August 13, 2018

A Specialty Coffee Shop Tour of Alicante & Murcia, Spain


Alicante and Murcia: Spain’s southern coast is a gorgeous stretch of crystal sea, sandy beaches, and vibrant cities. Oh, and also great coffee.

There are thousands of places to visit in Alicante and Murcia, from Benidorm with its skyscrapers to charming villages like Guadalest. But on this coffee shop tour, we’ll stop in El Albir, Alicante, Benidorm, Villena, and Murcia.

Because when you’re not snacking on tapas and drinking sangria, you’ll need a coffee to power you through the day. So, let me introduce you to my coffee shop tour of the region.

Lee este artículo en español Un Recorrido Por Las Tiendas de Café de Alicante y Murcia, España

Beach in Benidorm

Looking out at Benidorm.

Why These 6 Cafés?

Selecting the best coffee shops in Alicante and Murcia? That’s an impossible task. But what I can do is tell you my personal favorites, as a local. I’m talking six specialty cafés with great coffee, great ambiance, and great baristas.

They’re not the only coffee shops worth visiting in the region. But they’re the ones that I, personally, wouldn’t miss.

1. El Café De Axel, Benidorm

Welcome to the city of Benidorm. With its iconic skyscraper silhouette, exceptional beaches, and climate, it’s become a symbol of tourism in Spain. Brits visit it all year round, and it has an Old Town that’s made for exploring on a lazy afternoon. Close by, you’ll also find the pintxos area – pintxos being a tapas-like food from the Basque Country of northern Spain.

And just five minutes from here, you’ll find Café de Axel, a cozy place with a friendly atmosphere and good coffee.

Where8 Apolo XI Street
Espresso MachineSanremo Torino
GrinderSanremo SR70
Coffee DrinksEspresso-based drinks and pour overs
Must-Try DrinkAny filter coffee
Retail OfferingsRoasted coffee
Food & Other DrinksHomemade cakes and toast
Nearby SightsThe old town centre, the nearby tapas spots, Levante and Poniente beaches, and the thriving nightlife

You might also like: A Coffee Shop Tour of Valencia, Spain

coffee shop

Tea and coffee on the menu at El Café del Axel. Credit: El Café del Axel

2. Bunátic Coffee, Alicante City

There’s no shortage of things to do in Alicante City, the capital of the province. Take the time to enjoy its exceptional gastronomy. Stop off by the castle; the views are fabulous. If you get tired of the sun and beaches, you could visit the MARQ, an archaeology museum. Or, if the weather is good, take a boat to Tabarca Island Marine Reserve.

And if the weather’s not good? Take refuge in Bunátic Coffee, in the city centre. Great coffee, healthy food and snacks, and a relaxing environment – what better way to spend a rainy afternoon?

Where1, Calle Santa Bárbara, Alicante
AtmosphereFresh, relaxing
Espresso MachineSanremo Zoe
GrinderDIP DKS-65
Coffee DrinksEspresso and pour overs
Must-Try DrinkEspresso
Retail OfferingsRoasted single origins
Food & Other DrinksJuices and smoothies, teas, chai, matcha-based drinks, chocolate, cakes and homemade biscuits, dough bread, yogurt, salads, and sandwiches – all organic
Nearby SightsYou’re next door to Castaños Street, which comes alive at weekends. This area is full of hotels, restaurants, pubs… and what I would describe as one of the best bars in the world: Nou Manolin.
tasting room

 The tasting room inside Bunátic Coffee Credit: el hombre invisible

3. Sip & Wonder Coffee House, Alicante City

Visiting Alicante’s Central Market? Don’t leave without stopping off at the nearby Sip & Wonder. A bright, spacious place with industrial decor and inviting armchairs, it’s a good spot to spend an hour or three.

Where8, Carrer Poeta Campos Vasallo
AtmosphereCalm, tranquil
Espresso MachineSanremo ZOE
Grinder2 DIP DKS-65
Coffee DrinksEspresso-based drinks and pour overs
Must-Try DrinkEspresso
Retail OfferingsSeasonal roasted coffees
Food & Other DrinksJuices and smoothies, teas, chai, matcha-based drinks, cakes, homemade biscuits, and snacks
Nearby SightsThe city center, the Central Market, and the beaches
Wonder Coffee House

This communal table in Sip & Wonder Coffee House, which they built themselves. Credit: el hombre invisible

4. D·Origen Coffee Roasters, El Albir

Full disclosure: this is my coffee shop and roastery. We’re located in the village of El Albir, a small and multicultural paradise.

For us, it’s all about the coffee quality. We’ve been awarded Best Espresso twice (2014 and 2016) by Forum Cultural del Café. And we also have our own plantation in Panama where our Barú Black Mountain grows.

Oh, and want to learn a bit more about coffee while you’re here? We also offer SCA barista courses.

Where21 Bulevard dels Musics, El Albir, Alicante
Atmosphere Relaxed
Espresso MachineSanremo Opera
GrinderCompak E10
Coffee DrinksEspresso, cortado, cappuccino, pour over, and nitro cold brew
Must-Try DrinkThe espresso or the nitro cold brew
Retail OfferingsRoasted coffee
Food & Other DrinksBreakfast, wraps, homemade cakes, Brown Coffee Porter Sidama, smoothies, chai, matcha-based drinks, and more
Nearby SightsThe “Mini Manhattan” of Benidorm is ten minutes away. You’ll also get breath-taking views from the lighthouse, or you go to the beautiful city of Altea. Looking for something a little more rustic? Leave the coast behind and head into the mountains to visit El Castell de Guadalest.

The brew bar at D·Origen Coffee Roasters. Credit: D·Origen Coffee

5. Thalys Coffee Shop, Villena

There’s more to Alicante than sun, sea, and sand. Head inland, in the direction of Madrid, and you’ll come across the city of Villena, home to the 2016 Spanish Barista Champion, Javier Carrión. He has his own café, Thalys Coffee Shop, and it’s easily worth the journey.

Where112 Avenida Constitución
AtmosphereFriendly, peaceful
Espresso MachineSanremo Opera
GrinderCompak E10
Coffee DrinksEspresso-based drinks
Must-Try DrinkJavier’s coffee cocktail: espresso, ice, maple sap and chocolate infused with hibiscus blossom… oh yeah!
Retail OfferingsSeasonal roasted coffee
Food & Other DrinksFreshly baked goods and homemade cakes
Nearby SightsOn the way to Villena, stop off by the Gaudi-inspired sanctuary of Santa María Magdalena. And when you reach the city? You’ll find the Atalaya Castle, Chapí Theatre, and La Plaza de Toros.

 Javier Carrion pours a cappuccino for a customer. Credit: Thalys Coffee Shop

6. Café Lab, Murcia

Leave Alicante behind and head southwest down the Spanish coast: you’ll soon come to Murcia, the capital of the autonomous community of the Region of Murcia. This university town has a strong tapas culture and excellent aperitifs.

If you ask any local what the most beautiful thing in Murcia is, chances are high that they’ll tell you it’s the Cathedral de Santa Maria. And if you ask where to get good coffee? Don’t be surprised if they say Café Lab.

Where14, Calle Apóstoles Murcia
AtmosphereCosmopolitan, young, trendy
Espresso MachineIberital Expression
Coffee DrinksEspresso and pour overs
Must-Try DrinkA V60 of their Finca La Susana Red Honey (Antioquia, Colombia)
Retail OfferingsSeasonal roasted coffees
Food & Other DrinksHandmade carrot cake, coffee bread, cold brew, and their indulgent Ferrero Lab: a milky, chocolaty shake
Nearby SightsCafé Lab is in the heart of Murcia, next to the famous Cathedral de Santa Maria – a must-see. I also recommend having tapas in the Plaza de las Flores.

Café Lab’s striking tasting room. Credit: Rafa Marín

There’s no place quite like Spain’s southern coast. It’s a place to relax; to enjoy the sun on your face and the smell of salt water in the air; to experience beautiful churches, good food, and good drinks.

And the coffee deserves trying, just as much as the sangria and Rioja.

All views within this opinion piece belong to the guest writer, who is a local of south-eastern Spain, and do not reflect Perfect Daily Grind’s stance.

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