Medellin was our first city in South America and a city that was easy to love. Even though we were far from home and didn’t speak the language, their fantastic coffee scene made us feel like we belonged. No matter where you go in the world, the smell of coffee and sound of steaming milk just feels like home. There was plenty of that to go around in Medellin. In this Medellin Coffee Guide, we’re dishing on all things coffee. So grab a cup and let’s get started!
Coffee in Medellin
In case you live under a rock, I’ll remind you that Colombian coffee is among the best in the world. Coffee from Colombia tends to be a mellow, medium-bodied coffee. It is usually sweet with low acidity and frequent nutty undertones. That’s coffee talk for delicious.
And they produce a lot of it. Colombia is the third top coffee producing country in the world. However, as a country, Colombia doesn’t actually consume all that much.
Though consumption is growing, a vast majority of the best coffee produced in Colombia is exported and the locals generally consume what’s left over. You’ll want to be sure to find a craft coffee shop to ensure you’re getting the best locally grown coffee.
TIP: While you’re in Medellin, don’t miss the chance to visit a local coffee farm to see just how this amazing coffee is gown, roasted and distributed. We took the Coffee Farm Tour with Toucan Cafe & Tours and we highly recommend it!
Coffee Shop Culture in Medellin
Medellin is home to a lot of digital nomads. Among the many reasons for that — including good wifi, low cost of a living, and a similar time zone as the US — is the quantity and quality of coffee shops in town.
Unlike some places in the world (I’m looking at you Vienna), the coffee shop culture in Medellin is very relaxed. This is not a place where you will get the side-eye for taking out your laptop.
In fact, most coffee shops are filled with patrons working on their laptops. Nearly all cafes around town welcome remote workers with free and speedy wifi, access to outlets and of course, great coffee.
There’s also an understanding that many patrons will be hanging out for a while, working or otherwise. The easy-going nature of the city helps ensure that no one is going to be rushing you out the door.
Even if you don’t have a laptop in tow, you’ll find plenty to love about the coffee scene in Medellin. Because of the temperate climate, which earned the city the nickname the City of Eternal Spring, nearly every cafe has open air and/or patio seating. You’ll also find that many of the craft coffee shops offer premier Colombian coffee from local farms.
Best Neighborhoods for Coffee in Medellin
There are two neighborhoods you’ll want want to hit up for premier craft coffee shops: El Poblado and Laureles. Both neighborhoods are trendy, hip and tourist friendly.
I personally have only explored the coffee scene in El Poblado, because that’s where we stayed. This neighborhood is the most popular tourist location and home to the famous nightlife district, Parque Lleras.
If you’re looking for recommendations on Laureles coffee shops, I’ll send you to this great guide by Medellin Guru.
Tips for Visiting Coffee Shops in Medellin
Coffee shops in Medellin are, for the most part, just like coffee shops all over the world. There are just a few things unique to the area that I want to be sure to point out.
- As a city, Medellin is really slow to wake up, and the coffee shops are no exception. Many coffee shops open at 9 AM or later, and even then the posted opening time is more of a suggestion than a rule.
- Getting coffee to go is not super common. You don’t see people walking around with their Starbucks like you do in the States.
- Try something different! You’ll find great combos like cold brew with tonic and coffee with lemonade, and you should try all of them.
Best Coffee Shops in Medellin
Without further ado, we’re excited to share our favorite coffee shops in Medellin! We spent three weeks working from coffee shops in Medellin, and these were the places we visited most often.
We surely missed a few and there has certainly been new cafes to open since we visited in 2017. If you have a coffee shop to add to this list, be sure to let us know in the comments!
- Pergamino Cafe | A local coffee staple, favorite child of the Third Wave coffee scene in Medellin and our personal favorite coffee shop in town is Pergamino. They have grown to four Medellin locations and ship internationally. As far as we’re concerned, they’re the best cafe in town. Check out our detailed review of Pergamino Cafe.
- Toucan Cafe & Tours | A close silver medalist is Toucan Cafe & Tours, which introduced us to the Colombian classic: limonada de café. This is a great place to grab a coffee before heading off on one of their epic Medellin tours. You can read our cafe review of Toucan Cafe & Tours here or our reviews of our day trips with Toucan to Guatape and Comuna 13.
- Cafe Velvet | If locally owned and locally roasted is your thing, look no further than Cafe Velvet. The cold brew is top notch, but you’ll have your pick of other brewing methods and roasts which are sure to blow your mind. Check out our cafe review of Cafe Velvet here.
- Juan Valdez Cafe | Though a chain, Juan Valdez serves only 100% Colombia coffee. Their purpose is to be an ambassador of Colombian coffee growers to the world, and they do a great job of that. The coffee is good and they support local growers, so we support them.
- Starbucks | I can already see you rolling your eyes, but hear me out! Starbucks’ 1,000th store in Latin America is in Medellin and it’s a great store! We also have read numerous reports that the location in Laureles is among the best in the world (though we cannot independently confirm that).
Planning a Trip to Medellin?
Great idea! We’re jealous. We’ve get plenty more resources for you to help plan your trip! We put together a perfect itinerary for a 1-4 day trip to Medellin and detailed exactly what a trip to Medellin will cost. We also compiled a list of all of our favorite things to eat, drink and do in Medellin plus a video of our Top 10 Medellin experiences.