Think of Spanish specialty coffee, and your mind might picture the metropolises of Madrid and Barcelona. But if you ignore the rest of Spain, you’re missing out. The third wave has spread throughout the Iberian Peninsula and there are several excellent coffee shops further afield.
That is why I would like to take you on a journey through Spain’s Mediterranean coast, from Valencia to Malaga. Stop 1: Valencia.
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Views of Valencia, Spain.
Why These Coffee Shops?
Located on the banks of the Turia River, Valencia is a charming place with an extensive historic centre. But you won’t just find monuments here. Arts and culture thrive in this sun-soaked city, with exhibition halls, live music, and art galleries. Oh, and every spring, the streets come alive as the people celebrate the Fallas, week-long festivities that culminate in parades and the burning of sculptures.
And if you need a coffee to power you through all this? Never fear – you have plenty of cafés to choose from.
Selecting the “best” coffee shops is an impossible task, especially when there are so many new coffee shops opening all the time. But every single place on my list is a personal favourite, thanks to its excellent coffee, great baristas, and unique ambience. And who knows – maybe one of them will also prove to be your favourite Spanish café.
Coffee cups and coffee at Retrogusto Coffeemates. Credit: Retrogusto Coffeemates
1. La Manera Coffee & Cocktails
This stylish coffee shop in the heart of Valencia offers great coffee, delicious food, and classic cocktails. Rustic chic meets industrialism, while large windows and plants create a sense of freshness. Settle down on a comfy chair and be prepared to relax.
|Where||Carrer de Moratín 13|
|Espresso Machine||Sanremo Café Racer|
|Grinder||Sanremo SR70 Lx (2)|
|Coffee Drinks||Coffee from D·Origen Coffee Roasters, served as espresso, cortado, cappuccino, Chemex, and V60|
|Must-Try Drink||Chemex or a cocktail|
|Food & Other Drinks||Brunch and casual cuisine, with vegetarian options; food is served all day until midnight|
|Nearby Sights||Located in the centre of Valencia, there’s no shortage of things to see. Wander around the Old Town (Ciutat Vella) on a sunny day, stop to enjoy the plazas, or dip into a museum or church|
Sit down for a coffee and watch the world pass by. Credit: La Manera coffee food & cocktails
2. Bluebell Coffee
You’ll find Bluebell Coffee in the trendy Ruzafa neighborhood, known as the Soho of Valencia. They opened doors in 2014 as a simple coffee shop, and since then have also turned their hand to roasting. But that’s not all that they excel at: Marina, one of the owners, was a runner-up in the 2017 Spanish AeroPress Championship.
|Where||Carrer de Buenos Aires 3|
|Espresso Machine||La Marzocco FB80|
|Grinder||Mahlkönig K30, Mahlkönig Tanzania, and Compak E10 Conic Essential|
|Coffee Drinks||Espresso, cortado, cappuccino, flat white, cold brew, V60, and AeroPress, all roasted in-house|
|Must-Try Drink||An AeroPress brewed by Marina|
|Retail Offers||Roasted coffee; the origins vary according to the season|
|Food & Other Drinks||Breakfast & brunch – mackerel toast, mashed beet and pickled onion, truffle waffle, ham, arugula, organic poached eggs…; Blackbell craft beer, made in collaboration with Zeta Beer; Baltic Porter coffee beer|
|Nearby Sights||There’s plenty to see in this hip region, including bookstores, painting workshops, concert halls, and multidisciplinary artwork. For art galleries, check out the Espai Tactel and ColorElefante|
Lunch time. Credit: BlueBell Coffee
3. Retrogusto Coffeemates
An independent coffee shop that brews up a variety of coffees from national and international roasters. What’s more, it’s located in Valencia’s Central Market – a must-visit for those who enjoy architecture and great food.
|Where||Mercado Central de Valencia, Palcos 169-170, Plaza Ciudad de Brujas|
|Espresso Machine||La Marzocco GB5|
|Grinder||Victoria Arduino Mythos One, Mahlkönig K30, and Mahlkönig Tanzania|
|Coffee Drinks||Espresso, cortado, cappuccino, Chemex, and V60; the coffee is roasted by brands such as Nømad Coffee and Right Side Coffee Roasters|
|Retail Offers||Roasted coffee|
|Food & Other Drinks||N/A|
|Nearby Sights||Retrogusto is located inside the Central Market of Valencia, a few meters from the UNESCO World Heritage Site La Lonja de la Seda, and just five minutes by foot from the Plaza del Ayuntamiento|
Martina and Paula, the women behind Retrogusto. Credit: Retrogusto Coffeemates
4. Dulce de Leche
A café for those with a sweet tooth. Not for nothing is this place called Dulce de Leche, which is an Argentinian sweet made with condensed milk that is very similar to caramel. Get ready to taste delicious homemade cakes, in addition to sandwiches and bagels. Oh, and you’ll also find good music, fresh flowers, and design magazines.
|Where||Carrer del Pintor Gisbert 2|
|Espresso Machine||La Marzocco FB80|
|Grinder||Compak E10 (2)|
|Coffee Drinks||Espresso-based drinks, including cortado and cappuccino, with all coffee roasted by D·Origen Coffee Roasters|
|Food & Other Drinks||Cakes (try the carrot cake or the Belgian pure chocolate and dulce de leche cake), sandwiches, and bagels|
|Nearby Sights||The trendy Ruzafa neighborhood and Gran Vía|
Dulce de Leche, the Postcard Collection. Credit: Javier Ferrer Vidal for Dulce de Leche
Tried these four and thirsty for more? Check out Coffee Time Artisan Roaster in Ruzafa Market or Mayan Coffees on Carrer de Murillo.
Barista pouring latte art. Credit: Tyler Nix
Valencia is marked by long days, hot sunshine, and great culture. It’s also famous for its food and drink: paella, oranges, the Agua de Valencia cocktail… but coffee-lovers, don’t forget to sip on a hot (or cold!) brew while in this gem of a city. You won’t be disappointed.
Enjoyed this? Check out A Specialty Coffee Corner Tour of Barcelona
Written by David Muñoz of D·Origen Coffee Roasters. All views within this opinion piece belong to the guest writer, who is a local of southern Spain, and do not reflect Perfect Daily Grind’s stance.
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