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What Better Place to Drink Colombian Coffee Than Bogotá?

Colombia has been caffeinating the world for decades, but the coffee culture in its capital is relatively new

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Coffee has been the dominant crop in Colombia since the late 1800s, but until recently, it was nearly impossible to get a coffee-snob-approved cup in Bogotá’s cafes. Even though roughly 95 percent of Colombia’s coffee farms are small, family-owned affairs, the country’s most renowned agricultural product has long been destined for export, not local consumption. Left behind for Colombians was pasilla, the dregs of the coffee industry.

Pasilla is the basis for the traditional Colombian eye-opener, called tinto. Cheap and readily available, this simple black coffee is often heavily sweetened and sipped throughout the day and into the night. Later in the day, a morning (medias nueves) or afternoon snack (las onces) might be accompanied by a café, which comes with lots of milk — far more milk than coffee, in fact. And in some areas of the country, Colombians developed the habit of making tinto more palatable by mixing it with panela (raw cane sugar), spices, and sometimes even fruit.

But over the last 10 years, as coffee consumption in Colombia has risen dramatically, the face of the coffee scene in major cities has transformed as well, with a new generation of enthusiastic, hard-working baristas dedicated to highlighting local farms, educating customers, and meticulously preparing coffee. Light roasts, the de facto style of specialty coffee, have slowly started to take over. And in cities like Bogotá, Medellín, and Cartagena, specialty coffee shops that would feel familiar to anyone from Los Angeles or New York have blossomed, most selling directly from Colombian growers and roasted in-house — a feat that few other places can replicate.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Varietale

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Cl. 41 #8-43
Bogotá, Colombia
+57 1 796 8483
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Varietale represents the sine qua non of Bogotá’s coffee scene: Both locations draw a young, vibrant crowd from nearby universities, while tireless baristas dispense coffee brewed with appropriately trendy methods, like an enormous Japanese cold-brew tower.

The Chapinero location is home to Varietale’s roastery, where it transforms green coffee into the light roasts that Varietale is known for. Both shops are in renovated houses with lush gardens and plenty of nooks and crannies to fall into for quiet conversation or an intense planning session.

Varietale
Varietale/Facebook

2. Arte y Pasión Café

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Cl. 10 #8 - 87
Bogotá, Colombia
+57 1 243 3996
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Just off the Plaza Bolívar in the downtown historic area, the warm, vintage decor of Arte y Pasión retains the charm of times past, making it especially inviting on a chilly Bogotá day. The shop offers dozens of Colombian coffee brands; fortunately, Arte y Pasión’s barista school churns out a steady stream of eager new baristas who can explain the nuances of their coffees — and brew them using practically any method, from Aeropress to the traditional Colombian café colado, which uses a fabric filter hung on a wire frame.

3. Juan Valdez Orígenes

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Cl. 70
Bogotá, Colombia

Created as the public face of the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation in the 1950s, Juan Valdez is perhaps the most recognizable man in the history of coffee. And while Juan Valdez is fictional, shops bearing his name certainly aren’t: They’re by far Colombia’s most ubiquitous and popular coffee chain, with 209 locations throughout the country, and more than 100 abroad.

The average Juan Valdez is kind of like a Colombian Starbucks, but this three-story shop is different: A specialty vibe pervades, with coffee sold by region, and then brewed with the pour-over device of your choice. Downstairs, the coffee-farm vibe comes through with rustic ceramic flooring, vertical gardens climbing the walls, and deep armchairs; upstairs, there are long tables for groups, and the rooftop is ideal for relaxing, with very comfortable sofas.

Juan Valdez cafe in Colombia exterior
Juan Valdez Orígenes
Juan Valdez Official

4. Amor Perfecto Café

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Cra. 4 #66-46
Bogotá, Colombia
+57 1 248 6955
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A big fish in what is still the relatively small pond of Colombian specialty coffee, Amor Perfecto started roasting back in the mid-1990s; its coffee is now served in more than 600 bakeries and restaurants countrywide, and it has employed multiple national coffee champions.

Amor Perfecto sources its beans from around Colombia in small lots that highlight specific growers, like the award-winning Astrid Medina. The flagship Chapinero location is anchored by a coffee lab, where you can see the beans in various stages of processing, from green to fully finished product — including prized varietals like Gesha, or less common processing methods like the honey process.

A visit here should be on every coffee lover’s list — even if it’s just to get a dose of history at one of Colombia’s first specialty coffee shops.

Amor Perfecto Café in Colombia
Amor Perfecto Café
Lesley Suter

5. Colo Coffee

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#13-83, Cl. 70a
Bogotá, Colombia
+57 1 309 9738

Owners Paola and José bring the personal touch of coffee experts to their shops as they pursue their mission to support coffee growers, with coffee divided into categories like Ancestros (varieties that have a long history in Colombia) and Contemporáneos (coffees processed with innovative methods).

A haven for diehards, Colo Coffee offers training and certifications in both Spanish and English. In the Zona T shop, elegance and sophistication rule thanks to the multitiered store layout with sleek glass walls, while the shop in Quinta Camacho is an ideal neighborhood cafe — homey, with an outdoor garden.

Closeup of coffee on table at Colo Coffee
Colo Coffee
Colo Coffee/Facebook

6. Pâtisserie Bealé

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Cra. 12 #70a 20
Bogotá, Colombia
+57 1 717 2221
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This adorable Parisian bakery is in the heart of Quinta Camacho, Bogotá’s up-and-coming restaurant district. Chocolate brioche, almond croissants, truffles made with Colombian cacao, and macarons pair well with Libertario coffee from a nearby farm, La Palma y El Tucán. Like other shops on this list, the cafe is in a restored home, so intimate spots are scattered around the space. If the outdoors is more to your liking, there’s also a patio.

Interior of Pâtisserie Bealé in Bogota
Pâtisserie Bealé
Beale Patisserie/Facebook

7. Café Cultor

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Cl. 70a ##9-44
Bogotá, Colombia
+57 1 541 8912
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Each of the four Café Cultor shops has a wildly different feel: One’s a recycled shipping container; another is tucked into the cavernous Luis Ángel Arango library in La Candelaria; at the shop inside of the Wilborada bookstore, you can snuggle up with a cappuccino on one of the comfy leather couches; and at the flagship store, you can watch (and smell!) coffee being roasted. All of them, however, are run by some of the most meticulous baristas in Bogotá.  

Café Cultor’s most distinct offering is its tangy limonada de café — which contains no lemon juice or traditional coffee. Instead, it gets its tartness from mucilage, the goop covering the raw coffee seed. There’s also a drink called the Café Don Agustino, Cultor’s riff on how coffee is served on farms — dressed up with spices and fruit.

Closeup of coffee dripping into cup at Cafe Cultor in Colombia
Café Cultor
Cafe Cultor/Facebook

8. Café Devoción

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Cra. 7 #72 - 41, Bogotá
Cundinamarca, Colombia

Visitors from around the world and professionals from the nearby financial district stop by Café Devoción to get their morning or afternoon caffeine fix. It has a charming old-time pharmacy look, with vials and jars lining the shelves, but don’t think you’re stepping back in time; it’s stocked with all the latest brewing methods, including one of the largest Japanese cold-drip towers in the city. Two locations have also touched down in New York, one in Williamsburg and one in Downtown Brooklyn.

Interior of Café Devoción in Bogota
Café Devoción
Café Devoción Official

9. Azahar

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Calle 93B #13-91, Bogotá
DC, Colombia
+57 1 739 1661
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Just off the Parque de la 93, Azahar is a chic spot to meet for a business lunch or afternoon snack. Beyond the coffee — sourced directly from farmers with full pricing transparency — the kitchen also delivers fresh salads, soups, the ever-present arepa, and dishes like pork bondiola (shoulder) with hogao (a Colombian tomato sauce), made with regional ingredients like Colombian chimichurri (with cilantro, not parsley) and native potatoes.

10. Cafe San Alberto

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6a, Cl. 117 ##6A-47, Bogotá
Cundinamarca, Colombia
+57 1 317 502 6246

One of the largest coffee shops in the city, the two-story Usaquén location is the storefront for a coffee farm that’s been in the Villota family since 1972. The murals make it feel like you’ve stepped out of the city and into the lush mountains of one of Colombia’s main coffee-growing regions, the eje cafetero, or Coffee Triangle. Coffee plants, from recently sprouted to full size, give you a first-hand look at the growing stages. The coffee is roasted darker than you’ll find in the average specialty shops these days, but for the traditional coffee drinker, it’ll do just fine.

Barista pouring coffee at Cafe San Alberto in Colombia
Cafe San Alberto
Cafe San Alberto/Instagram

11. Catación Pública

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Cl. 120a ##3A-47
Bogotá, Colombia
+57 1 702 4943
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A pocket-sized coffee shop with a huge roasting area and lab in the back, Catación Pública is the product of one of Colombia’s most famous roasters, Jaime Duque. After working as an agronomist for the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation for over 15 years, he turned his accumulated knowledge toward sourcing coffee from around the country for his own shop in Usaquén. At any hour of the day, you’ll find top educators giving one-on-one or group training sessions, and coffee brewed with a variety of pour-over methods or as espresso.

Catación Pública
Catación Pública/Facebook

12. El Altillo del Sol

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Cl. 119b #5-48
Bogotá, Colombia
+57 1 523 1695
Visit Website

Admittedly, the big draw here is the feeling of being in a garden, even when you’re inside: Wrought-iron furniture, a forest of trees, ferns dangling from the ceiling, an abundance of antiques, and terra-cotta floors all contribute to the charm.

Opened in 1993, El Altillo del Sol serves Segafredo, an Italian brand. Stick with the cappuccino; you can try it with whipped cream and arequipe — what Colombians call dulce de leche. Or order the carajillo, a drink Colombia inherited from Spain, where coffee gets a dash of liquor — in this case, rum or aguardiente (an anise-flavored liqueur). Besides the drinks, there’s a selection of empanadas, alfajores (arequipe-filled cookies), or milhojas (a napoleon with arequipe) — all nods to the owners’ Argentinian roots.

El Atillo del Sol
El Atillo del Soll

1. Varietale

Cl. 41 #8-43, Bogotá, Colombia
Varietale
Varietale/Facebook

Varietale represents the sine qua non of Bogotá’s coffee scene: Both locations draw a young, vibrant crowd from nearby universities, while tireless baristas dispense coffee brewed with appropriately trendy methods, like an enormous Japanese cold-brew tower.

The Chapinero location is home to Varietale’s roastery, where it transforms green coffee into the light roasts that Varietale is known for. Both shops are in renovated houses with lush gardens and plenty of nooks and crannies to fall into for quiet conversation or an intense planning session.

Cl. 41 #8-43
Bogotá, Colombia

2. Arte y Pasión Café

Cl. 10 #8 - 87, Bogotá, Colombia

Just off the Plaza Bolívar in the downtown historic area, the warm, vintage decor of Arte y Pasión retains the charm of times past, making it especially inviting on a chilly Bogotá day. The shop offers dozens of Colombian coffee brands; fortunately, Arte y Pasión’s barista school churns out a steady stream of eager new baristas who can explain the nuances of their coffees — and brew them using practically any method, from Aeropress to the traditional Colombian café colado, which uses a fabric filter hung on a wire frame.

Cl. 10 #8 - 87
Bogotá, Colombia

3. Juan Valdez Orígenes

Cl. 70, Bogotá, Colombia
Juan Valdez cafe in Colombia exterior
Juan Valdez Orígenes
Juan Valdez Official

Created as the public face of the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation in the 1950s, Juan Valdez is perhaps the most recognizable man in the history of coffee. And while Juan Valdez is fictional, shops bearing his name certainly aren’t: They’re by far Colombia’s most ubiquitous and popular coffee chain, with 209 locations throughout the country, and more than 100 abroad.

The average Juan Valdez is kind of like a Colombian Starbucks, but this three-story shop is different: A specialty vibe pervades, with coffee sold by region, and then brewed with the pour-over device of your choice. Downstairs, the coffee-farm vibe comes through with rustic ceramic flooring, vertical gardens climbing the walls, and deep armchairs; upstairs, there are long tables for groups, and the rooftop is ideal for relaxing, with very comfortable sofas.

Cl. 70
Bogotá, Colombia

4. Amor Perfecto Café

Cra. 4 #66-46, Bogotá, Colombia
Amor Perfecto Café in Colombia
Amor Perfecto Café
Lesley Suter

A big fish in what is still the relatively small pond of Colombian specialty coffee, Amor Perfecto started roasting back in the mid-1990s; its coffee is now served in more than 600 bakeries and restaurants countrywide, and it has employed multiple national coffee champions.

Amor Perfecto sources its beans from around Colombia in small lots that highlight specific growers, like the award-winning Astrid Medina. The flagship Chapinero location is anchored by a coffee lab, where you can see the beans in various stages of processing, from green to fully finished product — including prized varietals like Gesha, or less common processing methods like the honey process.

A visit here should be on every coffee lover’s list — even if it’s just to get a dose of history at one of Colombia’s first specialty coffee shops.

Cra. 4 #66-46
Bogotá, Colombia

5. Colo Coffee

#13-83, Cl. 70a, Bogotá, Colombia
Closeup of coffee on table at Colo Coffee
Colo Coffee
Colo Coffee/Facebook

Owners Paola and José bring the personal touch of coffee experts to their shops as they pursue their mission to support coffee growers, with coffee divided into categories like Ancestros (varieties that have a long history in Colombia) and Contemporáneos (coffees processed with innovative methods).

A haven for diehards, Colo Coffee offers training and certifications in both Spanish and English. In the Zona T shop, elegance and sophistication rule thanks to the multitiered store layout with sleek glass walls, while the shop in Quinta Camacho is an ideal neighborhood cafe — homey, with an outdoor garden.

#13-83, Cl. 70a
Bogotá, Colombia

6. Pâtisserie Bealé

Cra. 12 #70a 20, Bogotá, Colombia
Interior of Pâtisserie Bealé in Bogota
Pâtisserie Bealé
Beale Patisserie/Facebook

This adorable Parisian bakery is in the heart of Quinta Camacho, Bogotá’s up-and-coming restaurant district. Chocolate brioche, almond croissants, truffles made with Colombian cacao, and macarons pair well with Libertario coffee from a nearby farm, La Palma y El Tucán. Like other shops on this list, the cafe is in a restored home, so intimate spots are scattered around the space. If the outdoors is more to your liking, there’s also a patio.

Cra. 12 #70a 20
Bogotá, Colombia

7. Café Cultor

Cl. 70a ##9-44, Bogotá, Colombia
Closeup of coffee dripping into cup at Cafe Cultor in Colombia
Café Cultor
Cafe Cultor/Facebook

Each of the four Café Cultor shops has a wildly different feel: One’s a recycled shipping container; another is tucked into the cavernous Luis Ángel Arango library in La Candelaria; at the shop inside of the Wilborada bookstore, you can snuggle up with a cappuccino on one of the comfy leather couches; and at the flagship store, you can watch (and smell!) coffee being roasted. All of them, however, are run by some of the most meticulous baristas in Bogotá.  

Café Cultor’s most distinct offering is its tangy limonada de café — which contains no lemon juice or traditional coffee. Instead, it gets its tartness from mucilage, the goop covering the raw coffee seed. There’s also a drink called the Café Don Agustino, Cultor’s riff on how coffee is served on farms — dressed up with spices and fruit.

Cl. 70a ##9-44
Bogotá, Colombia

8. Café Devoción

Cra. 7 #72 - 41, Bogotá, Cundinamarca, Colombia
Interior of Café Devoción in Bogota
Café Devoción
Café Devoción Official

Visitors from around the world and professionals from the nearby financial district stop by Café Devoción to get their morning or afternoon caffeine fix. It has a charming old-time pharmacy look, with vials and jars lining the shelves, but don’t think you’re stepping back in time; it’s stocked with all the latest brewing methods, including one of the largest Japanese cold-drip towers in the city. Two locations have also touched down in New York, one in Williamsburg and one in Downtown Brooklyn.

Cra. 7 #72 - 41, Bogotá
Cundinamarca, Colombia

9. Azahar

Calle 93B #13-91, Bogotá, DC, Colombia

Just off the Parque de la 93, Azahar is a chic spot to meet for a business lunch or afternoon snack. Beyond the coffee — sourced directly from farmers with full pricing transparency — the kitchen also delivers fresh salads, soups, the ever-present arepa, and dishes like pork bondiola (shoulder) with hogao (a Colombian tomato sauce), made with regional ingredients like Colombian chimichurri (with cilantro, not parsley) and native potatoes.

Calle 93B #13-91, Bogotá
DC, Colombia

10. Cafe San Alberto

6a, Cl. 117 ##6A-47, Bogotá, Cundinamarca, Colombia
Barista pouring coffee at Cafe San Alberto in Colombia
Cafe San Alberto
Cafe San Alberto/Instagram

One of the largest coffee shops in the city, the two-story Usaquén location is the storefront for a coffee farm that’s been in the Villota family since 1972. The murals make it feel like you’ve stepped out of the city and into the lush mountains of one of Colombia’s main coffee-growing regions, the eje cafetero, or Coffee Triangle. Coffee plants, from recently sprouted to full size, give you a first-hand look at the growing stages. The coffee is roasted darker than you’ll find in the average specialty shops these days, but for the traditional coffee drinker, it’ll do just fine.

6a, Cl. 117 ##6A-47, Bogotá
Cundinamarca, Colombia

11. Catación Pública

Cl. 120a ##3A-47, Bogotá, Colombia
Catación Pública
Catación Pública/Facebook

A pocket-sized coffee shop with a huge roasting area and lab in the back, Catación Pública is the product of one of Colombia’s most famous roasters, Jaime Duque. After working as an agronomist for the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation for over 15 years, he turned his accumulated knowledge toward sourcing coffee from around the country for his own shop in Usaquén. At any hour of the day, you’ll find top educators giving one-on-one or group training sessions, and coffee brewed with a variety of pour-over methods or as espresso.

Cl. 120a ##3A-47
Bogotá, Colombia

12. El Altillo del Sol

Cl. 119b #5-48, Bogotá, Colombia
El Atillo del Sol
El Atillo del Soll

Admittedly, the big draw here is the feeling of being in a garden, even when you’re inside: Wrought-iron furniture, a forest of trees, ferns dangling from the ceiling, an abundance of antiques, and terra-cotta floors all contribute to the charm.

Opened in 1993, El Altillo del Sol serves Segafredo, an Italian brand. Stick with the cappuccino; you can try it with whipped cream and arequipe — what Colombians call dulce de leche. Or order the carajillo, a drink Colombia inherited from Spain, where coffee gets a dash of liquor — in this case, rum or aguardiente (an anise-flavored liqueur). Besides the drinks, there’s a selection of empanadas, alfajores (arequipe-filled cookies), or milhojas (a napoleon with arequipe) — all nods to the owners’ Argentinian roots.

Cl. 119b #5-48
Bogotá, Colombia

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