The other day, I was at Casa Ametller (which I know is a fruit and vegetable shop but still) and I ordered a coffee. Café con leche would do, whatever, I just needed the caffeine and fast. This is what happened; a gauze wrapped Novell pod was loaded into a machine, a switch – like a light switch – was flipped on and then the woman walked away to have a (long) chat with a colleague. What seemed like eons later, she returned, at that point I was on the counter peering into the cup trying to figure out if there was any room for milk. She then opened the fridge, took out some abomination tetrapak milk, the kind that I could put away and give to the twins for their graduation and it would still taste vaguely, like milk. She poured that 4ºC milk into my coffee. I thought: “well now my coffee is cold?”.
And then she put the whole thing into the microwave and zapped it for 40 seconds. Honest to god truth, this happened. Crazy! That’s crazy right? But here is the thing, the coffee culture here is largely, non-existent. When I ask local friends, they point me in the direction of someplace that uses Illy.
I spent some serious time researching coffee shops on the internet and came up with about 5 contenders. The most important player being El Magnifico (How can you go wrong with a name like that?). They source and roast their own beans. They have 40 different types available and they wholesale to most of the high-end shops and restaurants in Barcelona. (A better researched blog post by Bean on a Bike)
I order a cappuccino. And as I take my first sip. I want to drop to my knees in gratitude. It is only upon (finally) drinking a good cappuccino that I am able to fully appreciate the awful quality of most of the coffee around here. And you know what else? Unlike every single place in Barcelona, at Cafe Magnifico, they’ve managed to find a small artisanal producer (Granja el Prat) to supply them with milk to complement their beans. If anyone reading this is considering embarking on a business in Barcelona – coffee shop, this place needs good coffee.
Cafes El Magnifico
T. 933 193 975