The best coffee in Spain is served in Málaga

If you want to know where to find the best morning cup of joe in Spain, then you'll need to head to the southern city of Málaga according to the experts.

The best coffee in Spain is served in Málaga
The best cup of coffee in Spain is in Malaga. Photo: 13758299 / Pixabay

Coffee is a big part of life in Spain and at any time of day or night, you can usually find someone at a street corner café sipping on a café con leche (coffee with milk) or an after-dinner café solo (espresso)

Coffee in Spain is not to everyone’s liking as a lot of it is torrefacto (the coffee grain has 15 percent of sugar added to it before it is roasted, giving it a distinctively bitter and burnt taste).

But in the last five years or so, coffe with a more natural roast is becoming more common, especially in the bigger cities of Barcelona and Madrid, where lots of independent coffee roasters and artisanal cafeterías have popped up, serving excellent quality cups.

It’s not just the two biggest cities where the coffee revolution has taken place, however. It’s happening all across the country and recently it was revealed that the best cup can be found in the Andalusian city of Málaga.

READ ALSO: Where, when and how to drink coffee like a Spaniard

You can find it at Kima Coffee, just north of the historic centre, whose Bombe Q1 Anaerobic coffee was named the champion of the Aeropress Coffee Awards in Spain for 2022, which judges the best cups from around the country. 

The award-winning Bombe Q1 Anaerobic coffee beans are originally from Ethiopia, but are roasted and brewed onsite in Málaga.

It comes from the Sidama region of Ethiopia from the Bombe de Ato Dukale farm, which sits almost 2,000 metres above sea level. 

The owners of Kima Coffee were surprised when they first tasted this batch of beans, which they say has notes of citrus fruits, strawberries, blueberries and plums.

What makes this coffee so good?

This is an anaerobically fermented batch of coffee, where the cherries have been carefully selected, washed, and sealed for 120 hours in tanks.

“Fermentation was carried out for seven days until the pH level dropped to 3.8 to obtain the desired profile of fruity and juicy flavours. During these seven days, the fermentation tanks were placed in concrete baths of water to maintain a constant temperature between 15C and 18C, rotating them continuously”, the owners of Kima Coffee explain.

“The first day they are rapidly dried until the humidity of the coffee drops to 35 percent, then the cherries are placed under the shade to dry for another 30 days to 12 percent humidity”, they continue.

Kima Coffee only opened its doors for the first time in April 2022, but it has already garnered king status among coffee aficionados in the city. The café not only sells excellent coffee, but also roasts its own beans from around the world. It existed before as an online store and barista training only.

As well as regular coffees you’d expect such as cortados (a short coffee with a dash of milk), cappuccinos and flat whites, they serve charcoal lattes, matcha lattes and cold brew. 

Last year’s winners of Aeropress Spain coffee awards were Harmony Coffee Roasters in Barcelona who also won with their blend from Ethiopia.

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Meet the Spanish twin chefs who earned a third Michelin star

When they were just eight years old, Spanish twins Sergio and Javier Torres set a goal: they wanted to become chefs who were among the top in their field.

Meet the Spanish twin chefs who earned a third Michelin star

To achieve this they strategically split up to get training in different esteemed kitchens around the world, published books on cooking and presented a popular TV show.

The plan worked.

Over four decades after they surprised their family by saying they wanted to be chefs, Sergio and Javier’s Barcelona restaurant, Cocina Hermanos Torres, was awarded a third Michelin star last month.

“We developed a plan, that I think is a perfect plan,” a smiling Javier, 51, said at the restaurant, one of only 13 in Spain and Portugal with the top three-star ranking from the prestigious French guide.

“When we started to go out of Barcelona we thought that Sergio would take one path, I would take another, and we would never coincide until we were ready,” he added.

The journey took the twins – who grew up in a working-class Barcelona neighbourhood – to different elite restaurants in Spain, Switzerland and France.

Before moving to Paris where he worked with top French chef Alain Ducasse, Sergio spent two years at the award-winning Le Jardin des Sens in Montpellier which is also run by twins – Jacques and Laurent Pourcel.

“We were separated but every month we met up in a restaurant, ate well, we spent the little money we had and developed the next steps of our strategy,” said Sergio as sat beside his brother.

READ ALSO: These are Spain’s new Michelin-starred restaurants

Grandmother influence

Each brother specialised in different areas – one learned to cook meat and vegetables, the other fish and bread, he added.

Both siblings credit their grandmother for their passion for cooking. She was part of a wave of people who moved from the southern region of Andalusia to the more industrialised Catalonia in the northeast in search of better life following Spain’s devastating 1936-39 civil war.

“Our grandmother looked after us, and since she was in the kitchen all day we literally grew up in a kitchen,” said Sergio.

After earning two Michelin stars with their previous project “Dos Cielos” and becoming familiar faces thanks to their participation in a cooking show, they decided to open Cocina Hermanos Torres in 2018.

The twins visited some 200 possible locations before settling on an industrial building near Barcelona’s iconic Camp Nou football stadium.

They invested nearly €3 million to convert it into the restaurant, which seats a maximum of 50 people in tables with no wall separating them from the three work stations where staff prepare meals.

“We wanted to reflect what we experienced in our childhood, which was a kitchen and a table, and everyone around the table,” said Javier.

‘Difficult road’

The tasting menu costs €255, with another €160 if it is paired with wine, a stiff price in a country where the monthly minimum wage is around €1,000.

READ ALSO – REVEALED: Spain’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurants

Praised for its creative and playful cuisine, among the dishes served is cured squid with poultry broth and an onion soup with Parmesan cheese and truffles.

“You will experience flavours that you have never experienced before, because you will discover a cuisine where you will like what you don’t like,” said Sergio.

On a recent visit at noon 50 staff members – many of them young – are busy at work finalising details before customers arrive.

“It seems like today a chef is like a ‘super star’. It’s a very difficult road, very difficult, with long hours and it’s very hard to make it, it takes tremendous perseverance,” said Sergio.

“You have to risk it, go for broke, give it your all, because if you don’t, you are not living,” he added with a smile.