Coffee and Coffee Travel

Grey Day Lima- La Ruta Del Café

July 25, 2016

Many people scratch their heads in wonder at how Francisco Pizarro chose Lima as the location for the administrative nerve centre of the Spanish Empire in South America. With grey skies and a desert-like landscape, this is a city that lost out in the ‘location, location, location’ stakes. However, what it lacks in physical and scenic beauty is made up for by a world-class food culture. Also, as the capital of one of the largest exporters of organic coffee on the planet, there are plenty of places to enjoy spectacular coffee should you find yourself in the city on one of its many grey days.

 

Tostadería Bisetti

Wooden interior and pictures at Tostafderia Bisetti

Sleek design at Tostaderia Bisetti

Great coffee but the service…

Tostadería Bisetti may suffer from the fact that it enjoys a stellar reputation as the birthplace of quality coffee in Peru. Recommended by the owner of the excellent D’Wasi Coffee Shop in Cusco, my expectations were sky-high prior to arriving and, given that it preceded many of its high-end rivals and acted as a training ground for some of their owners, it was an obligatory starting point on a coffee tour of Lima.  

Located on a corner opposite the main park in Barranco, it immediately announces itself as a coffee Mecca with a roasting area to the left of the main entrance, as well as walls decorated with coffee grinders and photos of different brewing methods such as Aeropress, pour over and Italian stove top.  However, what it possesses in style is not necessarily matched in substance. The staff was unable to tell me much about the provenance of the coffee and the Aeropress that I ordered took forever to arrive and it was served in a cup (with no sign of the Aeropress). When I inquired about the cakes I was told to look at the counter, which I did, only to turn around to see another server taking away my coffee.

Let’s just hope that I caught them on a bad day.

Av. Pedro de Osma 116, Barranco (Cafebisetti.com)

Mon-Thurs 8am-10pm/ Fri 8am-11pm/ Sat 9am-10pm/ Sun 2pm-10pm

 

La Bodega Verde

clients play chess at La Bodega Verde

Relax at La Bodega Verde

Cool teahouse with great coffee

La Bodega Verde, also centrally located in Barranco, is more of a teahouse than a hipster coffee joint. Based around a garden with parasols, the interior is the perfect place to relax on a grey day. The sofas literally invite you to pause and linger. It’s hardly surprising that it attracts a wide range of locals and tourists who come here to chat and even play chess (chess sets provided, so no need to bring your own). Unlike other places, La Bodega Verde even manages to feel cosy and inviting at busy times and the smooth milky cappuccino would not be out-of-place in any specialist coffee shop. However, if you’re in the mood for a bit of lush luxury, try out the chocolate submarine (for the uninitiated, it’s a bar of chocolate melted in a glass of warm milk).

Grau  1511, Barranco (labodegaverde.com)

Mon-Sun 8am-10pm

 

Cate Tasting Rooms

Interior view of Cate Tasting Rooms, Lima

Early morning coffee at Cate Tasting Rooms

Kickstart your morning at Cate Tasting Rooms

Wood and glass combine to form the Spartan look at Cate Tasting Rooms, a cool coffee destination in  Miraflores. Apart from high quality coffee beans from the Cusco and Cajamarca regions, they also retail Cacaosuyo, a high-end Peruvian chocolate. Not only is the staff knowlegeable about the products they sell, but they are also willing and able to answer your questions. On my visit I tried a Bourbon from Cajamarca prepared using a ‘clever’ coffee dripper ( a pour over drip method similar to a V60).  The result was an intense flavour with a strong caffeine kick, the perfect way to combat a grey morning in Lima.

Independencia 269,  Miraflores (cateperu.com)

Mon-Sat 8am -8pm

Puku Puku Café

Exterior seating at Puku Puku Café, Lima

Go green at Puku Puku Café

Despertemos al mundo…

Let’s wake the world up…

The slogan simultaneously announces the green theme and mission of Puku Puku Café. Located on a quiet side street in Miraflores and easy to miss when passing, their aim is to provide an environment in which coffee drinkers can enjoy an organic, environmentally friendly beverage. With this in mind, all the coffee is sourced directly from the producer, Luis Antonio Suarez of Unión Las Mercedes, San Ignacio, Cajamarca.

However, there is even more to this café than meets the eye. Pet owners are encouraged to come along, smokers are tolerated provided that they smoke outside and all of the furniture is made from recycled materials. For example, according to the barista, the chairs may be made from recycled doors. Afraid of a caffeine overdose by the time I got there, I ordered an Americano, but this too had a full flavour and a strong caffeine kick. My corner seat proved to be a great place to chillax and the chat and laughter of the staff in the background provided the perfect soundtrack.

Narciso de la Colina 297, Miraflores (Facebook page)

Mon- Sun 7am-9pm

 

Caficulto

Hidden but worth finding

Some Internet reviewers refer to it as Café Oculto ( Hidden Café), but it’s easy enough to find once you know where to look- find the main KFC in central Miraflores and it is located in the small street directly behind. Caficulto has a laidback, left of centre feel (personally, I loved the ‘COMIDA NO BOMBAS LIMA’ flyer. By the time I got here I was already on a big caffeine high, so I ordered a latte and a serrano sandwich, which was served in olive bread with a light coating of olive oil. Let’s just say that I now understand the city’s stellar reputation among foodies all over the world.

Pasaje Tello 163, Miraflores (Caficulto.com)

Mon-Sat 7am-8pm

True Artisan Café

Espresso and pastry at True Artisan Café, Lima

Italian coffee at True Artisan café

Don’t forget the Italians!

This Italian style café has a long bar counter dominated by its Marzocco Strada Espresso machine. In addition to selling a huge range of coffees, they also have cakes, cookies and pastries to complement their drinks. Speaking of drinks, the cold brews (Americano and latte) are standouts and it is a pleasure to watch the care and attention that the barista puts into each one. True Artisan Café works directly with producers in Cajamarca and Villa Rica and their coffee beans can be either a great gift or a great memory of the coffee scene in Lima. Either way lift your  grey day with coffee brewed the best Italian way.

Bolivar 157, Miraflores (Facebook page)

Mon- Sat 7am-10pm Sun 9am-7pm

Please feel free to leave a comment below if you want to share an opinion or an experience. You can also mail me at unlatinoverde@gmail.com. I would love hear here your feedback, both positive feedback and constructive criticism. 

This article is now available for download on GPSMyCity. To experience it as a walking tour, please click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Comments

  • Reply Becky August 13, 2016 at 00:22

    I’m going to Peru in December and since I work remotely, knowing the different coffeeshops is a big help!

  • Reply journalofnomads August 13, 2016 at 10:25

    What a great review of those cafes! I love to drink a good coffee, preferably in a nice cafe where I can relax and do some online work or just to enjoy the place. Now I know where to go whenever I’m in Lima 🙂

  • Reply Vyjay Rao August 14, 2016 at 07:59

    These look like really cool places to hang out and have some great coffee.

  • Reply Ajay Sood Travelure (@TravelureAjay) August 21, 2016 at 07:41

    Interesting… I have done similar tours tasting teas in Beijing!

  • Reply Kevin Wagar February 23, 2017 at 02:40

    I’m heading here in a couple of months. I can’t wait to try some of that delicious coffee to power me through my trip.

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