The coffee experience in Argentina

A trip to and you’d never get enough of its ever-blossoming gastronomic expedition. To put it simply, food to the Argentines is a way of life. It won’t require a genius to figure out the reason behind the existence of exquisite cafes that have taken up the bourgeois culture in the nation. With food, comes beverage and we’ve to thank the Italians for introducing us to this world of coffee that hasn’t taken a step backwards ever since. With the concept of visiting a coffee shop for the experience being a fad of late, Argentines have evolved with time- From having to drink from a percolator-based machine to matcha lattes with cream cheese frosting or smoothie, the coffee culture in Argentina has revolved and tremendously upped its game to keep up with its global counterparts.

in Argentina (1)

Starbucks can be accredited for introducing and formalising the world with the drinking-coffee-in-a-fancy-place culture. Argentina saw its first Starbucks back in Alto Palermo in the capital city, back in 2008. From Starbucks, Argentina has never seen a day backwards and has moved on rapidly and has allowed some of the world’s best coffee spots to take root. Argentines are more familiar with drinking brewed Robusta on a daily basis, since the type is more well-grown on the Latin American soil, with Arabica being treated like royalty. The oldest cafe in the nation could be said to be Cafe Tortoni, founded in 1858, that was and continues to be flocked by intellectuals and commoners alike.

With the aftermath of the pandemic in place and the to-go cups replacing the tradition of cafe culture, Argentines are adopting to these fast-paced, though the Porteños (the name given to locals of Buenos Aires) have always preferred for a much quieter place to sit-and- relax-with-a-drink culture. Gourmet or artisanal coffees are now taking up the nation by storm, and some of the most popular shops in the country are the Full City Cafe in Palermo, which brews a strong Colombian dark roast, the biggest home-grown chain Havanna, and Coffeetown, that is located inside the thriving San Telmo market. The capital city of Buenos Aires seems to be the perfect amalgamation of Latino styles and European influences, considering the nation’s imbued history and the influx of tourists. The concept of specialty coffee is extravagant, with names such as Fiesta del Café, FECA, Punto Cafe, Santa Cafe and else. It is said that the Argentines have a very strong aficionado for coffee, with about a kilogram of the bean being consumed by one person on an annual average. 

The locals enjoy sipping their cortado with the choicest of accompaniments, which could either be medialuna or alfajores biscuits.

Argentine-English dictionary:

  • Cortado: Single-shot espresso with a dash of milk
  • Medialuna: Croissant
  • Alfajores biscuit: Short-bread type
  • Café en jarrito/ café doble: Double-shot espresso
  • Café con leche: Latte/ Flat white
  • Capuchino: Cappuccino
  • Lagrima: Miky coffee
  • Submarino: Argentine hot chocolate 

From Buenos Aires to Formosa, over the Aconcagua to the Paraná, the Latin wonders of the nation have charmed the coffee culture to such an extent that it could be hard to state whether the nation has its own influence on the bean-to-cup journey, or it has been the other way round. Nevertheless, as the Argentinos put it, ‘You will always have a feeling of being at home – Experience Argentina!

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