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TLDR? Noir Café is a coffee shop and wine bar that’s great to spend an afternoon or evening in Medellín.
One of the very first coffee shops my boyfriend and I stopped at in Medellin was Noir. This place is just what you’d look for in a fancy cafe. It gives off a vibe of a city cafe coupled with a Greecian villa. There were gorgeous crystal chandeliers, comforting lounging couches, bar stools, and a lovely outdoor patio.
Everything there seemed to be industrial chic. I remember even the waitress had a steampunk-styled uniform that matched the decor.
So, if you’re looking for a classy night out, you won’t be disappointed here. And, if you’re like me and savor a dark Italian-style espresso, this place is for you.
Here’s what to know about Cafe Noir.
Cafe Noir is an American Cafe in the heart of Medellin. The owner of the cafe is actually originally from the United States and serves many dishes and drinks from back home. They even have a “God Bless America” sign lit up on the wall behind one of the main bar stands.
The owners and founders of Cafe Noir, Hugo and his wife Lidia, operate a wine company in Napa Valley, California. Their love of wine and the different flavor notes was one of the driving forces behind their coffee craft.
As any coffee lover will tell you, a good cup of coffee is like a good cup of wine. It should have strong and soft notes that you can savor and enjoy.
Cafe Noir prides itself on quality and fair treatment. They source their coffee from the mountains of Titiribi, Colombia. Their brand is known as 1000 Montanas which translates to 1000 mountains. They state on their menu that they only source coffee from Titiribi to ensure their suppliers receive fair treatment and pay for their work.
And, it doesn’t stop there. They’re proud of their staff and strive to pay them all a living wage. I was impressed with their origins and their treatment of their staff, and I appreciated that as a former barista.
Cafe Noir is located at Cl. 8 #37a41, Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia.
If you’re staying at either the Soul Lifestyle Hotel (like I was) or the Marquee Hotel, you’re within walking distance of this cafe. If you’re coming from Soul you’ll just walk down (and then back up) the hill on Cra. 43.
This road has a very steep incline, so if you enjoy a slightly intense walk, it is great. But, if not, I would recommend using hotel transportation or a local taxi service.
If you’re at the Marquee, your trip will be much easier, since it’s pretty much right across from the hotel. And, you will get to pass through the local park that is right next to the Marquee and enjoy a little nature on your way.
Cafe Noir was a welcoming place with a soothing atmosphere. The white curtain draped between each seating area creates a semi-private feel. In each of these seating areas, there are chaise lounges and cushioned chairs.
The seating was typically white or light-colored, while the walls and floor were dark cherry wood with black edges and trim.
However, if you head out to the patio, you’re greeted by a sunny courtyard. It’s definitely a place full of contrasts, but not in a bad way!
The café is open from early in the morning all the way into the wee hours of the morning. In other words, it’s great for getting some work done or for enjoying some nightlife.
If you’re visiting with children, I’d recommend any time before 8 pm. This cafe remains relatively calm, but the surrounding area can get a bit boisterous.
It’s not a dangerous part of the city by any means, but it may just be a little too active for children. By and large, though, it’s very safe and pleasant at any time. But, this is just my personal recommendation!
I’ve already touched a little on how their menu complimented the entire vibe of the cafe. But, what exactly is on the menu?
Well, before we start talking about this, I’ve got to mention that this menu is pricey. Many of the coffee beverages cost over $6 USD, including a $12 cappuccino. However, the quality of their menu outweigh the price by far, so don’t let this deter you.
Their menu has more than just coffee including the couple’s craft wines from their Napa Valley property. They actually host a wine tasting for anyone looking to have a pleasant experience on the outdoor patio. Just be sure to make a reservation!
Here’s what else to know about the menu.
Espresso is the fundamental part of almost every hand-crafted coffee beverage. Noir’s espresso was fresh and dark.
One thing you run the risk of with dark espresso is tasting burnt notes in your drink. But, don’t worry; Noir’s espresso had the dark taste of a classic French roast espresso.
Anyone who is a fan of the crema on top of their shot will be very pleased with this espresso shot. As a lover of Illy cafes back in New Jersey, I really appreciated this familiar almost NYC-tasting espresso shot.
Macchiatos and cortados are my all-time favorite espresso drinks. They really let the espresso take center stage without covering it in cream and sugar. So, if I’m testing a cafe’s quality, I always order one of these!
Café Noir served their espresso in a special little cup, which was a little single shot cup shaped like a skull. It was somewhat surprising but it really blended well with the decor and vibe.
It also really accented the strength of the espresso. It is very strong and won’t disappoint if you like a shot to really hit you.
I’m not a huge fan of sweet blended coffee beverages. But, this frappe is not the same as your usual McDonalds or Starbucks frappe. Instead, the coffee still stands out as a potent and strong flavor of the blended beverage.
For those who aren’t a fan of the stormy darkness of an espresso shot, this might be for you. The drink is a blend of milk, ice, sugar, flavor, and an espresso shot. Due to the darkness of the coffee, it still takes center stage.
The two flavors you can add to your frappe are chocolate and vanilla. You can also just get it blended with the espresso. This frappe can be made with regular or almond milk. As someone who got hers with almond milk, I can attest that this drink is nice and creamy still!
I was so in love with their espresso after the macchiato that I wanted to see how their decadent latte was. I ordered a regular latte, without flavors or anything, and almond milk.
I must say what they brought me surprised me in the best way! Not only was the taste very smooth yet powerful, they even decorated the top!
Noir takes latte art to a whole new level! They provide you with sugar and honey on the side of all your drinks, so don’t be shy if you feel the espresso is too dark.
I personally felt the latte is perfect just straight, but everyone is different!
Cafe Noir offers an excellent variety of dishes. They offer a charcuterie board for the wine lover out there, but if you came for the coffee (like I did!) I recommend the bakery section.
Here you’ll find a variety of croissants, delicious tarts, cheesecake, and even some breakfast items. I visited in the evening, so I did not try their waffles (although, I am sure they are great any time).
Noir offers four varieties of croissants: butter, almond, Nutella, and cheese/savory. My favorite was the butter croissant. When dipped into your hot latte, it seems to melt a little and feel very decadent
But, I liked the almond croissant as well. I felt, even though I always loved the Starbucks almond croissant, that this one was way better. If you like the almond croissant from Starbucks, you will LOVE this one.
I recommend trying the Nutella croissant along with the espresso, with nothing added. The bitterness of the espresso contrasts with the sweetness of the croissant.
I don’t need an excuse to eat lemon meringue! Noir’s meringue tart was way different from the Jell-O box mix meringue pie I grew up with.
I recommend pairing this with a vanilla frappe. Or, you can try it with the chocolate version.
If you’re in the mood for something a little less decadent than the previous foods, you should try their fruit and yogurt. The yogurt is semi-sweet and the granola makes a satisfying crunch for your dish.
The fruits are fresh and delicious. I highly recommend trying a V60 coffee paired with this less decadent dish. It makes for a pleasant, light experience.
Cafe Noir is an excellent spot for couples. I remember feeling it had a romantic feel to the whole place: quiet, ambient, and soothing.
When you’re seated on their couches in their seating areas, you feel like you’re in a private place. The curtains aren’t closed, so you don’t feel isolated though.
Of course, this place is an excellent stop for families as well. I could imagine bringing my parents and my sister with her daughter to this place. In other words, I could see it being a nice place for grandparents to take their grandkids and spoil them a little.
Ironically, one of the coolest parts of this cafe is paying. I know, this sounds crazy, who likes paying? But, Noir went above and beyond to make it an interesting experience.
When you pay for your meal and drinks, the waiter will bring back a small box.
When you open it, you’ll find an ornately designed holder filled with steam from dry ice. It looked like steam coming off of a pond in the evening.
I appreciated this extra effort, and thought it was a cool touch to the experience.
Overall, this cafe is super friendly and most of the staff speak English to some degree. The whole experience feels like a little escape from the hustle of the world. I highly recommend this spot to anyone looking for a classy night out!
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