Peru is famous for its gastronomy, but we’ve yet to make a name for our coffee. However, the local scene is changing. Over the past decade, Lima has seen the appearance of several specialty coffee shops and roasteries
Let me give you some perspective on this. In 2015, we consumed a mere 600g of coffee per person – but, as USDA points out, that’s double what it was 5 years ago. And, among young urbanites, it rises to almost 1kg. But after all, it makes sense for us to consume great coffee. We grow it.
So let me introduce you to three must-visit Limeño specialty coffee shops. Whether you live here or are just stopping by, they won’t disappoint.
Lima’s specialty coffee scene is growing! Credit: The Coffee Road
Why These 3?
It’s impossible to choose the “best” coffee shops, so instead, I’ve listed three of my personal favourites.
I’ve travelled to coffee farms across Peru, and I’ve tasted our best specialty coffees at their origin. And, most importantly of all, I’ve seen how coffee changes the lives of people in my country, whether they’re producers, baristas, or just coffee lovers like myself.
And that’s why I chose these three. Every single one has something special to learn from, see, and taste – something that will help make sure coffee continues to change people’s lives.
In no particular order, let’s get started.
David Torres of Arabica espresso bar/Tostaduría Bisetti. Credit: Gabriela Pinto
1. Tostaduría Bisetti & Arabica
Tostaduría Bisetti has been around since the ‘50s, when Romulo Bisetti, a Peruvian of Italian descent, decided to start serving Italian-style coffee. The generations passed, and then his grandson, a philosopher named David Torres, worked as a barista in New York. This led David to open Arabica, Lima’s first espresso bar, in Miraflores. And in 2010, they started to sell Peruvian specialty coffee produced by Wilson Sucaticona in Puno.
The red door of Arabica used to open onto a roastery, espresso bar, and patisserie, but over time the business grew to need a bigger place. That’s when Bisetti decided to also open doors in Barranco, the hipster district of Lima.
Today, Tostaduría Bisetti serves coffee from the Cajamarca, Junin, and Villa Rica coffee regions. They also have a coffee lab, where they can roast and cup coffees. Not only will the team happily tell you more about your coffee, but you can take courses in this very lab.
The team are also passionate about sustainability. In particular, they believe in supporting organic production.
Brew fruit: cold brew and Peruvian fresh fruit. Credit: Gabriela Pinto
|Where||Av. Pedro de Osma 116, Barranco|
|Atmosphere||Relaxed – a good place to sit with friends or read a book|
|Espresso Machine||La Marzocco FB80 (Red)|
|Espresso Roast||Medium to medium-dark|
|Must-Try Drink||Brew Fruit, a cold brew and Peruvian fruit cocktail|
|Retail Offerings||Solo para fumadores, a blend with an intense flavor named after the book by Julio Ramon Ribeyro|
|Nearby Sights||Bridge of Sighs is a two-minute walk away, while the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo is 20 minutes by foot or 5 by taxi|
Tostaduría Bisetti roastery and laboratory. Credit: Gabriela Pinto
2. The Coffee Road
You’ll find The Coffee Road in San Isidro, an upmarket neighborhood. Most of Lima’s third wave coffee shops are in trendy districts like Miraflores and Barranco. However, Alejandro, the founder of The Coffee Road, wanted to bring specialty coffee to a new area of the city.
The coffee shop opened in June 2014 and soon became a popular option. In fact, they’ve recently moved to a bigger coffee shop. It’s full of character, with paintings, quotes about coffee, old coffee machinery, and little trucks dotted around.
Alejandro and his partner offer multiple brewing methods, and serve beans from farms in three major coffee-producing regions within Peru: Finca Vidurrizaga in Villa Rica, Junin; Finca Alto in Bagua Grande, Amazonas; and Finca Churupampa in Chirinos, Cajamarca.
Alejandro Chu with his girlfriend and shop manager, Aileen, behind the coffee bar. Credit: Patty Ku
|Where||Av. Guillermo Prescott 365, San Isidro|
|Atmosphere||Comfy and casual|
|Espresso Machine||Marzocco GB5|
|Retail Offerings||Socarrada craft beer|
|Nearby Sights||San Isidro is an upmarket area, with many shops, parks, and restaurants a short stroll from The Coffee Road|
Enjoy a slice of carrot cake with filter coffee on The Coffee Road’s terrace. Credit: Patty Ku
3. Neira Café Lab
Harrysson Neira’s grandmother used to wake up early every morning to bake bread and roast coffee she’d harvested herself. It was there, sitting down for breakfast to the smell of coffee in Culebreros, northern Peru, where Harry first fell in love with coffee and artisan bread.
At Neira Café Lab, you’ll find some of the country’s best specialty coffee roasted in-house, amazing artisan breads and desserts, and more. What’s more, everything comes with its own Peruvian twist.
As both a Q grader and Peru’s Barista Champion 2013, Harry also leads cuppings and cappuccino-making classes at the coffee shop.
Harrysson Neira smells recently ground coffee from Chabela, before brewing it in a Chemex. Credit: Gabriela Pinto
|Where||Av. Enrique Palacios 1074, Miraflores|
|Espresso Machine||Marzocco GB5|
|Retail Offerings||Bags of coffee and t-shirts|
|Food & Other Drinks||Banana and fig bread|
|Nearby Sights||The 1800-year-old Huaca Pucllana pyramid is a 15-minute stroll away|
Harry concentrates as he makes a Cacaoccino, his signature coffee-and-chocolate beverage. Credit: Gabriela Pinto
Here in Lima, specialty coffee may be new but there’s no shortage of passion. Stop by these specialty coffee shops and have a real taste of Peruvian coffee. And if you have a little more time in this city, why not explore some of our other great cafés?
Written by Patty Ku.
All views within this opinion piece belong to the guest writer, who is a local of Lima, and do not reflect Perfect Daily Grind’s stance.
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