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Mexico City native and world wanderer Alicia Boy is well-known for her travel website Boy de Viaje, but she’s as enthusiastic about coffee as she is about travel. Her lifelong love of the drink began as a child, searching for red coffee fruit at her uncle’s coffee farm in Veracruz, Mexico. Now she gets her fix by keeping tabs on Mexico City’s rich coffee scene. Following are her insights.
Coffee is more than a caffeine high:The lives of millions of Mexicans depend on it — so many people are involved in growing and harvesting the fruit. It has become part of Mexico’s culinary tradition. Even the poorest and smallest hut has coffee to offer a visitor.
Is it just a breakfast drink?Coffee is the energy that keeps Mexico City going all day. Between the traffic and working in one of the most populous capitals of theworld, we need our morning coffee. After a Mexican lunch, which is our main meal and usually a full three courses, you need more coffee to help digestion.
You can find the locals at:Cafe El Jarocho. There are only a few benches for seating, and from there you can see the huge toasting and grinding machines. There is always a line, and it is where everybody in the Coyoacan neighborhood meets. Plus, it’s near the Blue House of Frida Kahlo and beautiful colonial homes.
The cool cats of Condesa love:Rococo Cafe. The owner selects each grain by hand, toasts it and grinds it himself. The specialty is the Best Macchiato Doble. But if espresso isn’t enough, there’s also the Rococake, a perfect banana bread topped with chocolate.
The hippest ’hood in Mexico City is:Colonia Roma, which has stolen the crown from Condesa. Its shady plazas and trendy terraces provide the perfect pew from which to people-watch and soak up the laid-back atmosphere.When seeking sweets in Roma: Panaderia Rosetta, created by chef Elena Reygadas, is charming and warm. It serves what might be the best pan dulce (sweet bread) in the city. Plus, you’ll see latte art at its finest — your drink might be decorated with a teddy bear, a flower or a heart.
The top spot in historic downtown is:Don Porfirio Caffe, located in an inconspicuous corner of Republic Square. The team is committed to resurrecting the aroma, flavors and visual elements of old Mexico. You can try pre-Hispanic drinks such as tejate, made with maiz, cacao, mamey sapote seed and water; as well xocoatl, made with cacao, sugar, cinnamon and chili pepper. And you don’t have to stroll far to visit one of my favorite places in the city, the Monument to the Revolution.