Colombia is a coffee-growing country, recognized worldwide for the quality of its coffee, which has more than 550 municipalities that produce this grain throughout its territory. So the diversity of Colombia is not only cultural, gastronomic, or geographical: it is also evident in the flavors of its coffee.
Until a while ago, good coffee was intended only for export. Today, for the fortune of all, we can try at home what makes us so famous abroad. Here we present some specially selected places, where you can live experiences of 100% Colombian coffee in Bogotá. Of course, do not expect to pay the price of a cafeteria red wine: after all, you will drink one of the best coffees in the world and that is worth it.
Café San Alberto
It is a coffee of experts and tradition. This place located in Usaquén (see map at the end of the article) is the most awarded coffee in Colombia, as indicated by its slogan and the international awards that proudly hang on one of its walls.
San Alberto was born in the cradle of Colombian coffee: Buenavista, Quindío, in the Eje Cafetero where they have their hacienda of the same name and their first point of sale where they can have a cup of coffee while admiring the green coffee plantations from the top of the mountain. Its beans are carefully selected through the manual five-fold selection process that guarantees the quality and consistency of the final drink.
With other locations in Cartagena and at the Gold Museum in Bogotá, San Alberto offers a complete sensory experience of Colombian coffee whether you decide to do your ‘Coffee Baptism’ ritual or just go hang out and taste its flavor. I recommend one of their filtered coffees -Chemex, drip cone, siphon, or French press-, which are prepared at the table. While the ground coffee mixes with the water, drip little by little, and its smell is accentuated, the waiters explain in detail the characteristics of the coffee and answer the questions of the customers.
He is the expert of the experts. Perfect Love is a coffee roasting company that offers high-quality beans and beverages, and that uses advanced technology in its processes. Here, the love for coffee and the red heart that characterizes its logo is always present.
In addition to international awards, it also has baristas who are national champions and have represented the country in competitions around the world. The brand is a supplier of restaurants, hotels, and companies nationwide, and for a few years, it has had three stores in Bogotá: one in Usaquén, another in Chapinero Alto, and another near Parque de la 93, plus offices in Medellín and Cali.
Two of its establishments have something very special: the perfect combination of coffee with something else. In Usaquén, there is Perfect Love Free Union where they sell coffee and ice cream. After all, coffee always pairs well with something sweet. Coffee cocktails are another option worth trying.
Public Cupping Coffee
It is an educational cafe. The store is located in Usaquén and its main objective is to educate both Colombians and visitors. This is evident in the employees, who have great knowledge of the subject and are in charge of guiding customers in choosing a coffee that they like. As ironic as it may seem, Colombians – so well known for our coffee – we know very little about it.
They are a roasting company with more than 20 Colombian coffees from different municipalities of the country to choose from. Its cement floors, its lamps with a somewhat industrial touch, the white brick walls, the plan of the place hanging on the wall, and the laboratory in the background, gives the feeling of being in a factory or a well-decorated warehouse.
The water-filtered coffees are prepared at the table while the expert explains the process and how it should be taken. The coffee must first be smelled dry, then wet when the water is added and finally it is recommended to try it in four sips since the last two are the ones that give the real flavor of the drink.
There are tastings and courses for all levels. Whether it is for having a cup of coffee, for learning more about the subject, for trying their coffee soda, or for the coffee beer that they developed with the BBC (Bogotá Beer Company), this place is worth visiting.
Orange blossom Coffee
It is conscious coffee. This place, named after the flower of the coffee plant, is a good place to taste Colombian coffee and to transparently support its producers.
In Azahar, they are exporters of green coffee and they roast the coffee only to sell it in the local market and to use it in their stores. They tour the farms of the country, meet and share stories about farmers and their families. They are committed to buying coffee directly from producers, at a fair price. Their main plant is in Armenia in the Coffee Axis and they have two stores in Bogotá, in Parque 93 and San Felipe.
The filtered coffee is prepared by the barista at the bar and brought to the table with a card that describes the profile of the cup. There they specify the name of the producer, the municipality and the department of origin, the height of cultivation, the notes of its flavor, and the purchase price from the producer, which is educational and at the same time responsible.
The headquarters of Parque de la 93 is the main one. Its atmosphere combines the industrial and the modern with the natural, through its decoration with geometric shapes in polygons, natural fiber lamps, and plants that not only give a touch of life to the place but also separate the spaces in a simple way.
Their style and the R&B music in the background evoke an industrial bar in a container, which was in fact in one of these that they had their first place.
Cafe del Eje
It is a relaxed and cozy cafe. Located on Calle 109 con 15, is a small and very nice place. With its origin coffee from the Eje Cafetero, roasted daily, but above all with its calm and relaxed atmosphere, it is a great choice to have a good time. They do introductory events to coffee tasting and it’s the only one of the cafes I visited that offers at least a couple of gluten-free options in their patisserie.
Its sophisticated decoration contrasts the modern and the industrial touch with a style that more closely resembles a European cafe with tiles and mosaics on the floor. The walls and their cozy corners with leather chairs with large arms, and its terrace surrounded by plants, definitely make this a pleasant and comfortable place.
It is a perfect place to work any day of the week or to arrive by bicycle on a Sunday to have a cup of coffee, as it is close to one of the main roads of the bike path and there is where to park your bike. In addition, its terrace is dog-friendly, so it is a very good weekend plan that includes your bike and your pet.
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