To me, Orval sounds like it might be the name of a troll with hair on the tops of its feet. Or a cantankerous Swedish retiree. Oh no, that’s Ove. Banish that image from your mind. Orval Coffee Barcelona is a stark juxtaposition to both of those.
Orval is a coffee shop one block shy of Fort Pienc neighbourhood. The coffee shop’s lineage comes from Espai Joliu. The pretty plant shop and cafe in Poble Nou. Both share a penchant for artfully distressed walls. Although Orval has much more industrial chic thrown about. From the fluorescent tube lighting to the terrazzo floor. The plants are there, to soften everything up.
I meet a fellow blogger here whose regular home is L.A. And while I swoon over the aesthetic of the place, Natasha gives it a cursory glance and pronounces it very L.A. A feeling she had at Satan’s in the Gothic too. She has a point. I can’t confirm that this is what cafes in L.A. look like since I haven’t been to that side of America for a decade. It does start me thinking that cafes have heaps more freedom with interiors and branding than say a restaurant.
Their menu is short, made up of collaborations with hip, independent producers. Coffee comes from Nomad Coffee. “Nomad Coffee”, the Orval menu reads, are as mad about coffee as we are about plants. Cakes are from The Cake Man Bakery. Bread and croissants from the micro-bakery Cloudstreet. Jams from Madre de Miren. Boston Bagels supply bagels.
A solid set up. Bottom line though: Barcelona has coffee shops in abundance now. (Read my Barcelona Coffee Guide to find out exactly how many!) No longer do you have to set out on a coffee pilgrimage. Faltering before you reach your destination as your caffeine levels dwindle. Coffee is the second reason you come here since you probably have a closer coffee shop. The first reason you come here is to hang amongst the plants. To look at the covers of Kinfolk or Apartamento. To rub up against the feeling of it all.
Orval Coffee Barcelona
C/ de Buenaventura Muñoz, 31, 08018