I Got 99 Problems But A Café Ain’t One: The Best Coffee in Buenos Aires

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For a city with such a vibrant café-going culture, overall Buenos Aires certainly does serve quite a shitty cup of coffee. Burnt beans, sugar roasted, poor quality, all probably made in a machine that hasn’t been cleaned since 1998, coffee snobs aficionados that long for a cup of the good stuff may no longer have to drown in watered down and milked out poor tasting coffee. We can now join Argentina’s cafetero revolution and stick a caffeine IV in our arms to check out some of the best spots to drink coffee in Buenos Aires.

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No one in their right mind can knock the absolute greatness of the Buenos Aires bares and cafés notables, the old school cafés that are pieces of the city’s cultural history. I’d gladly sit for hours in one of these beautiful cafés, drinking on a cortado and soaking up porteño life in a jarrito. But sometimes (like every time), a strong morning pick me up is somewhat crucial to get through the day, and here’s where you should be going to sip on some of that black liquid gold.

LATTENTE 

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Let’s recite a special prayer and say a massive gracious gracias to the beautiful coffee gods for bringing us this c-word mecca on Thames. Daniel Cifuentes, the Colombian born barista champion, might be somewhat of a coffee nazi (in the best possible way), but his love for the aromatic bean has helped transformed the coffee scene in Buenos Aires. Lattente houses a team of the top baristas in the city, making it the ideal spot to perch onto a bar stool, watch the masters do their thaaang, and exhale a great cracked out caffeinated sigh of relief for finally drinking a properly made coffee. 

Thames 1891, Palermo Soho

COFFEE TOWN

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A trip to San Telmo isn’t complete without a pop in to San Telmo market’s Coffee Town for a quick espresso + people watching session. The CT crew are also revolutionaries in the Buenos Aires coffee mundo: they traveled the world learning about the trade and sourcing the good stuff before opening up the city’s first coffee institute Centro de Estudios del Café. If you’re lucky, you’ll get your coffee made by head barista Agus Román, Argentina’s barista champion in 2013, who is also about to head to Italy to compete in the world barista championship.

Bolivar 976, Mercado de San Telmo

Hot tip: Ninina Bakery (Gorriti 4738, Palermo Soho) also serves and sells 60 Granos, Coffee Town’s coffee brand.

FULL CITY COFFEE HOUSE 

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FCCH’s story is like many others: foreigners missing foods from home and bringing some edible/drinkable nostalgia to BA. Colombian-English couple Victoria Angarita and Allan Dorgan were tired of the shitty low quality coffee, and since Victoria has coffee running through her veins, (her father’s head of a coffee institute in Colombia) instead of fleeing to more palatable destinations, they decided to open up shop here. Not only is it the place to go for a great strong cup of coffee, but café enthusiasts and wannabes can partake in workshops and classes to learn the barista basics, or even how to draw pretty bleeding hearts with milk. 

Thames 1535, Palermo Soho

BARRIO CAFETERO 

IMG_2471The microcentro has been given an extra jolt of caffeine inside this tiny but powerful galería coffee bar on Calle “cambio cambio” Florida. Barista Rodrigo Rochas, who learned the craft in New Zealand and traveled to the best coffee houses in LA, Seattle, Portland and New York, opened up shop in 2013 and plays a major role in the city’s revolución cafetera. Barrio Cafetero uses Café Puerto Blest‘s premium line, Alquimia, with an impressive Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II espresso machine.

Florida 833, Centro

BIRKIN 

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It’s like a little piece of New York in Palermo Botánico. Birkin brings a modernly vintage coffeehouse to Buenos Aires serving quality coffee that has be known to induce a slight addiction in its drinkers. Owner Lucila Zeballos got her inspiration from Stumptown Coffee Roasters in NYC, and created pretty much a replica with everything down to the lighting fixtures and hipster hat uniforms. Birkin uses Lattente’s coffee, where the baristas went through extensive training by Lattente staff to perfect their trade. A cappuccino is the best thing to order, not only for its taste, but it’s pretty latte art (most likely made) by Natalia Montoya, the recent champion of Buenos Aires’ first ever latte art competition.

República Árabe Siria 3061, Palermo Botánico

IN BOCCA AL LUPO CAFFE 

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You know what’s pure Buenos Aires perfection? A quiet morning in In Bocca al Lupo’s inner courtyard, downing a fresh squeezed orange juice, nibbling on a ham and cheese sandwich or nutella croissant, and sipping a textbook made macchiato. Italian owner Enrico Aguggiaro worked as an educator for Illy coffee, bringing that knowledge and education through a beautiful San Marco Leva espresso machine.

Bonpland 1965, Palermo Hollywood

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And the best of the rest:

CAFE COLOMBIA EN SAN TELMO – Defensa, Feria de San Telmo –> Great Colombian coffee served by Colombians walking around the San Telmo fair on Sundays.
DELICIOUS - Laprida 2015, Recoleta –> Solid spot for Illy coffee + snacks in Recoleta
FLORENCIO - Francisco de Vittoria 2363, Recoleta –> Beautiful tiny oasis serving Illy and berry cheesecake
ESTABLECIMIENTO GENERAL DE CAFE - Pueyrredón 1529, Recoleta -> Mediocre chain serving coffee beans from around the world since 1999. Nice garden.
IMPORT COFFEE COMPANY – Libertad 1150, Recoleta –> Illy coffee, Twinnings tea, and Lindt chocolate, need I say much more?
NININA BAKERY - Gorriti 4738, Palermo –> Impressive space, open kitchen seating, and serves Coffee Town’s coffee
PAIN ET VIN – Gorriti 5132, Palermo –> wine + cheese + sourdough bread + Alquimia Puerto Blest coffee
OPORTO ALMACEN - 11 de Septiembre 4152, Núñez –> Cool space, great wine, Argie food, Illy coffee
VICTORIA BROWN CAFE - Costa Rica 4827, Palermo –> Lattente’s coffee and killer BBQ bondiola sandwich and brunch

*I’ve also heard GREAT things about All Saints Café (Ciudad de la Paz 2300, Belgrano) and Lab. Coffee Shop (Humboldt 1542, Palermo Hollywood)

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