The winter cold has hit and there is nothing like a good cup of coffee to start the morning or keep us moving throughout the day. From a creamy vegan cold brew to a coffee flavored with piloncillo, caramel and walnuts, here are four coffee shops any coffee lover should be familiar with.
A few steps from Plaza Rio de Janeiro, you’ll find Buna, a must for those seeking specialty coffee and/or Mexican chocolate in the Roma neighborhood. Founded by Eduardo Pérez, Alberto Rivera, and David Akle, they work in collaboration with Mexican farmers to offer various blends such as Dalia, with notes of brown sugar, cocoa nibs, caramel, and walnuts, and their limited edition Maui-Ome, which evokes flavors of caramel, tangerine, and raisins.
The extraction methods include French press, Chemex, Clever Dripper, and espresso, among others. If you fancy a good Mexican chocolate, they sell bars of organically grown cocoa with cordyceps and cuitlacoche extract (both fungi with known nutritional properties), or cocoa with panela (sugar cane).
Their motto, “Delicious coffee that preserves ecosystems”, advocates for the importance of fair trade and sustainability as the basis of the project, since they employ traceability practices of the beans and have a B Corporation certificate, that is, one that requires for-profit companies to meet social and environmental performance standards.
Orizaba 42, Roma Norte, Cuauhtémoc
“In the search for medicinal elixirs, alchemists perfected distillation and called spirits to the transmutation of salts through fire. This immaterial reality in men is the soul, and the analogy of infusing ground beans with hot water evokes their own immateriality: the Black Soul of coffee.”
Another project that began in Narvarte seven years ago has now grown to four locations. Under the motto of “cult of coffee” and inspired by alchemical and Freemasonry symbols, Almanegra (Black Soul) offers a wide range of blends, with beans sourced from Veracruz, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Guerrero, and Jalisco.
In addition to Mexican beans, their catalog includes others from Latin America and Africa, as well as seasonal beans. Almanegra is known for their cold brew, a pioneer in bringing to Mexico the Japanese technique of slow dripping, a process that allows for a slow drip throughout the night.
Other recommended beverages are the cocoa infusion, the Gibraltar or the Cáscara Fizz, a coffee husk soda with a lemon twist. You can pair your delicious coffees with treats like kouign aman, a Breton pastry, or Kim’s Kitchen’s famous cookies.
Av. Universidad 420-A, Narvarte, Benito Juárez
Prosperidad 37, Escandón, Miguel Hidalgo
Tonalá 53, Roma, Cuauhtémoc
Balboa 203, Portales, Benito Juárez
Unable to find a good espresso in the Santa Fe district, Kumo emerged in 2016 with the dream of a modern Italian espresso without the bitterness or uncontrolled acidity, and with an interest in telling the stories behind specialty coffees.
Kumo, whose name means “cloud” in Japanese and evokes the shapes that form in the coffee, offers three extraction methods – Slayer espresso, Steampunk/Trinity for classic methods, and slow drip extraction with Oji towers for their cold brew or cold drip.
The beans are sourced mainly from the state of Guerrero and are never served more than 15 days after being roasted, however, some Kumo bestsellers include their Chiapas coffee, Ethiopian coffee, and the hot latte.
Juan Salvador Agraz 40, Lomas de Santa Fe, Cuajimalpa
Carr. México-Toluca 5420, La Rosita, El Yaqui, Cuajimalpa
One of the best kept secrets of the Narvarte neighborhood. Whether you’re a vegan, foodie, or have adopted a more conscious diet, it’s worth a visit to Café Vegetal. In this cozy establishment, founded by Mexican-French couple and vegan activists Julia Lejeune and Shaya Fonz, every ingredient is animal origin-free.
Using milks made from soy, macadamia, or coconut, Café Vegetal’s star coffees range from a gingerbread latte to the aforementioned creamy cold brew. This holiday season, Café Vegetal has launched special beverages like the Christmas semisweet hot chocolate, which contains cardamom, cinnamon, creamy vegetable milk, and a touch of orange, or the praline milk, with homemade hazelnut, almond, and caramel praline.
It’s all accompanied by their 100% vegan bakery, with treats like an ice cream sandwich or peanut butter and jelly sandwich. They also serve breakfast a la carte or as combos.
Enrique Rébsamen 364, Narvarte, Benito Juárez