Barcelona. When you utter the name, you know it’s for real. I was supposed to write this blog post for an international blog but I decided to just write it down for my own memory’s sake. Why? Things move too fast in Barcelona at the moment to be tagged into a right there, right then kind of moment.
I was happy to be around in Paris around the time when things started to become serious. I was equally happy to be around in Berlin when it happened. And Barcelona is happening, but probably at twice times the speed. Most places with a rep are already either opened their second space, or looking into do be doing so within the next six months.
Let’s start at the foundation of things. For as long as I can remember (which isn’t very long, to be honest), Right Side Coffee has been the one and only coffee hub to talk about. Also, just days before I left for Spain I got the tip from the people at La Marzocco that True Artisan Café was something special, and there was my old friend Elisabet, who judged me at the barista competitions in Sweden back in 2011.
I contacted Joaquin of Right Side early on, and he kindly invited me to the roastery, which is situated in Castelldefels, a small town just south of Barcelona, with an amazing beach and a beautiful ambience. These guys are fantastic people and Joaquin is one of my favorite roasters. As I kept coming back, I saw the roastery develop into a beautiful workshop space for customers and baristi to train! Even though I’ve been to a fair share of roasteries, this truly felt at home for me. It touched a place in my heart that will never disappear!
True Artisan Café, also the host of the La Marzocco distribution in Spain, is an absolutely stunning place, with top hospitality people. I made sure this was my living room for most of my stay in Barcelona as Ionutz kept pouring me guest espressos of various kinds from a rotating menu. As Ionutz is a vegetarian, I greatly appreciated his sandwiches as well! We had some great times, doing cheese, wine and beer around town as well. Who would have thought you’d meet your Rumanian brother in a Spanish town?
Not far from True Artisan is Nomad Coffee Productions! Great people, wonderful space, fantastic coffees! The space itself is both a café and an educational space, which unfortunately reduces the opening hours. From what I gather though, there is a second location, with an in house roaster, happening in Poble Nou. I also had the opportunity to have their coffee at the big local open market Palo Alto around the same area, which was a fantastic way to showcase their coffee (my girlfriend thought it was the best cappuccino she ever had in Spain, period!).
There were other spaces in Barcelona which we didn’t really have much more time than a single visit to, but that we liked nevertheless; Satans Coffee, Slice of Life, Onna Café, Alguero Café, Cosmo Café, Caravelle and Skye Coffee are all worth a visit!
So many things are to be said about Barcelona and its coffee scene. I got invited to a fantastic showcase of the direct trade relation coffee that Right Side does, at True Artisan Café. Then we headed off o Satans Coffee Corner for a “drunken aeropress throw down”. I ended up judging with none other than Javier Garcia and Henry Brink, and we will never forgive Ionutz for his blending coffee with avocado.
Coffee in Barcelona is on moving fast! Just days before we left, Coutume, of Paris and Tokyo fame, opened up a location here. To me, this means there is something happening in this city! Can’t wait to get back, or even better; move here! I love Barcelona!
NP: Freddie Mercury & Montserrat Caballé Barcelona