I’ve been on Satan’s heels for almost a year now. I showed up to a cute shop he was supposed to have a corner in only to find out he’d left. Then I heard he was opening up in a bike shop around the corner. And finally I found the shop in a kind of worm hole location I would never accidentally stumble across, even though it is a moments away from Mercer Hotel and minutes from Las Ramblas.
What a shop. Wall to ceiling windows, thick glass, black Tolix stools – pivoted at an angle. A shop that could easily be selling expensive leather goods.
When I arrive, the yellow bench in front of the La Marzocco machine is occupied by 4 Australians (have you ever noticed that they travel in packs?). Behind the La Marzocco is a petit girl, struggling with an Aeropress. A battle that continues for a few more minutes before she gives up and lets her customers know it’s not going to happen. Profuse apologies ensue, to the English couple that ordered the Aeropress, to the 4 Australians waiting on the bench, to me. 10 minutes later I have a flat white in a takeaway cup rather than the cappuccino to have in that I ordered. I perch on a Tolix and take it all in.
The chalk board menu says in capitals – NO WIFI, NO DECAF. This polemic tone sometimes goes hand in hand with third wave coffee places. The bouncer at the door so to speak making sure that the right kind of people get in. There is a ontrend chia pudding which is served from a large Kilner jar. There are large fat homemade donuts with a pale ring round their middle. They sell some obscure magazine titles, the kind of niche niche print where you aren’t sure what the subject matter is. But again, you have to be the right kind of person to get it and to want it.
Which is important. To be the right kind of person, to appreciate it, to be willing to wait (to be willing to drink out of a coffee cup that has an illustration of a figure exposing its anus). This quality of coffee is still extremely rare in Barcelona. In London, you can get an extraordinary coffee and free wifi and a stripey straw if you go to Timberyard at Seven Dials in Covent Garden or about 60 other addresses in the capital.
I am willing to wait. I am. It’s a desert out here in terms of this kind of thing. And compared to its companions, Satan’s has wonderful opening hours. From 08:00 – 18:30. Every. Single. Day. Madness. But also. Happiness.
See this and find more addresses on my Foodie in Barcelona Map