Why and where you should drink coffee in Valencia – Spanish Coffee Guide Edition

Buenos días!! My dear coffee mates, I feel the need to escape those cold winter days for a bit because let´s be honest, we are all counting the days when a scarf or even gloves are not necessary anymore when heading out. I am by all means a fan of winter, particularly snow, do not get me wrong, but as a matter of fact, I do want to start enjoying a nice cup of coffee on a café terrace or at least inside next to the window open like in two weeks time… It´s just soo good to catch some vitamin D and having a chat in the fresh air and enjoying a cup while not being afraid to catch a cold…or wearing a bunch of layers to actually be able to sit on a bench outside. It´s been way too long and temperatures above zero degrees are highly neccesary. Who´s with me? 😀

Nevertheless, I am grateful for living somewhere where you´re able to experience actual seasons. It´s a matter of balance and today – as the sun is shining the majority of the time here too – I´d like to introduce you to a nice, above all sunny place in Europe, where you´re able to experience just the exact café terrace moment without freezing: Valencia, that is.

Café con leche…
Sí sí, that´s the phrase pretty much every second Spanish person did say while queuing at a coffee counter. Those valencianos do like coffee with milk a lot. I would say, what the espresso is for the Italians, the café con leche is for the Spanish. Let me fill you in what my great yet special and for sure fun and inspiring company and I were up to coffee-wise during our sunny trip to Spain over New Year´s Eve.

Firstly, I´d like to say that I was quite surprised that a city like Valencia has such a vibrant coffee culture. You could also put it this way: I, or rather both of us, came here without any expectations and that´s what made it so exciting and wonderful. What can I say, there´s definitely no shortage in coffee shops and you won´t need to spend a fortune on good, fulfilling, maaagical coffee either! Obviously, the prices differ on where you go and what you want and like, but generally speaking when comparing the coffee prices to other European cities like Vienna or Munich, there is a bit of room to save up some cents.

Okay, let me introduce you to the coffee shop we did visit on the first morning called Dulce de Leche. This café is located in the so-called up and coming, trendy yet hip district Ruzafa. It has a café terrace/seating area outside and a bunch of tables and cozy sofas and chairs inside. A café terrace! Would you expect otherwise? 😉 When you come here, be it on a week-day or on the weekend, I can only partly assure you, you´ll find a place to sit right away, they are not taking any reservations sadly, so please be aware you might need to queue for quite a bit too. We went during a very busy time, it was the day before New Year´s Eve and many people were on holidays and craving for brunch on the same day, but even we managed to secure a table after a while – when you´re comfortable with sharing your table with others and just squeeze in, you should be fine!

I think, especially when you are on holiday, it´s nice to allow yourself a bit more time and also some moments to fully get yourself into the spirit of the culture abroad, its uniqueness and lifestyle.

It would be a shame not taking enough time to appreciate the vibe, the setting and in the end, the lifestyle people abroad are living and celebrating. Dulce de Leche is a place which very likely tackles all of the aforementioned and where you meet locals and get a sense of the coffee culture in Spain too.

The café Dulce de Leche seems to be very famous for its pastry and bread. There are this vitrine next to the busy working baristas and an open counter area where you find all kinds of delicious cake, cupcakes, sweet bread and many more delicious treats all decorated with fruit and/or covered in chocolate, lemon creme & co. Actually, it´s good you need to queue, otherwise, you probably won´t have enough time to figure out what you actually want to order because all looks so tempting!

When it comes to ordering, the staff is pretty keen on explaining to you all the specials and various options you can choose and surely the coffee or let me say café con leche is amazing! Bare in mind, it does help to familiarise yourself with some of the basics of the Spanish language – you help both, the locals and yourself to make sure you´re actually getting the type of coffee and meal you want! 😉

Pretty tempting, right?

So, from this heaven of a breakfast spot, we went on to do some exploring before heading to a few other cafés later on. For those of you who are keen on visiting Valencia, start looking forward to already. I can assure you´ll be having a blast. This city is nothing short of relaxing. It´s not too big or crowded – at least when there are not any public gatherings happening like a so-called San Silvestre run we actually happened to join right an hour after we left the airplane 😉 – besides, the people are very friendly and warmly welcoming you as a tourist/traveler.

The weather was a blast too, we were so lucky to get to look at a sky without a single cloud and nothing left but sunshine during our 3 days long stay. In terms of sights, I can recommend visiting the area where the Oceanographic of Valencia is located. It´s like a cultural and scientific area where you find a food market, an opera, a garden, and overall the whole corner is surrounded by specially designed buildings and amazes everyone by its incredible yet stunning architecture.

Moreover, the beach and coastal area are exceptionally beautiful and relaxing and definitely not boring – you´ll find people doing some kind of interesting sports, a random art exhibition, sailing boats, clubs, cafés, paella places and people creating sculptures out of the sand. Oh wow, it feels like we have been there longer as just a few days as we have seen and done a lot (carpe diem), but a weekend trip is perfectly fine to cover all, I promise. Overall an easy going and exotic place worth visiting when you´re craving some sun, playa, and tapas!!

Last but not least, in case you need some extra caffeine in between, here´s another café recommendation for you. The place is located pretty close to the train station, so it´s fairly central and it´s nice to stop by when you´re about to explore the parts of the city center including the old town, the museums, and cathedrals and the Colosseum.

The café is a very hip one called Bastard Coffee & Kitchen. This place has a huge selection of breakfast dishes and let me tell you, they do iconic combinations too. If you are in the mood for experimenting a little, you may want to choose a savory dish topped with maple syrup.. you´ll see. 😉 Bastard Coffee & Kitchen is a place where many freelancers, students, travelers and maybe writers or people of the creative industries would go to, if I may say so – the setting somehow reminds me a little of a co-working space. It´s a very industrial place in terms of the interior and decoration and it could be on the high street of NY or Berlin as well. What I am trying to say, the ambiente is less coffee chatting, rather more business-like. I am a fan of their americanos, they gave me the energy I needed for our journey back home to Austria.

Sí sí, that´s a wrap! I hope you enjoyed this Spanish edition of a coffee guide and I wish you a lot of fun already, whenever you are planing to visit this gorgeous place! Gracias and hasta luego & here´s some final pictures for you too! x

When Italians and Austrians talk about Coffee! – 21 Sid Coffee London – Interview #1

Have you ever wondered what´s going on in a barista´s mind who is busy making coffee behind the counter for dozens of people in their morning rush? What must it be like to prepare the seventieth cup of flat white after hours and hours of standing? Same goes for the non-liquid section, running a bakery for instance. Have you ever given it a thought how must it be like when there is to prepare a range of pastries that need to go out for delivery the next morning? – Must be loads going on. And, there is a woman who does it all! An Italian named Laura who´s been living in London for nearly 10 years now. I got to interview her the other day in her brandnew coffeeshop in London Fields. Today, I am delighted to share our coffee talk with you!

Laura is originally from Sicily. Back in April she´s opened her very own coffeeshop called 21 Sid Coffee, nowhere other than in exciting and multicultural London! It´s open 7 days a week and she serves the most delicious brunch, lunch, afternoon treats and doubtlessly incredible coffee. I had a blast there, spent a good four to five hours or so, I am sure you´ll have one too!

Continue reading “When Italians and Austrians talk about Coffee! – 21 Sid Coffee London – Interview #1”

Marilyn Monroe – Coffee Date in NYC.

Oh wow. It really feels like ages ago I have shared an article with you up here. It´s been a good two months. I took a bit of a break in terms of writing – and then weeks pass by and by, you know – which was a somewhat sense-making and refreshing decision. This little writing pause allowed me not only to come back with a fresh and creative mind including lots of ideas on new content I´d like to share with you in the future, but also did it equally allow me to catch up on so many back office stuff a blog requires, the new EU data protection policy being one of them. All sorted. Clean. And good to tackle off the list really.

With that being said, I am happy to answer any questions you may have about this new regulation as my coffeeblog reader and also would like to mention that you can subscribe or change your subscription preferences at any time. Yep, there is a cammycoffeespots newsletter – reading while having coffee just goes so well together, I´m doubtlessly claiming! 😉 Please do get in touch any time.

Plus one lil exciting announcement: A further reason why it has been kind of quiet up here the last weeks, is that I have been working on an exciting new project I am thrilled to share with you very very soon. Two sassy hints, it is coffee-related and involves personal stories. Definitely stay tuned! You may want to keep an extra eye on that section. I promise I am not stealing a huge amount of your patience, be ready for it later next week.

That´s that….okay, shall we raise our cups for the city that never sleeps then?

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New York. New York. Or rather Brooklyn, Brooklyn. In the beginning of May I have had the chance to stumble upon a few coffeeshops overseas. It´s not been my very first time in NYC, but it’s been the first time I was actually paying attention to the coffee culture which´s happening in and around this world-city.  You may or may not know, I am currently (and actually almost finished) studying my masters and that overseas trip happened thanks to my university. It was a uni trip basically that involved an intense but interesting industry programme and luckily a little bit of free time. Aka a good few time slots to explore the city including trying many many iced-lattes which seem to be the number one trend in NYC right now. At least that´s how I perceived it while visiting the east coast of the US somewhen in early May this year.

Luckily I had a friend by my side who happens to be a coffee drinker and enjoyer as I am. So, us being a fan of both exploring and coffee resulted in discovering this place called Primrose Café located along the Green Avenue in Brooklyn. Primrose Café is a very laid back and arty place, I think. The staff seems relaxed, the coffee selection is huge and in terms of the interior and furniture it is a nice mix of modern and vintage. Also, the rumours are true, you can get the best bagels in New York!

My friend and I spent our very first morning having breakfast in Brooklyn, the city part we chose to stay during our week here in NYC. With no jet-lag signs at all (a bit of sarcasm), just us being up very early and almost the first customers that morning, we went straight for an iced-latte and some delicious smoked-salmon/cream cheese bagels including scrambled eggs. That was the best way to start not only into the day but also into the whole week of exploring. We have indeed managed to walk a distance of 14km on average a day..that times 7 as it was a whole week, proud, proud.

Besides the nice and quite stoked barista counter, the terrace and of course the framed Marilyn Monroe picture were my favourite part about this coffeeshop. I do appreciate it a lot, especially in busy cities, when you get to enjoy a bit of coffee time in a quiet outdoor space. The terrace was beautifully arranged. There´re fairy lights, old-fashioned chairs and oh my, I think at least five dogs were enjoying the bit of sunshine there as well! It´s nice to reward yourself with a couple of city-break hours in the sun that include  iced-coffee. If I had to describe Primrose Café with just three words, I´d go for family-friendly, bagel-heaven and arty. Definitely would come here again. Come here for the atmosphere and reward yourself with a couple of city break hours.

Hope you enjoy the pictures and catch up very very soon.
x Carmen

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A glimpse of coffee – Farm Girl London

Ohh Portobello Road, you are so so lovely! Purely. Every time I am in London, I manage to visit at least one of my three top favourite places. Those are Primrose Hill, Notting Hill and the area around Tower Bridge. All so magical and beautiful indeed.

Well, today I am happily sharing lovely content of one of the cutest coffeeshops ever with you. This post is about the coffeeplace Farm Girl, located in charming Notting Hill. And of course in one of those houses on the lovely Portobello Road. Wait, Portobello what? I am talking about the probably most famous road in Notting Hill. Fun fact, even a movie exists relating to this gorgeous area. 🙂  And just in case you have never ever heard anything about the (=my) beloved Notting Hill, go and watch at least a couple of scenes of the movie, be it now or later but do it!! The movie includes Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, blue doors and even some coffee.

Back to the coffeeplace, shall we? Farm Girl is a café which is pretty well hidden, I suppose. Even I found it quite tricky to find and needed to go back because the coffeeplace is on the very beginning of the Portobello Road which I did not expect to be honest. So, you do not need to walk a mile in order to get some caffeine. Make sure to arrive late in the afternoon or early in the morning, it is a very busy spot though. (I guess not only but especially because of the hype on various social media accounts lately.) The food is amazing. I have not tried a whole meal expect some toast with british macadamia nut cream and jam which was delicious to my cappuccino, but I successfully spotted the meals on the tables next to me and every single of it looked like wow. And all super healthy as well. Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free if you wish, Farm Girl knows how to handle intolerances. Speaking of food, they actually have just updated the menu, so I guess another reason for stopping by again soon.

Generally, Farm Girl is one of those places which provides you exactly the atmosphere the name stands for. A perfect fit, I think. It is the little hidden house including the facade, the farm alike looking furniture, the decor, the flowers, the “uniform” of the waiters and waitresses and many more – all fairly suitable to call the spot Farm Girl. Need to mention that I had the nicest waitress ever. She was so kind and asked me every five minutes or so how I am doing and if I wanted to have more drinks and so. Very attentive. I would consider the Farm Girl café as the ideal spot to get a little rest (during or after a busy day), to get a little country feeling and recharge your batteries. And besides, what makes your day more casual than strolling around the beautiful streets of colorfoul Notting Hill after having some delicious coffee, hm?

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Do not forget to watch the movie. 😉

 

The Attendant UK

I cannot describe how happy I am being back in the UK for a couple of days. Currently typing this after an exciting coffee related day in London. More details about my visit at the one and only London coffeefestival soon. I am actually enjoying a hot chocolate right now – just to smooth my caffeine level a bit and as a little treat after walking about 35 kilometres all by foot in the last two days.

IMG_9415Well, if you feel the same in terms of treats and/or need a coffeeshop recommendation for the next time you happen to find yourself in the British capital, then do not hesitate in visiting the Attendant. This coffeeshop is killin it! Actually it does have two spots here in London. One in Shoreditch to which this post is relating to and one in Fitzrovia. Weird fun fact, the one in Fitzrovia seriously used to be a public toilet in former times. Now it is a place where everyone likes to say ´one latte to take away please´- such things might only happen in London. Haha but please do not freak out just yet – the former toilet thing goes years wayyy way back. 😉 If you do have mixed feelings right now, then let me convince you with this awesome meal you may get in both of the Attendant coffeeshops. I definitely could not say no, especially after not consuming any sugar meals for nearly two weeks, to this art piece of toast. Cups up of for the Attendant´s french toast, folks! Isn´t this nuts?? It came with flowers and stewed apple.

IMG_9423Another fun fact, I did visit the Attendant just a few hours after the coffeefestival. Well, do not ask me how coffee cravings after half a day of coffee tasting is still possible, let´s take the location as an excuse. As the Attendant has one coffeeshop in Shoreditch quite close to the famous arty Brick Lane (the coffeefestival took place around the same location), I had to take the chance in making even more out of the hip Shoreditch area. The whole setting at the Attendant is pretty cool. All in green and white tiles and a hip barista counter. The coffee is amazing and the food as well, obviously. It does not matter what you are willing to order, it will be prepared with the help of their toaster, I guess. You may get avocado smash toast, english muffins, roasted baguettes and a bunch of other stuff. Whenever you are in Shoreditch or near Fitzrovia, order something at the Attendant. I am sure you will love it there. 🙂 Besides, the staff is super friendly too. I was very warm welcomed and immediately served a whole carafe of cucumber mint water. Additionally the cup of flat white was mine. IMG_9424IMG_9419IMG_9418IMG_9416

Secret Pocket – Burggasse 24

It was one of those days Vienna got even a bit prettier. What I mean by saying that? I am talking about the fast and innocent way loads of snow showed up within a few minutes some days ago. As i love snow and winter in general that much – although I am craving for a bit of sunshine already and looking forward to a hopefully warmer march – my mood could not get any better expect the moment I was holding a coffee cup in my hand.

I found one pretty good secret pocket in the 7th district. It is like a concept store: I would say, a point where fashion and coffee come together. Cosiness would be the word which defines the setting at its best. There is an old-fashioned stove, many cute chairs and sofas and pretty stunning design, art and furniture. Furthermore it is pretty student friendly. Great to study, work on projects, bring a foreign into the fancy Vienna lifestyle a la seventh district and to hide as well. 🙂 The coffee machine is pretty nice to look at. I do apologise for not showing you a coffee picture here, but I will make it up to you soon. Probably the following spot pictures are a little excuse already. Have a nice day, we are already heading towards the weekend!!

FullSizeRenderBesides, you may find a few pictures about the Burggasse 24 coffee place on Instagram as well.

Coffee Machine Goals

When there happen to be a headline like this, there is no way of not representing my second love after coffee itself of course and coffee machines – say hello to those lovely cups! It is no secret at all, I do love coffee cups. Especially when they are a little more colourful than the usual white ones. So it definitely feels right starting this post with an appropriate picture. 🙂

The represented coffee pocket, Balthasar Kaffee Bar, is pretty new in Vienna though. It is located in the second district not far away from the busy Schwedenplatz when it comes to ice cream or pubs and the big amusing park Prater, by the way. Whenever you are strolling around in that area, make sure to stop by at Balthasar´s. It is really cosy and there is so much space which indeed surprised me a bit. Normally it can be quite tricky to find a calm or an actual space in a popular café to sit down and chat. There is definitely loads in this one – also some bar stools, for your interest.

Everything is covered in light colours: it begins with the coffee cups, as I said so in the beginning, continues with the barista counter, the walls, the decor and finally the dishes. I do not know, but light pastel colours are pretty good in making me feel totally relaxed. I really like the light blue wall on the left hand side in the café. It is soo nicely decorated and the combination fancy lights and flowers in front of the wall including lovely art, amazes me too. Concerning the coffee, cappuccino and caffé latte happened to be on the list. Both amazing. The latte art was a wee bit minimalistic but hey, I am no expert either!! I am kidding, they did a good job. 🙂

I am truly sorry for not showing any pictures of this amazing place up here – due to technical issues the visual content is partly missing, new ones are going to be up here very very soon, I promise! For now, feel welcome to head over to my Instagram.

Cuteness in the heart of …

Yes, there is another spot located in Vienna waiting for you! I have to admit, it is one of my favourite ones during this cold winter days at the moment. Not only because they serve avocado toast!! This café is very appropriate to crash in during uni classes or something. As they have WiFi, many seating options and very very very friendly staff, it is a pretty good area to get some work done. It is quiet and very nice and hip decorated. All the colours match perfectly together – I like the combination of pink and blue in a light way. The spot I am talking about is called Café Josefine. You find it in the 8th district of Vienna very close to the uni campus of the main university. This area where the café is located is usually pretty calm. There is a park and a theatre nearby but when it comes to coffeeshops, you probably need to be an insider to actually find one. Especially one to sit in. In summers they have a nice terrace, so it may be easier to find it and even if you are more in the mood for an iced latte then. Café Josefine is basically open every day – except sometimes the spot is hired for private occasions and parties. I have thought of hiring this café for my upcoming birthday too, but unfortunately I was a little late for the reservation or rather there was not enough room for more people on the selected day. IMG_7350IMG_7351IMG_7353IMG_7567Nevertheless, I am more than lucky to live quite close to this spot – it is one of those places you can visit whether you are in the mood for coffee or wine. 🙂 What do you think about this café? Isn´t the interior stunning? More pictures on Instagram.

A lovely coffee related surprise

I am such a winter person. If snow joins me, even better. During the holiday season I had much time to do some short city day trips or hit the mountains for a lovely view covered in snow. One day, the Austrian city Salzburg was on my list. Although it is quite touristy most of the time and I have been there like hundreds of time already, it is always good to come back. I do not know why but the city has a specific charm and always brings along good vibes.

After walking along the famous Makartsteg which includes tons of love locks (and tourists) and a little shopping, I was craving for a hot beverage. And not only because of the freezing temperatures outside. For those of you who are familiar with the pub places along the Rudolfskai in Salzburg, better keep going after you have reached the Irish Pub Shamrock, there is indeed a coffee gem waiting. It is called Kaffee Alchemie.

IMG_7134In my point of view, there is no way of not entering a place which has a tiny xmas tree covered in colourful fairy lights as a welcome decor essential. The Kaffee Alchemie is kind of well hidden, that is true, which makes it even better I guess. To be honest, it is much more comfortable and exciting to discover a city beyond all that typical tourist stuff. The coffee happens to taste even better when there is the chance to sit down, talk and not get squeezed into a corner with a lot of people holding their cameras and stuff. Please do not get me wrong, I am not meaning to judge anybody  🙂 I just want to point out the ups of feeling and experiencing a right and enjoyable coffee atmosphere.

The Kaffee Alchemie in Salzburg is a coffee place which may be able to overload you the first time you are entering. There are quite a lot of shelves filled with coffee material and stuff to buy and a big vitrine offering cakes and pastry. The coffee machine is huge and it is not that easy to watch creating latte art there hence the cups are stacked on it. By the way, the cups are truly special. Most of them are gold! I loved them. They are making a good contrast to the filter coffee inside though. The baristas are good company as well. I promise you, they are more than happy to share their coffee knowledge with you. We even got a little coffee map which showed all the ingredients and coffee flavours they serve and roast. That was pretty interesting to see and to taste certain flavours in our own coffees later on. It is an experience you would not want to miss. We had a flat white and one mild filter coffee which tasted a bit flowery and got a touch of arabica coffee beans. Please enjoy the lovely captions below – we did not act thrifty in creating them. 🙂

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