Mexico City is transforming itself into one of the most important capitals of specialty coffee as, every day, its citizens learn the language of coffee. Baristas and roasters, in tune with this change, have begun a dialogue, generating new ideas, risking experiments, and discovering origin.
And in a country with twelve producing regions, a diverse range of varietals, different elevations, and some very distinct climates, there are a lot of flavors to discuss!
As specialty spreads throughout the city, we’re seeing more and more excellent cafés. Here’s a small guide to five of the best, so that – whether you live in Mexico City or you’re planning to visit – you can join in on the debate.
Why These 5?
I haven’t attempted to choose the “best” five, because I know how impossible that is. Instead, I’ve opted for five of our favourites – and I’ve been careful to provide a variety of coffee houses.
I’ve also made sure that, despite their differences, they all offer a particularly Mexican flavour – allowing you to savour the full range of the country’s coffee.
I’m confident that these five will all provide a unique and welcoming specialty experience, giving you a glimpse into the coffee culture of Mexico City.
1. Café Avellaneda, south Mexico City
A cozy coffee house that’s been around for six years, Avellaneda is home to a passionate and accomplished set of staff. In particular, owner, barista, and roaster Carlos de la Torre is a two-time Mexican Brewers Cup Champion (2014 and 2015).
They have a variety of Mexican coffees, all of which have been roasted in-house. With Carlos’ ability and expertise unleashing the bean’s full potential, you can be sure of a wonderful sensory experience.
Located in the historical downtown area of Coyoacán, there is no excuse not to visit this café. Combine it with sightseeing for a fun and thoroughly Mexican day.
Chemex brew bar ready to go!Credit: Café Avellaneda
|Where||Higuera #40, colonia Coyoacán, Ciudad de México|
|Perfect For||A coffee break after exploring Coyoacán|
|Espresso Machine||La Marzocco FB80|
|Must-Try Drink||No matter what you opt for, you’re in for an excellent coffee!|
2. Almanegra, central Mexico City
At Almanegra, they worship coffee. If you’re looking for a place where coffee reigns supreme, where you know the cup is going to be seriously delicious, then you simply have to go here.
They serve a selection of Mexican beans roasted by micro roasters, such as Gas Up Master Coffee and Café Estelar. They also have some international offerings from Huckleberry Roasters.
The new home of Almanegra.
They also offer what can only be described as a comprehensive coffee experience: Cult of Coffee. This is a drink set including an espresso, a cortado (espresso and milk), and a V60. Depending on availability, you may also be able to add a cold brew to the set.
|Where||Av. Universidad #420, colonia Narvarte, Ciudad de México or Tonalá #53, colonia Roma, Ciudad de México|
|Perfect For||Forgetting about your schedule as you enter into a coffee reverie|
|Espresso Machine||La Marzocco GS3|
|Must-Try Drink||The Cult of Coffee|
3. Casa Cardinal
Located in the heart of colonia Roma, this homely coffee house will bring to mind the houses of your childhood.
Barista at work at Casa Cardinal.
The team at Casa Cardinal is a kind-hearted and warm bunch, more than happy to recommend beans and brewing methods. No matter how far away you’ve come from, you’re sure to feel at home here.
|Where||Córdoba #132, colonia Roma, Ciudad de México|
|Perfect For||Meeting up with friends or clients for long, distraction-free conversations|
|Espresso Machine||La Marzocco Linea|
|Must-Try Drink||Espresso/Kalita Wave|
Cute coffee shop interior.
4. Centro Café
Centro Café captures the true diversity of Mexican coffee. It has five permanent coffee options, each designed a distinct “author”, created by a specific roaster, and prepared by a dedicated barista, yet that’s not enough for the team here: they also offer seasonal coffees designed by guest “authors”.
Your curated coffee experience awaits at Centro Café.
Worried that you might be overwhelmed by the vast amount of options? Don’t be: the menu contains detailed information on each bean to help you make your choice. And if you really can’t choose, there’s always the option of returning for more…
|Where||Dakota corner of Galveston, Colonia Nápoles, Ciudad de México|
|Perfect For||Trying new and unique coffees, mixing coffee with food|
|Espresso Machine||Sanremo Opera|
|Must-Try Drink||Chemex, and ask for the Café de Autor Invitado (rotational offering)|
Coffee menu with detailed descriptions to guide you through the world of coffee.
The downtown area of Mexico City has a delicious secret: it contains one of the three branches of this coffee bar. The first thing to catches your eye as you enter is the amazing design, but trust us – the coffee will be even better.
Cucurucho offers a house blend, a combination of beans from Chiapas and Oaxaca, either as an espresso-based drink or brewed at their drip bar.
Cucurucho: Great design, awesome coffee.
|Where||Tonala # 183 on the corner of Chiapas, colonia Roma, Ciudad de México.|
|Perfect For||A light coffee-and-snack-break from work or a catch up with a friend|
|Espresso Machine||La Marzocco Strada|
|Must-Try Drink||Double Macchiato|
Inviting interior of Cucurucho.
Translated from Spanish by T. Schrock.
All views within this opinion piece belong to the guest writer, and do not reflect Perfect Daily Grind’s stance. Perfect Daily Grind believes in furthering debate over topical issues within the industry, and so seeks to represent the views of all sides.