The specialty coffee scene in Madrid has grown over the last decade. In 2009, when I visited the city for the first time, it was small, with very few coffee shops serving specialty grade coffee. Now you can find nearly a dozen of them.
Chamberí and Lavapiés have evolved into coffee hot spots. You can quickly notice that most specialty coffee shops are there.
A significant trend now increasingly common worldwide is that specialty coffee shops are roasting their coffee. Others are working along small roasteries to get their signature roast profiles, so Madrid has seen quite a transformation in its coffee shop landscape.
The coffee menu, on the other hand, remains traditional. You'll find plenty of cortados, cafés con leche, and cortos, instead of the most extended use of Italian-style coffee drinks. The difference lies in the interpretation of forward-thinking baristas and coffee owners who serve specialty-grade coffees.
So, before we dive into the Madrid specialty coffee scene, let me explain a bit how to order coffee in Spain. If you want more details about it, we have a good forum discussion on the Spanish coffee drinks.
How to Order Coffee in Spain
There are so many great coffee shops in Madrid, but before you head out to find them all make sure that your Spanish coffee knowledge is up-to-par! It can be daunting when ordering food or drink at an unfamiliar restaurant.
When it comes to coffee in Spain, there are several options. They vary depending on the amount of milk they have. Normally, you'll find café solo at most coffee shops. In the selection below, all serve pour-overs and espresso, so if you ask for a café solo, it's always good to double-check what's your favorite to drink black coffee: Espresso, Americano, or a filter coffee.
Several specialty coffee shops have simplified menus, serving café solo, cortado, and café con leche. In this case, you'll simply have to choose between having a balanced cup of coffee and milk -cortado- or a milkier one -café con leche.
Pablo Caballero and Nolo Botana started Hola Coffee in March 2017. Both have a solid career in specialty coffee: Pablo was the Spanish Barista Champion in 2016 and 2018, and Nolo got second at the Spanish Roasters Championship in 2017.
Hola Coffee offers a sophisticated but straightforward interpretation of specialty coffee. The coffee shop is a leading force in the specialty coffee movement, albeit relaxed in its peculiar way. Hola has a classic menu with the most traditional Spanish coffee drinks.
As you may expect from a specialty coffee shop, you'll find here single origins from different countries, with carefully selected and roasted coffee beans. You'll find both espresso and filter -Kalita Wave- brew here, with an uncomplicated menu.
If you're in Madrid and want to enjoy a great cup of coffee, I would certainly recommend taking a walk by Lavapiés and saying hi to Hola Coffee's team.
You can find Ruda Café close to the La Latina metro station. It's an excellent café with coffee from different European roasters, as well as their own.
Ruda is a small coffee shop but is a pleasant spot to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee. Their espresso drinks and filter coffee are great, and people love their friendly baristas.
You can choose between different single-origins and roasters here. Additionally, you can find several filter brewing methods. It's definitely for the hardcore coffee geeks who love to try V60s, Aeropress, and even a Chemex service to share -or drinking it all by yourself.
Malasaña has another of its favorite specialty coffee shops in HanSo. It's a friendly space with a vibrant atmosphere, matching the neighborhood.
You can be sure of coffee freshness when a coffee shop changes single-origins seasonally. HanSo takes this practice to the extreme and in a good way. The coffee shop sources its coffee selection from local and international roasteries, shifting from local and abroad coffee beans month after month.
HanSo is the second café that Nico, Eva, and Enrique open in Madrid. It has been a success among specialty coffee enthusiasts. Furthermore, thanks to its welcoming spirit, you could say that it has lured many curious people towards specialty coffee.
Nico opened HanSo together with his wife Eva and younger brother Enrique in October 2015. While Nico makes the incredible coffee selection, Eva is in charge of the delicious desserts that pair them.
Many travelers praise HanSo for its aesthetics and spirit, and you'll fall in love with this café as well. Additionally, their roster of coffee providers is outstanding: April, Gardelli, and The Barn are among HanSo international providers. In other words, they're only serving some of the best coffee in the world!
Toma Café is the pioneer of specialty coffee in Madrid. In 2012, they started alone in Malasaña. Since then, Toma has grown a community around it, not only of coffee drinkers but coffee professionals too.
For ten years now, Toma has been championing specialty coffee, roasting and serving single-origin coffee beans from South America, Central America, and Africa.
For instance, Pablo and Nolo, from Hola Coffee, worked at Toma. And you could say that many coffee lovers started to enjoy specialty coffee in Madrid thanks to Toma.
In 2017, Toma opened up another shop in Chamberí, becoming one of the few elite coffee shops with different locations in Madrid.
Be it at Malasaña or Chamberí; you'll find a relaxed atmosphere with outstanding coffee.
Nolo and Pablo decided to open a second café in Madrid with a different style than Hola, so they created it differently, starting with the name.
Misión Café has a complete offering, albeit less specialized. It has a kitchen and a bakery, with table service. Still, Hola Coffee provides all Misión's coffee beans, assuring that espresso and filter brewed drinks are top-quality.
Misión offers more drinks, cakes, and food than Hola. When I look at both places, it's easy to learn the importance of Pablo and Nolo honoring a place's purpose. And it's exquisite to try both, whenever it fits your purpose, having a delicious cup of coffee, or enjoying a meal in a café atmosphere -with great coffee, of course.
Chamberi has quite a café scene, but don't skip Santa Kafeina.
Yessika and Javi started this beautiful and tiny coffee shop in 2016. It isn't at its original location anymore, but it stays committed to creating a unique space and coffee offering.
Most Santa Kafeina regulars take their coffee away, but it's worth sitting for a while. They get their coffee from different roasters and offer espresso and filter coffee drinks.
If anything, they're kind and skilled baristas offering top-notch single-origin coffee. So, if you're seeking great coffee in Madrid, don't miss Santa Kafeina. They rotate their coffee selection every few weeks, so if you're in the city for a while, you can step in now and then try different coffees.
Randall Coffee Roasters
Barry was one of the first to roast specialty coffee in Madrid when he started. Since 2017, Randall Coffee Roasters moved to Mercado Vallehermoso, which is more accessible and it's an enticing location.
After years of struggling to survive, Mercado Vallehermoso became a hot spot for creative and forward-thinking small businesses, so it's a must when visiting Madrid. Just as having a cup of coffee there, at Barry's café.
If you're visiting the Reina Sofía Contemporary Art Museum, get to this little coffee shop, perfect for having a cup of coffee to take away.
When you walk into this coffee shop, the first thing that captures your attention is undoubtedly its Mirage by Kees van der Westen espresso machine.
Additionally, to having great espresso drinks that honor their machine, you'll find filter coffee too. As most customers claim, we can say that Zero Point's baristas master their craft with the Kalita and the espresso machine.
In stock, you can pick from house blends and unique single-origin coffees.
Kristiyana Ancheva started her café focusing on coffee, but she doesn't forget that most people enjoy having a homemade cake.
Acidity in light roasts is one of the signature features of Nordic coffee. And visiting Acid Café in Madrid is a way to connect with Scandinavian unique specialty coffee.
La Cabra, one of the stars of Danish specialty coffee, provides Acid's coffee beans. The menu goes beyond coffee, serving seasonal meals with unique dishes.
Minimalist aesthetics and lightly roasted coffee are critical to Acid's identity, and you'll enjoy their excellent coffee in espresso drinks and pour-overs. In any case, the focus here is on coffee, even having quite attractive dishes on the menu.
La Colectiva Café
La Colectiva is a cozy and beautiful coffee spot at Chamberí. Juan Ignacio and Pablo, two Argentinians, opened this café to serve families and busy people.
Among the few coffee shops in Madrid with two floors, you'll find a welcoming environment with an excellent offering of vegan treats.
Ecological sustainability is crucial for Pablo and Juan Ignacio, and they take great care in infusing their values into their service and product offerings.
Organic and delicious ingredients are essential for the La Colectiva menu, which offers delicious breakfasts, coffees, and more.
Their coffee changes seasonally, and they incorporate new coffee roasters into their selection from time to time.
Fancy a cup of coffee, colega?
If you're in Madrid, don't lose more time and check some of the coffee shops on our list. Café-hopping can be a lot of fun, and you'll get some of the best coffee in the world while asking for a cup from them.
Have you visited some of these cafés? Did you like a café that is not on the list? Leave a comment below and share your Madrid's streetwise!