In Search of Coffee in Granada

We’ve had the coldest snap for many years in Granada and after seven years living in Almeria, one of the hottest places in Europe, it’s been a bit of a culture shock, so today I thought I’d pop into town for some good coffee and city-ness.

I took the bus into town. Just a regular commute with lots of sunshine, blue skies and the snowcapped Sierra Nevada mountains. You know, the usual. After living in Andalucia for nine years now, even as a ‘city person’, I have yet to get used to the incredible natural surroundings in which we live.

View of the Sierra Nevada in the distance while walking to the bus stop

I’ve been wandering around town in search of good coffee today. I love Andalucia, I love Spain and I love coffee, but sadly generally the coffee in most regular bars here is just ok. It serves a purpose of giving you a caffeine hit in the mornings. So when I find places that do it well, it makes me very happy. We have spent a lot of time in Italy and for me, the ritual and hit of a morning espresso with an appropriately delicious baked good is a thing of beauty.

My favourite coffee place in Granada is Finca right by the Cathedral. And oddly directly opposite our first flat in Granada. It’s always a first stop when we are here in the mornings, even when we have been to visit over the past few years. Service is always good and friendly. Calm ambience. And the music is usually good too which is important for a music geek like me.

The soundtrack to this morning’s wanderings by the way is the gorgeous album ‘Painted From Memory’ by Elvus Costello and the sadly late Burt Bacharach. Beautifully hopeful melancholy pop songs.

As you may have figured out by now, I’m also a big fan of baked goods and they do some interesting things, including Guinness cake. And of course, if you didn’t know, cake for breakfast is good for you. And if you don’t think that, then you know you’re wrong, don’t you?

Lots of coffee choices here too of course. To clarify, I’m not a coffee snob. I know very little about how beans are roasted and the intricacies of coffee preparation, and to be honest, I’m not that interested in the technical elements of coffee making, I’m more interested in the results. but you like what you like, no?

So I’m at Finca and of course, it doesn’t disappoint. I’ve popped by a couple of other places this morning (I Need & Minuit) but I’d underestimated how popular they have become given their location in the Realejo district which is very big with the many students here. Granada is a university town. Both are just too busy for me so I move on.

Double espresso from Finca – strong, smooth and perfect for chilly morning

I then bump into a new (for me) place called Despiertoo, just off Plaza Trinidad, one of my favourite parts of the city. This coffee shop is an elegant place that has been beautifully designed and has managed to pull off a subtle balance between coffee science and a warm and beautiful ambience surrounded by quasi-Danish minimalist design. What’s not to like?

When I go somewhere new, I usually order an espresso. Mainly because I like it but also because it’s ‘simple’ and if you can do that well, then it’s a good sign.

I think it was the chef Gordon Ramsey or Michel Roux who always used to ask his trainee chefs to make an omelette to ascertain their level of ability before he gave them a job. If they could do something so seemingly simple well, then they would get the job.

So I guess for me, espresso is the omelette of coffee.

I’ve ordered an espresso here at Despiertoo and it’s lovely. It’s in the header image of this post. And served in beautiful crockery which maked it nicer for me for some reason. The baked goods look good so I go old-school and get a chocolate croissant which is wonderful. And I’m not even that big a fan of chocolate.

It’s been a lovely morning of aimless wandering, a much-underestimated pastime, blue skies, trees, coffee and looking at Granadino architecture. Though it’s technically winter still I guess, you can really feel the imminent arrival of spring.

Plaza del Humilladero
Park near Palacio de Congresos
View of the cathedral from Plaza Romanilla
Street art in the Realejo

I haven’t thought about Goethe since I had to read one of his books for German A-level a million years ago but I saw this quote from him this morning and it seems like an appropriate reminder.

“One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”

Maybe we can add ‘drink a little coffee’ to this too. Especially on a crisp, sunny day in Granada.

Hope you’re having a good day too.

Hasta next time.

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