The latest trend of artisan beverage level coffee creation and consumption, known as Third Wave Coffee, is everywhere. Not in every coffee cup, but certainly in every major corner of the world this is the goal. Mexico City is no exception, not a chance, but Mexico City is huge. Really huge, and in this hugeness there is an infinity of cafés, coffee shops and espresso bars from which to choose to have yourself either a delight or a tragedy.
Now I am by no means an expert nor am I a distinguished coffee critic, but what I’ve got going for me is my love for coffee. And through years of nourishing this love (and possibly creating an addiction), I’ve managed to adjust my tastes to things actually worth anyone’s time. Also to admit that sometimes all I want is the most bitter of espressos, other times I want a nice chocolatey mocha with a heavily caffeinated aftertaste.
So after two months in Mexico City, and a much hit and miss guess with the assistance of Foursquare, I’ve managed to put together my first list of coffee shops/cafes that I would recommend to anyone visiting the city:
This one is a little bit of cheating, Krepchik is not part of the third wave coffee club, but it’s a decent option if you’re in Centro Histórico, and that general area is lacking in third wave coffee joints (from what I’ve gathered so far in my odyssey). All coffee drinks are espresso based, but they have a decent bean to work with, and so far my visits have not resulted in a tragedy. Plus I always purchase some of their chocolate covered coffee beans to go, and man are they addictive.
7) Café Borola
Located in San Angel, this is one of the better options there. They’ve got their lab of methods, know what they are doing and definitely try to provide you with the best cup possible. I wouldn’t say they’ve got the best coffee beans in the city, but they’re decent enough and they know what to do with them. Thankfully they don’t fall on the alternative, which would be that they have their lab of methods and not have even the barest of decent coffee beans. Trust me, I’ve bumped into those.
6) Café Memorias de un Barista
This is a delightful place, located in hipster-restaurant-heaven: Roma Norte. Also an espresso based drinks place, this one has a nice balance of coffee that’s not too bitter and not too light, but it’s also not strong enough to be off-putting. Decorated with a lot of 50s and 60s memorabilia, it’s a good place to either do a little work or just hang. It’s all very cute and inviting.
Using national beans to it’s best extent, this is definitely part of the Third Wave Coffee club, taking the practice as the art it should be. Located in Roma Norte, this place is a bit of a debate for me. While not my top at all, because of personal preference (I lean more towards the bitter flavour) it definitely is a good choice if you want to actually guiltlessly enjoy a good cup of coffee. Everyone here is in the know-how of the third wave coffee scene in Mexico City.
4) Cardinal. Casa del Café.
Also located in Roma Norte and also a member of the Third Wave Coffee Club, this one has good coffee on it’s way to getting better. It edges slightly on the bitter, but not too much. Complete with their full lab of methods, it’s also a nice place to spend hours working on something. In general it’s ambiance is that of a freelance worker space.
3) Chiquitito Café
Another place with coffee beans of national provenance, and yet another member of the Third Wave Coffee Club, this place starts to touch on the bitter scale of coffee flavour but it’s still very good and enjoyable. It’s two locations, one in Condessa and the other in Reforma, are both kind of small but very inviting. Plus the barista’s are very sweet and willing to answer any question you might have.
2) Café Avellaneda
A third place with coffee beans of national provenance, and also a member of the Third Wave Coffee Club, this place is located in Centro de Coyoacán. It’s very tiny but very cozy, mostly because they like making sure you are enjoying your drink, but the place just has an aura of comfort to be there. Their coffee leans towards the flavourful but slightly bitter side, and I really do love the full bodied flavour they’ve got going.
1) Alma Negra
My favourite by far, and of course a member of the Third Wave Coffee Club as well, this is more favouring to my bitter preferences. Working with a lab of methods and a variety of coffee beans, I’ve yet to be disappointed by anything I try or have been suggested. They are very knowledgeable, inviting, and very into having conversations with their clients. So it makes for a visit you end up leaving very satisfied from.