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

The best flat white you can possibly get in England – Interview #2

What would be a Thursday without a wee of a coffee tip? Apparently the weather must be super amazing in England right now, so one further reason for choosing a, let’s say open-air coffee feeling, ha?
I´d like to introduce you to Le Petit Café today which is a little, little coffee gem, literally. Since I´ve been a loyal regular customer for quite a while now –  on a side note, I always go for the flat white which I hardly risk to order in London but this one is exceptional – I thought it was about time to share my secret flat white heaven tip with you. Last week, Bart who runs this coffee business and me had a bit of a chat about coffee and life nowhere else than in Turnham Green which is an area in the western part of London. Indeed there´s stories everywhere and I am excited to share his one with you today. Continue reading “The best flat white you can possibly get in England – Interview #2”

Coffeetunes #5

A Monday that feels like a Sunday… I wish there would exist more of those!

I put together (for the fifth time already – kind of obvious what a decent part music plays in my life, I suppose) some beautiful tunes I am currently listening to. Well, get yourself a cup of coffee and find some relaxing time in the sun, preferably. Tune in aaand it is all yours! Best, Carmen

 

A tiny bit Marrakech

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Sunglasses, straws in fresh drinks and a daily dose of caffeine – elements which should not be missing during a fun vacay. Thanks to mad recommendations and a ton of convincing pictures, one of my dearest friends and I happily booked a flight to one of the most colourful places which are reachable in about four hours by plane from Austria. Frankly, I never really planed to or even thought about visiting this place someday, but I am glad my curiosity kind of forced me to. Marrakech, the heart of Morocco, is definitely worth a visit. Despite the fact that we have not been so lucky in terms of accommodation choosing and the first eve was a little cultural shock indeed, I would recommend stopping by in the city anyways, we had a blast. Whether for a short weekend stay away or a whole week including visiting some other places nearby such as Casablanca, Fès or the Atlas Mountains, it is a nice fit especially because it offers both relaxing and exploring stuff. I guess Marrakech is now transforming to a pretty trendy holiday spot these days, not only during off-seasons. Haha ok, back to coffeespot basics, I am not willing to write a whole travel dairy here… 🙂

Once upon a time…

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Zwin Zwin is the spot you should add to your list while you are busy strolling around the markets of Marrakech. Actually finding this café was kind of a coincidence and I am so glad we were courageous enough to walk up those turquoise stairs in the middle of a busy tiny street including loads of crazy people on motorcycles and some trying to sell their goods like 24/7. Zwin Zwin Café is literally the perfect spot to settle down during a fast but exciting first stroll through the Medina (old town) of Marrakech. It is very well hidden and super small though but on the top there is this little terrace which offers a stunning view over the city and palms do say hi as well. We spent like 4 hours talking there and enjoyed some delicious fresh orange juice and latte. At Zwin Zwin´s you also get healthy and not so healthy food and the music puts you in the right holiday mode. We went there two times in a row and most of the time we had the rooftop for ourselves because we chose some not so ordinary hours for stopping by. The orange juice they are serving at this café is like a vitamin heaven coming true, the coffee is fine, nothing too special but the best Moroccan one I had during our holiday stay – folks, that means something!

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Heya, Saturday!

The other day I met up with a good friend and obviously we were in the mood for drinks beside talking about all the stuff that happened in the past few months in both of our lives. So, we chose the place Westpol which is like in the middle of the seventh and eighth district of Vienna. The place is cool though. You hardly notice it from the outside as it is in one of those houses on the busy Lerchenfelderstreet where trams, buses and cars are literally passing along every minute.

I would not consider this place as a typical or rather special coffee place but if you ever happen to be in the area, it is definitely one to step in and enjoy some great drinks and food. The bar is stunning, I probably would not claim that any type of wine, beer or any (non) alcoholic drinks in general are missing there. Furthermore I like the setting of the place itself. The furniture, the lamps on the ceiling as well as the chosen sample of the floor and the spring alike flowers in the middle of each table are lovely to stare at.

So far so good, happy Saturday to all of you! I know it is going to be a good one, the sun is shining 🙂 On another note, I would also like to mention that I am so happy getting so delightful feedback from all of you and I am more than happy to continue sharing loads of lovely coffee dedicated impressions on my Instagram account. Cheers!

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Having coffee in Hamburg is like…

S-P-R-I-N-G. And let me tell you, spring is literally happening in this cute gem I am going to introduce you right away. Full of flowers, lovely people, coffee cups and an incredible choice of furniture and decor to round it up – say hi to Moki´s Goodies. Located near the exhibition centre of Hamburg in one of those calm streets only a beautiful living area might be able to offer. I am pleased sharing some new coffee gems of Germany with you in adding a new city to the list. Stay tuned for more Hamburg content, I am thinking of sharing a few more coffee dedicated places with you the upcoming days.

FullSizeRender[3]Yes, you are! Moki´s Goodies is like pure cuteness. I consider it as the ideal place catching up with your closest friends having a fulfilling breakfast, fancy lunch and last but not least coffee. Probably this spot is very suitable for having a first date as well, the atmosphere has something for everybody, I guess. Romantic and comfortable but exciting too. Make sure to order a cappuccino – not only because of the gorgeous latte art. Very enjoyable and just the right amount of caffeine. No matter if you are in the mood for soy/almond/low fat/flavoured milk, it is all possible of course, folks. The food is great too by the way, we had breakfast there which could not be more enjoyable. On another note, the portions are huge, so extensively starving might be helpful!

Moki´s Goodies is also lovely because it puts you in the spring mood instantly. We are all craving for sun sun sun lately (aren´t we??) and probably could not be more happier having those longer and brighter evenings back. I kind of forgot how delightful it can be skipping socks and wearing sunglasses confidently all day long. Let´s appreciate the spring vibes happening on the tables right there. So beautiful and motivating and a tiny decent hint that we are finally heading towards warmer periods.

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More pictures on Instagram and Facebook – looking forward to “meeting” you there too. 🙂