No time to read? Hija Mia offers the best coffee in town, with Pergamino as a close runner-up.
Colombia may grow the best coffee in the world. But, the country has historically shipped the pick of its beans to roasters in Italy, Holland, Germany, and Japan.
That’s left its own inhabitants to make do with their beloved sugary tint, a twitch-inducing affront to the tastebuds of any well-traveled coffee connoisseur.
The arrival of demanding third-wave caffiends from overseas has, thankfully, elevated the quality of cappuccinos and cold brews being served in Medellin.
Now, there are some fantastic independent coffee places popping up throughout the city. And, all of them doing are their bit with micro-batches. That’s ensured that Medellin matches the fair trade coffee culture that coffee lovers have become accustomed to
If you’re ready to forget the big boys – Starbucks and Juan Valdez – and sit down to some of the best coffee in Medellin, this guide is for you. Here are our top picks around the city.
Hija Mia Coffee Roasters
Kiwi Shaun Murdoch introduced New Zealand’s coffee roasting talents to Medellin when he opened this meticulous coffee roaster in Manila before the neighborhood was hip in 2015.
With more coffee roasters per capita than any country in the world, New Zealand certainly knows how to brew the perfect cup of Joe. And, Shaun prides himself on kidnapping the best beans before they leave the country to make his world-class flat whites.
Roasted on-site, Hija Mia’s Rebelde blend, uses beans of the highly sought after Caturra and Bourbon varieties from farms in Santa Maria in the department of Huila. As well as Medellin’s best flat white, Hija Mia serves up avocado toasts with homemade hummus.
He also runs barista classes for amateurs that want to take their coffee-making skills to the next level.
Get there early as his faithful following fills the place most days. If the original is full, there’s a new 40-seat venue nearby on the ground floor of the Nomad Hostel.
Where to Find Them
Although the weekday work crowd will have no problem picking up a coffee at Hija Mia, it’s worth noting that weekends have limited hours. Still, as long as you make the trip before 15:30, you’ll be able to purchase a famous flat white.
The Echavarria family upped the ante for the rest of Medellin’s coffee joints when they hit a caffeine sweet spot with the original Pergamino on Via Primavera. This spot is a world-beating coffee comfort zone in trendy Provenza.
Designed to trap tourists and digital nomads for the day, the first store opened in 2013. The café has a winning formula of high-speed internet, savvy branding, stylish interiors, and an airy terrace by architects, Base Taller.
On top of that, the café’s cappuccinos and americanos are a cut above. Its instant success made the terrace a hotspot for the city’s coffee craving ex-pats and startup crowd.
Pergamino’s superior blends are sourced from the family’s organic Santa Barbara Coffee Estate founded by Don Pedro Echavarria on five farms to the south of the city in 1980. It was his son Pedro Jr that had the idea of introducing the best beans in Antioquia to the Medellin’s most talented baristas.
The magical mix has proved extremely popular with new additions popping up across the city. Three more Pergamino’s opened in Poblado during the pandemic.
That includes a two-story oasis for digital nomads on Calle 10b. It also includes an expansive outlet in Oviedo Shopping Center, and another more spacious venue further up the hill in San Lucas.
There’s also an outpost in Jose Maria Cordova airport which is useful for last-minute gifts on the way home.
Where to Find Pergamino
With multiple shops around town, it can be tough to pick which to visit. Luckily, we’ve got all the details regardless of which you plan to visit.
Serving arguably the best cup of coffee in Medellin, Rituales Cafe is an inspirational caffeine-fuelled project. This shop operates out of a two-floor coffee shop in Laureles.
Established to support 40 families in La Sierra, one of the most troubled areas on the edge of the city, Rituales has been roasting its award-winning Paraiso brew since 2017.
It recently shifted the roasting of its socially conscious brews to a new venue, La Fabrica. This spot is situated on the other side of the river in Perpetuo Socorro. There, the head barista Cristian Raigosa offers tours for those interested in seeing up close the entire process.
Definitely a ritual worth celebrating, coffee connoisseurs looking to enjoy the journey from farm to cup, will love this coffee shop.
Rituales is an immersive experience as much as a place to get your morning coffee hit. Plus you’re a short walk from our Laureles famous Factory Lofts Building.
Where to Find Rituales
Rituales is open most days of the week well into the evening. There’s just one location, but that makes it easy for you to find them when you need a pick me up!
Chocoholics looking for a super-smooth caffeine pitstop will love this Belgian intervention. Cafe Velvet is also located on Via Primavera and founded by coffee fanatic Ilse Geyskens.
Cafe Velvet Medellin occupies the ground floor of Medellin’s first experiment with co-working.
That makes it a popular meeting place for some of the city’s creative types.
Set up for digital nomads and brainstorming in style, this elegant, pet-friendly venue sources its own coffee from some of the best farms in Nariño, Antioquia, and Huila.
As well as its superior organic coffee, it stocks other healthy antioxidants like vegan granola.
Plus, you won’t want to miss the bars of Belgian chocolate.
This drink is the result of a tantalizing combination of Colombian cacao and centuries of practice converting it into beautiful blocks of happiness. If the sticky chocolate cake and a macchiato don’t kick your brain into gear then we don’t know what will.
Wanting to take your coffee journey to another popular spot in Poblado? Then don’t miss the coffee tasting experience at the Marquee. It’s just a quick walk down the street from Café Velvet and is well worth the visit.
Where to Find Cafe Velvet
The café is open every day of the week, although the hours change slightly day by day. Still, you’ll be able to grab a seat and sit down to a delicious cuppa. That’s true no matter what day you choose to visit!
They roast, bag, and brew their own coffee in this laid-back Laureles landmark, built for slow coaches that want to stretch out their caffeine rush.
A bulwark of Medellin’s coffee scene since 2014, Café Revolución now has two branches in the Laureles neighborhood serving coffee and tasty treats. Both branches attract a blend of locals and tourists that’s as uplifting as an espresso from one of their freshly roasted bags of beans.
Slip out back into the coffee shop’s open-air patio or grab a seat on the street for a little extra stimulation.
The specialty coffee roaster’s Ocaso, Raices, and Café Revolución blends are all grown in Antioquia or in neighboring Caldas and Huila. Plus, they’re all sourced from small, eco-friendly, and organic coffee plantations.
Where to Find Café Revolución
Monday to Friday the shop opens early so that the morning crowd can grab a cup of coffee on their way to work. Sundays are days for sleeping in, however, with the store opening a full hour and a half later and closing up shop early.
You get coffee with a conscience when you charge up at one of Urbania’s three venues in Poblado and Envigado.
Urbania’s founder, Ricardo Restrepo, is passionate about his caffeine fuelled mission to bring peace to Colombia through brewing great coffee.
Urbania overpays for its high-quality coffee beans seeking to support environmental and social causes including the substitution of coca crops with coffee farming in Antioquia. They also make important contributions to the conservation of habitats for endangered Colombian jaguars and bears.
Roasted and bagged every day at the company’s expansive Urbania 14 HQ high up in the hills of El Poblado, it tastes good knowing that your caffeine kick is leaving a healthy impact in the Colombian countryside.
The Calle 8 venue is more conveniently located for meetings, while the Urbania 14 location has a great patio area to get away from the crowds.
For those who just want to grab a quick coffee on their shopping trip, that’s an option too. In the Viva Envigado mall, you’ll find an Urbania kiosk selling all your favorite brews!
Where to Find Urbania
Both the Urbania 14 and Calle 8 locations are open all week long. The two stores share similar hours, although it’s worth checking out your location before making the journey out there for your caffeine kick.
This soulful coffee roasting expert has locations throughout Medellin and some cozy, colonial retreats in Santa Fe de Antioquia and Cartagena.
Translating as ‘straight to the soul’, Al Alma is a tasty venue with a heartfelt following amongst locals that enjoy their cappuccino with a slice of cake.
Our favorite venue is the upstairs version in Laureles with an elevated view of the leafy neighborhood and the addictive whiff of superior beans from farms in Huila being roasted in situ. A slice of red velvet or chocolate cake with one of Al Alma’s brews is as uplifting as a gospel choir.
As well as its Laureles flagship, Al Alma has other locations in the principal malls: Viva Envigado, Oviedo, and El Tesoro in El Poblado. Plus, you’ll find them in a mini-market in Patio Bonito which is great for picking up freshly baked sourdough loaves and your favorite cakes to go.
Where to Find Al Alma
The hours in Al Alma’s shops vary greatly depending on which location you swing by. Regardless of which venue you choose, the coffee is consistently delicious.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a cup of coffee that’s better than what these cafés can whip up. Not only are they some of the best cafés in Medellín, but we’d argue they’re some of the best in the country!
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