BEST BETS FOR SPECIALTY COFFEE IN MADRID
HanSo is an incredibly welcoming coffee shop with a communal feel in the young and fashionable neighbourhood of Malasaña. During my stay in Madrid I came back a dozen times for another round of a delicious ‘Tostada con tomate’ (the typical Spanish breakfast) and perfectly balanced cup of coffee. And I was not the only one out to tell the world about HanSo. On my first visit, I ran into the guys from Citinerary.net, a group of passionate locals that roam Madrid for unique stories and latest trends. Listening to them raving about HanSo I knew I was on the right track!
Nico opened HanSo together with his wife Eva and younger brother Enrique in October 2015. While Nico is in charge of sourcing only the best beans, his wife is taking care of the dessert cravings of the Malasaña crowd with home-made Matcha cake and other delights. This is not their first attempt to open a place of their own. A couple of years ago they started a bakery and coffee shop in Usera, a neighbourhood in South Madrid. They soon realised that the coffee lovers were elsewhere, so they eventually moved more towards the center. Their café has a unique style with a big communal table in the middle of the room as well as cozy seating corners by the window.
The beans are being supplied by Right Side Coffee Roasters from Barcelona, and while I was in Madrid they had two options in the coffee grinders. One was named Desvelado, a Colombian coffee produced by small-scale farms growing the Caturra variety in the Nariño region at an altitude of 1800 - 1900m. The second option, an Indonesian coffee from the Typica-Jember variety, growing in the mountainous region of South Sulawesi at an altitude of 1400 - 1800m. Had too much coffee for one day? No problem, HanSo also serves delicious Matcha Latte.
Calle del Pez, 20
28004 Madrid, Spain
Closed on Monday
TUE - FRI 09:00 - 20:00
SA - SUN 10:00 - 20:00
Having been the first cafe to serve specialty coffee in Madrid, Toma is no secret! It has been around since 2012 and enjoys the stable reputation of being a hipster hangout. But did you know that they started to roast beans themselves a couple of months back? I was intrigued, especially after tasting a delicious Cafe Latte brewed with Los Catadores beans from Honduras at their coffee shop in Malasaña. So I contacted the roaster, Nolo, and visited their roasting site in Northern Madrid a few days later.
The smell of freshly roasted coffee beans lead me to the right door to knock on in a small alley. Santiago, one of the owners of Toma, invited me into what looks like a proper coffee workshop. The floor was covered in bags filled with green beans, there is a brewing station set up with a La Marzocco on the counter and a PROBAT was twirling golden brown beans around. Nolo's visible passion for his craft shines through the whole roasting process as he jumps back and forth between notebook and roaster, not leaving the beans out of sight. Apart from beans from Honduras he's currently roasting Ethiopian, Costa Rican and Guatemalan coffee. Also on site, I met Wojtek who was bagging ready-to-brew Toma beans in brown envelopes. He knows a great deal about the Spanish coffee scene and has written an interesting article about Spain's journey to specialty coffee for European Coffee Trip.
Its probably time to confess something to you.. While I master the art of drinking coffee, I have never actually worked behind the counter. Thankfully, Toma are also experts in delivering Barista training and the talented Wojtek gave me a crash course in making espresso. So all good guys, I got my Toma diploma!
MON - FRI 08:00 - 20:00
SA - SUN 10:00 - 20:00
Coffee and Kicks
Coffee and Kicks is very conveniently located in a relatively quiet street a stone's throw away from the Gran Via. The owner and barista Guillermo Lasalle had great support from Toma Café, whose beans he is brewing with a compact La Marzocco. He used to be a regular at Toma and it was there that he discovered his passion for coffee and completed his barista training. As a result, he opened Coffee and Kicks in June 2015,
The theme of the espresso bar is an attempt to combine his two favourite things: coffee and sneakers. Funky footwear is the main decoration here and coupled with gorgeous tiles and red brick walls Coffee and Kicks makes for the perfect relaxing hangout. Be sure to stop by for a 'Tostada con tomate' breakfast, its almost as addictive as the coffee!
MO - FRI 09:30 - 20:00
SA - SO 10:00 - 20:00
Calle de las Navas de Tolosa, 6
Lots Coffee House
Since spring 2015 Lots Coffee House is brewing high quality take away coffee in Madrid's Castellana neighbourhood. Although it is a tiny space that is not designed for drinking your coffee on site, there is lots to love here - from friendly and skilled baristas behind the counter to top notch coffee. When I dropped by to check it out I ended up having a great talk with barista Daniel Jimenez, who gave me some insights into the Spanish coffee culture. "Thirdwave is still slow in Madrid", he told me, but more recently there is progress in the growth of the specialty coffee movement in Spain. Due to his great knowledge he was asked to publish an article about Torrefacto in Spain on the Perfect Daily Grind. It is a great read for all those wondering why most coffee tastes so awfully bitter in cafes across Spain.
The coffee is being roasted at three locations according to a tasting profile that Lots develops together with roasters in Berlin, Florence and Madrid. For espresso based drinks the options available during my visit were from Guatemala and Colombia. For drip coffee the choice was wider, including Kenya, Ethiopia, India and Indonesia. Apart from Aeropress, Chemex and V60 a fascinating brewing method on the menu is the Syphon. It is practiced with dedication and care by the baristas and watching the process alone is well worth a trip to Lots!
Calle del Gral Oraá, 40
MON - FRI 08:00 - 14:00
& 15:30 - 18:00