Coffee in Madrid

I like my coffee like I like my men: hot, bald and slutty

Ok, that doesn’t make any sense. I’m probably just telling you that i drink cofee; I’m bald; I will most probably put out (I tend to let love rule) and in the right light, which is mainly a lack of light and no obvious exit, I could be considered attractive. Depending on how much you’ve drunk and what prescription your glasses that you’ve left somewhere else are.

I think the hipsters have moved on to artisinal beer these days, so I’m on safe ground to write something about coffee. Without being called a hipster, despite living in Lavapies and having a beard. Also, I’m too old to be considered a hipster. No tattoos, no kids, no dog. Guess that makes me a goth. or a hippy or whatever other clique is today’s counter cultural bête noire. I’m probably just a scruffy chav with sophisti-pop tendencies with a passion for Lovejoy, “Africa” by Toto, Soviet art and Come Dine with Me. Don’t think i’m exactly on the zeitgeist.

So, Coffee, Cawfy, CupaJoe,Java…what’s it all about, eh? As an ex-Englishman who became didlyeye culchie Oirish I grew up drinking a mug of tea more often than the jitter juice…but that changed in my early thirties when I left Istanbul and went to live in Lisbon. Fresh milk wasn’t a thing there at that time and nobody sane is going to put UHT milk in tea, are they? so i moved over to C8H10N4O2. Not a bad descicion to be honest, as it turns out that by the far the betterest coffee in the world is served in Portugal. A stint living in the south of Italy kept the coffee monkey on my back, so it was a bit of a shock when I moved to Madrid, 14 years ago now, and drank coffee here. Jesus, how do they make it so bloody aweful? Thankfully, some people are actually getting the hang of it and there are places you can find that serve half decent coffee.

Some basic rules:

  • This isn’t Italy, don’t feel confind by Italian rules of decorrum. You can have a coffee with milk after 10am if that’s your jam. Nobody is going to be reporting a dangerous maniac to the popo.
  • If you want your hot beverage to be more than tepid, you’ll have to make sure you ask for your milk to be muy caliente. Like my men….
  • If you want to be able to taste the coffee in your relaxing cafe con leche, ask for it to be largo de cafe.
  • Look for a sign showing they serve either Portuguese coffee (eg. Delta) or Italian Coffee (eg. Lavazza or Illy

Places that serve nice coffee in the centre of Madrid

Cafelito (near Plaza Agustin Lara)

Mercadillo Lisboa (in Lavapies market)

Go on…have a custard tart and a small glass of vinho do porto or a glass of Licor Beirão

Taberna Tirso de Molina

(Delta coffee)

Bar La Piola (Calle Leon) CLOSED DOWN

Mas Corazon (opposite Anton Martin Market)

if you’re Hank Marvin…order a pincho of their amazing tortilla…you get a fair old wack.

La Cana (on the way down towards Reina Sofia)

they do a lot of various (expensive) fruit juices too. Illy coffee.

*all the photos came off the old there internet, raining so i couldnt be going out and taking fotos myself. mianly from the locations own facebook or tripadvisor page

** new mac and new keyboard, got an english keyboard and so the punctuation has got me all a bit confused. so add in any necesarry punctuation using your own imagination.

el imparcial

Where I come from (Sherwood Forest, North Nottinghamshire, Lil’ol’England, Europe), a tree grows outside…so putting a tree inside, well that seems a bit radical. possibly cruel, possibly heretical. but fuck it eh?!
this is a bizarelly posh place next to a sex cinema in turso de molina….so if you want to do a shop in lidl (which is great, by the way), have a drink and piss in the square (also kind of great) and then go and watch a bit of porn in a cinema along with old men who enjoy the comradery of watching porn in a group situation with fellow minded men and who probably don’t know about the internet…and you would like to finish off your afternoon in a really posh restaurant that has a tree inside it…then this is the place for you.
I just went to the restaurant, not sure i have the energy for the others.
there is a menu del dia which is pretty steep at 16€ and only includes a glass of wine….which is silly for a three course meal…how can you possibly make a glass of wine last 3 courses unless you’re a camel. and there were no signs of any camels demanding a table.
posh places are a bit annoying. first, because they’re posh and make you feel uncomfortable, second because they charge too much and don’t deliver what you’ve given them in your hard earned chashish, third because they tend to employ waiters or waitresses that may look good but tend to be not very good at waiting or thinking…just looking good and fawning. fourth, ridiculous hydration policy, but i could probably link that in with the first point.
this had all of those things…but at the end of the day, the food was nice and there was a tree INSIDE.
I was there with my partner because it was a special day for us, being a friday and the temperature was nice and cool and there was just a chance of rain. heaven.
We went upstairs to the restaurant (there’s a bar downstairs) which was half empty and were asked if we had a reservation and then the main waiter seemed to make a bit of a deal about finding us a table in a half empty restaurant…should have gone the whole hog and asked us to stand outside the dining room and eat standing up outside the disabled toilet. at this point i should say that..the disabled toilet is great. especially if you’re disabled.
my partner, with usual intuitive good taste and penache asked the waiter if, to drink we could have water as part of the menu del dia and then a bottle of white wine which we’d pay for on top of the menu del dia…the waiter said that he couldn’t do that but we could have the water as part of the menu del dia and we could pay for the bottle of wine on top of the menu del dia. errr…ok. various wines were chosen but they didn’t have them before the waiter decided we’d be better having the only white wine they had that was actually cold. so we had that. we both chose the same starter and main course.

starter, salad with wind dried tuna. nice enough. bit salty. that could have been the wind dried tuna. or the lettus. iunno.

main course…sardene fillets on top of thin slices of arabic/pita bread with an aubergine puret. nice.
pudding…fruit cocktail or cheese cake. i double checked that there was no nuts in or around the cheesecake and was laughed off as though i was asking if the dirty old men from the porn cinema had jizzed all over the cheesecake before they served it. of course…the cheesecake came with pistachios around it…but luckily not on it (as i have a nut allergy that would kill three strong men, possibly 4). it was nice though. maybe due to the old man-batter sauce.

so…in the end 24€ each and certainly a place i’d lake a laydee if i was wanting to impress them chika-chika-bow-wow