Where we show you the most interesting places to drink your favorite bean brew! Come along as we show you our discovery into Unique Coffee Shops in the Coffee Axis and why they caught our attention.
Unique Coffee Shops in the Coffee Axis
We have a massive profusion of coffee shops today in the Coffee Axis which offer many styles and types of coffee. In this instance, we picked a small selection of coffee shops which we have personally visited and interviewed to find out what makes them stand out just a little bit more than the rest of the competition.
Cafe Lienzo – Manizales, Caldas
This cafe was created via the Fondo Emprender, a government program which supports and funds start-ups. The winners of this money must present good business plans and must comply with a strict list of requirements including professional development workshops.
It’s uniqueness comes from that, it is also a barista school which offers training and workshops for anyone who wants to learn more about coffee, start their own business, or improve their skills. Their goal, is to offer excellent single origin coffee and a unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else.
Their coffee is exclusively chosen and selected in the department of Caldas, in places like Chinchina, Anserma, Aguadas and Cuchilla de Salado (a municipality of Manizales). They purchase directly from farmers and work with them on their production technique to potentialize the coffee flavor and profile. In this way, they also ensure the best fair trade prices.
Visitors can enjoy special artisan preparations like their “Mokachile,” a combination of expresso, cocoa, and a hot pepper syrup which they make in-house with hot-peppers and sugar in a special process. Too spicy? Try their Capucchino, which is served in special natural clay cups, or an iced coffee for that perfect start to your day.
Be sure to ask about their coffee experience demonstrations where visitors can live the entire process from roasting, to grinding and a manual preparation of choice. Visitors will gain hands-on experience and leave with their own bag of coffee as a souvenir.
Candelaria Casa Cafe – Pereira, Risaralda One of the newest cafe’s in Pereira, Casa Candelaria comes with tons of passion and commitment to bringing visitors single origin exotic coffee varieties for your tasting pleasure. Their focus? Everything Colombian and social responsibility.
Manager Mariluz, explains how the tables were built with tiles from antique houses, their coffee is served in cups and saucers were hand-painted by local artisans. The upstairs cushions on the couches and chairs were printed with pictures of 19th century plant drawings by the first botanical anthropologists to come and draw the plants they found in Colombia. Their barista and co-manager Chris, explained to us about the three different coffee varieties which they offer. The first is an exotic, which was developed in a way to emphasize certain flavor notes. Its a rum coffee! Not because it is alcoholic but because after washing and before roasting, it spends a bit of time in rum barrels to absorb and develop unique flavor notes.
The second coffee variety is produced locally, in Pereira. This coffee is stored for six months to develop a taste that
is less acidic and not too heavy in caffeine. Finally it is roasted using a special roasting technique for the best flavor profile possible.
The third coffee is an organic variety from Palestina, Quindio. It is grown by women and campesinos who have less than average quality of life situations. Many are victims of the conflict or extreme poverty, who have found gainful employment producing this special coffee variety.
Azahares Cafe Bar – Apia, Risaralda
In the small and offbeat pueblo of Apia, coffee culture has grown at an astonishing rate. With more than 90% of the local economy based on coffee production and process, a grassroots movement has sprung up encouraging locals to consume the same coffee they produce. Instead of shipping it to other places, as is the tradition in most pueblos of the Coffee Axis, they are learning how to properly prepare and drink good coffee. In doing this, they strengthen their own local economy and families of the community through mutual cooperation and support.
We chose Azahares due to our own familiarity with the manager, Marino, who also manages COMARCA, a cause that is very near and dear to us. He stated that in this pueblo, the five single-origin coffee shops here do not compete against each other. Instead, they compete against big brands like “Sello Rojo” and “Cafe Mariscal,” where the pasilla, or trash coffee, is processed and sold back cheaply to the average Colombian coffee drinker and the profits go to larger corporate heads and shareholders.
Azahares features a single-origin coffee which is produced in small batches exclusively for this shop. It is a caturra variety with a medium roast and a flavor profile which features a caramelo and citric acid notes, with a unique flavor which includes wine and honey. Visitors can order special manual preparations like V60 Dripper, Aeropress, Chemex, French Press or Siphon.
This unique cafe also serves as a cultural center for the community where people can go to watch football games, enjoy live music by local musicians or enjoy their cinema club presentations. Remember, there are also three other shops and be sure to try them out as well. Their names are: Cafe de Mi Pueblo, Cafe Flor de Apia, Cafe La Gran Esquina and Cafeteria Yuyo which all serve unique single-origin coffee with distinct flavor profiles. Truly a coffee lover’s dream destination.
While this is only a small cross-section of what you will find, we also plan to add at least one or two more coffee shops to this list. If you represent a locally owned coffee shop which you think has a unique style or offering, be sure to contact us at email@example.com.
Pereira City Guide, is dedicated to supporting small local businesses. Why? Because, the money we spend in these places, goes back into our economy making our families and community stronger and more cooperative while helping to provide jobs.
Owner/Editor of OpenMindedTraveler.com, Erin is also the Project Administrator/Editor of Pereira City Guide.com - She has been living in Pereira, Colombia for several years.