their toasted banana bread with coffee butter. Pablo and Nolo recently embarked on a new project, Misión, with a unique breakfast menu with a focus on fresh products and pastries, and the only Modbar espresso machine in the country.
Any coffee tour of Barcelona should inevitably start from Plaza de Cataluña. In the heart of the city you will find the charming Mmmallorca Coffee Bakery Bar, a café located in the lobby of the hotel Iberostar Selection Paseo de Gracia that is perfect for gathering strength before a day of work or tourism, whether you are taking a break between meetings or sightseeing or simply enjoying an excellent cup of coffee in a cozy atmosphere.
Barcelona’s third-wave coffee scene has been steadily blossoming for several years, with a slew of coffee shops satisfying the palates of discerning tourists and locals alike. The following cafés are all within walking distance of the hotel in Barcelona Iberostar Selection Paseo de Gracia, making it easy to start your day right by having an exquisite brew before exploring the city. Our first stop is Satan’s Coffee Corner, the first specialty coffee shop to open in the city, best defined as refined coffee with a wild streak.
Spain’s burgeoning third-wave is by no means limited to the peninsula, meaning you can enjoy the warm climate of its islands while getting your caffeine fix. If you are gluten-intolerant, you are in luck: Santa Cruz de Tenerife’s Star Café at the hotel in Tenerife Iberostar Selection Sábila is a beautifully designed gluten-free café where you can enjoy a cup of your favorite beverage in five-star surroundings while munching on sweet or savory snacks.
PALMA DE MALLORCA
La Molienda, run by cousins Toni and Miguel, serves specialty coffee from its state-of-the-art La Marzocco machine, with a focus on Spanish micro-roasteries and fresh milk from neighboring Balearic island Menorca (with plant-based milk available for vegan or lactose-intolerant coffee lovers). Its organic breakfasts are made with local and seasonal ingredients, including their pistachio-and-cinnamon rolls, sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
PALMA DE MALLORCA
A relative newcomer to Palma’s coffee scene, Cala Coffee is a modern and inviting coffee shop and roastery in the heart of the city. Although coffee is their passion, they differentiate themselves from other cafés by serving high-quality tea and hot chocolate as well. Don’t miss their selection of homemade donuts.