Coffee lovers are often left with a bad taste in their mouths after seeing the general lack of options for getting good quality beans for brewing a cup of coffee at home here. Hope is not lost though. Like most good things in Buenos Aires, the answer to your coffee quandary lay just under the surface and with a little footwork and research you’ll be well on your caffeinated, merry way.
Here’s the rundown on where to get the varieties and beans you’ve been looking for.
Buenos Aires coffee scene wouldn’t be the same if it wasn’t for Coffee Town. Not only did they open the very first Coffee Studies Center in town, but they also introduced a wider flavor palate into the market. If you’ve been to their main branch in the heart of San Telmo’s Market, you’ll know making up your mind among their many options can be tricky.
What if we told you nearly all of them are up for sale for you to take home? We don’t want to mess with your head, so take notes because we’re about to name our favorite varieties: Kenya and Java. These two are something special, but slightly different to the palate. The first one is rich with fruity flavors and has a great acidity, while the second one offers a sweet and floral aroma, and a spicy taste in the mouth. Both are ideal for filtering methods using an Aeropress, Chemex or French press. If you’re looking for something a little less fussy, take home the “El Mercado”. A blend used for all of the house’s espresso beverages.
Mercado de San Telmo – Bolivar 976 and in Recoleta – Libertad 1260
Prices (July 2016)
Kenya – ARS 250 for 125 grams
Java – ARS245 for 125 grams
El Mercado – ARS 245 for a ¼ kilo
When it comes to specialty coffee LAB is an undeniable point of reference. These roasting professionals have been adding varieties to its range of specialty beans and we’re loving every single one of them. The Colombia is probably what has been giving your afternoon flat white that sweet little dash of flavor with the right punch of acidity. If you’re into filtered brewing methods you will appreciate the Guatemala. Don’t let its light body fool you, this variety is rich in flavor and acidity, though it offers a more fruity flavor to the palate.
If you’re feeling adventurous try the Kenya? Its strong acidity and full bodied texture is ideal for a French press. Next time you pay these coffee genius a visit try a new variety on one of those crazy filtering machines. Also fun, all of the varieties are sold in beans. If you don’t have a grinder at home you can always ask Lab’s baristas to do it for you. Remember to let them know which brewing method you’ll be using.
Prices, ¼ kilo (July 2016)
Colombia – ARS 165
Guatemala – ARS 200
Kenya – ARS 300
That is right, All Saints isn’t already your favorite Belgrano cafeteria, it will also become your official coffee bean source to boot. The brand works with a large variety of crops, many of which are even organic.
Ever wonder where your morning espresso gets its intensity from? Well, that intense yet fruity flavour comes from the House Blend, a combination of five types of Colombian beans. Another blend that has been charming our palates is Costa Rican Principe Azul, ideal for filtering methods such as the V60 or Aeropress. Don’t forget to ask for the organic special of the month.
For what’s left of July (and hopefully a couple of weeks in August) the house is featuring a Brazilian bean, intense with fruity flavors with just the right amount of acidity. Want to try it before you buy it? Remember All Saints gives you the option to try any available variety in their Filtering Bar. They will also help you figure out which method better suits your chosen beans.
Prices, ¼ kilo (July 2016)
House Blend, Colombia – ARS 160
Organic of the month, Brazil – ARS 160
Principe Azul, Costa Rica – ARS 200
Though Puerto Blest doesn’t yet have a cafe of its own, their high quality beans can be found in several places such as Negro, Cueva de Café, Barrio Cafetero and even Café Crespin (could you think of a better companion for your cinnamon roll than a delicious cup of some of the best coffee in town?). We’re falling for their Ecuador variety and its subtle cocoa notes. Ideal for filtering methods like French and Aeropresses. The Nicaragua and its fruity aromas have also caught our attention. It’s slightly lighter body might be ideal for V60 or Kalita brewings.
*Estimated prices 125g (July 2016)
Ecuador, around ARS 220
Nicaragua, around ARS 220
Your local supermarket:
Before we go ANY further, let’s agree on something: supermarket coffee in Argentina is pretty deceiving to say the least. Our advice? Don’t get your coffee there. That being said, we know you don’t have the time to be buying all of your gourmet goods in different locations across town. To sum it up your already limited options to one choice and go with Cabrales Tostado Molido Colombia.
Before I get all of you coffee freaks sending in hate mail, please keep in mind what the circumstances here are. Café Cabrales also offers an online shopping service where you can get the beans, not ground version of this variety.
Prices (July 2016):
Cabrales Tostado Molido, Colombia – ARS 110 range at your local supermarket for ½ kilo
Cabrales Tostado Granos, Colombia – ARS 416 online for 1 kilo
Now go forth and caffeinate.