It's true that most of us have developed tastes for things. We bite into an apple and hope or rather expect that it taste like an apple, an heirloom tomato, vanilla ice cream, filet mignon, etc., etc. We have come to the conclusion, or our palette has, that combined ingredients or singular raw materials have properties and particular flavor profiles. For this reason McDonald's, Burger King and Starbucks manage to satisfy travelers and locals alike, because a loyal customer knows their Frappuccino or Whopper will be served the same way in Russia, Japan or a corner shop in New York City. While this is true, it's extremely misleading and alarming that we have come to these conclusions, because we don't take into consideration that the land, sea, seasons, or elements of the harvest and even climate change can and should alter the final taste of our food. On one of my recent walks through Madrid, I came across Toma Café in the neighborhood of Malasaña, and had this very discussion with Santi, one of the partners in this bean-to-beverage coffee and espresso hangout. He and his coworkers are helping to put Madrid on the map for fine coffee. Finally!
As you are aware, coffee is one of those paramount products that we consume all over the world, yet only have access to from various countries. Spain, and Europe in general, sits high amongst the world's coffee consumers. So with this importation from Brazil, Ethiopia, Costa Rica and the island of Java, located clearly around the world, would naturally come a different flavor profile, am I wrong? I could tell Santi was super passionate about his work and their mission to bring out a new habit in those that may come across their business venture. In fact the entire vibe of the coffee shop, the staff and the managing partners is just oozing with "love." Love of a product, respect of a product and a desire to share it with their city and enthusiasts. Their goal is to awaken people to the elements of this treasured raw material, that they learn to savor it, not just crave a caffeine rush. It's not just good coffee, it's great coffee - and according to my tastes, the best in Madrid.
If you like exceptional coffee with different flavor profiles and "pure" various points of origin, go to Toma Café. If you like specialty coffee, then go to Toma Café. If you like to be treated as a human being, even a friend, while supporting local businesses in a neighborhood setting, go here. 'Nuff said.
Café con leche
Dos cafés con leche. Two espressos with milk.
Break the heat with an Affogato.
Interior of Toma Café
Toma Café. Coffee and Espresso House. Since 2011.
Front signage at Toma Café on Calle de La Palma, Malasaña, Madrid.
Not only coffee, but teas, sweets and cakes.
La bici vieja. The old bike - you'll have to ask them.
Brownies, Cookies and Alfajores.
Calle de la Palma 49
28004 Madrid Spain
+34 917 02 56 20
Toma Cafe Facebook
For more coffee, wine and food tips in Madrid and the rest of Spain, please follow my gastro-adventures at Sobremesa In Spain's Facebook page. Thanks for reading!
*top photo Source