Exploring the specialty coffee scene in Medellín, Colombia



Not only is Colombia’s second-largest city a rich cultural hub – Medellín also has a thriving specialty coffee scene of its own. 

With high-altitude Antioquia coffee farms in close proximity, roasters work to highlight complexities and flavours. Bright acidity is generally prominent, and filter coffee remains ever-popular. As Medellín’s cafe culture evolves, quality is at the forefront, and the baristas here have a firm understanding of coffee – from seed to cup.

So, while you’re in town for PRF Colombia, why not tour a handful of coffee shops and taste local interpretations of the region’s best offerings? There are plenty of options, but we’ve put together a few of our picks. Read on to find out what they are.

Rituales Café – It’s easy to find a perfect pairing for your coffee in this La Sierra neighbourhood spot; the well-crafted brunch menu is served all day. Try an offering from their Pureza line of traditional washed processed Colombian coffees or a Mocca for a treat.

El Laboratorio de Cafe – Sourcing from small family-run Antioquia farms, this roastery and lab-style coffee shop focuses on flavour development while celebrating the technical side of brewing. With a knowledgeable staff, they offer a full range of classes, both online and in-person. You might also consider the two-hour cupping tour.

Distrito Cafetero – An immersive coffee experience with two stunning locations, each café also boasts a restaurant with innovative cuisine featuring fresh local ingredients, and a full lineup of coffee brewing equipment. 

Café Velvet – This women-owned business prepays their coffee farmers. Look for coffee processed with controlled yeast fermentation and locally-produced Gesha and Wush Wush varietals. You can also find Café Velvet at PRF Booth #32.

Cafe Tipica – When visiting this beautiful space, be sure to check out the Seasonal and Special Edition coffees, as well as their Traditional Coffee, a Castillo variety. Other local products include hot chocolate, cacao bars, and honey. 

Urbania Cafe – Focused on social and environmental responsibility, this coffee company is dedicated to supporting Colombian producers. In addition to their coffee shop experience, Urbania offers complete “seed to cup” coffee tours in the Aburra Valley.

Pergamino – Pergamino’s four locations around Medellín serve coffee sourced from producing partners around Colombia. Pergamino will also be hosting the PRF Barista Jam at 2pm on June 30th and July 1st. Register ahead of time to participate, spots are limited.

With PRF Colombia less than a month away, it’s well worth taking the time to plan your trip around the forum if you’re spending an extended period of time in Medellín. These are our recommendations for specialty coffee shops, but there are plenty more you might find across the city.

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Additionally, don’t forget to check out Coffee Intelligence, a new publication dedicated to providing high-level journalism to the coffee sector.

Exploring the specialty coffee scene in Medellín, Colombia