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Where to Drink Coffee in São Paulo, Mapped

There’s a reason Brazil is known for coffee

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As the world's most prolific coffee-producing country, it's only natural that Brazil would offer a variety of excellent cafes in which to experience its indigenous crop. And when it comes to São Paulo, the city boasts a bevy of excellent brewers, from tiny street spaces to al fresco patios preparing proper cups.

In the metropolis that never sleeps, caffeine is the perfect fuel for workers on the go. And just recently, quality cafes have proliferated the city, spreading to areas that never had much coffee culture in the past. Far from the coffee shop-rich Pinheiros neighborhood, it is now possible to have an expert brew. The proof, below.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Beluga Café

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Drop by Beluga Café to relax over coffee. In the residential neighborhood of Vila Buarque, Beluga aims to serve perfect cups, something that baristas partners Flávio Seixlack, Rogerio Tarantino and Rodolfo Herrera take pride in doing. The team sources its beans directly from farmers throughout Brazil, including some rare finds usually not found elsewhere in the city, such as those from the Bahia state (try the yellow catuaí from farmer Eufrásio Lima). Opt for a great iced coffee, in addition to bites like bagels, sandwiches, and pies.

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Béni Café

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Opened by three Korean partners in the Bom Retiro neighborhood (sort of like São Paulo’s Koreatown), Beni Café aims to serve quality coffee in a totally underserved hood. Both espresso and brewed coffee are made via a blend created by farmer Mariano Martins who harvests the beans off his farm, Fazenda Margarida, and sells directly to clients. Here, try the Americano that's made from equal parts espresso and hot water–a common way to drink coffee in Korea.

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Coffee Lab

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Acclaimed barista Isabela Raposeiras is behind Coffee Lab, where Brazilian coffee is elevated to a higher sensorial experience. Raposeiras sources beans from all over the country, but has an affinity for those grown in the state of Espírito Santo, which she calls the Brazilian Africa of coffee. Besides different coffees made in various methods - from Clover to espresso - one can also buy her carefully selected beans to take home. Of note: World champion barista Tim Wendelboe has elected Coffee Lab as one of the best places in the world to have a coffee. So you won't want to miss this spot.

Gelato Boutique

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Gelato Boutique, as its name suggests, is actually an ice cream shop that also serves coffee. And for the perfect espresso, this is your jam. Owner and ice cream chef Marcia Barbin graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and makes some of the best gelato in town. (Don't miss Caffè-Lime, made from coffee and lime juice.) After marrying an Italian, Barbin became picky about her coffee, and at Gelato Boutique she only serves ristretto, so as not to spoil the experience of sampling gelato, too.

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Isso é Café

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Inside Mirante 9 de Julho, an open air space in the heart of the city, Isso é Café (the Portuguese equivalent to This is Coffee!) serves coffee beans harvested off the farm of its owner, Felipe Croce, for a true farm to cup experience. From shade-grown beans to select small batches, all sustainably farmed, patrons can choose from several brew methods, like Hario and AeroPress. To eat, there's house-made yoghurt and unbeatable Brazilian pão de queijo (cheese bread). Every Sunday, the cafe also promotes brunch featuring different local chefs.

KOF - King of the Fork

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KOF is a coffee shop for cyclists, selling both brewed beans and bike gear. Drop in for a morning espresso accompanied by delicious levain toasts topped with cream cheese and capicola or banana with Nutella. If you need a boost at the day's end, opt for a cold latte to refuel.

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Mocotó Café

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Chef Rodrigo Oliveira’s Café Mocotó is a small space in the Mercado de Pinheiros (Pinheiros Market) that offers an abbreviated version of the menu served at his celebrated Mocotó (on San Pellegrino's Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants list.) Expect snacks like tapioca and quick lunch dishes such as Baião de Dois, a famous sertaneja dish, with rice and beans, mixed with jerk beef, cheese curds and sausage. The coffee served here comes from Yaguara farm in the Pernambuco state, from coffee grower Tatiana Peebles, who harvests only typica, the first bean variety introduced in Brazil. The coffee cherries are selected and picked manually, then roasted to produce a very special beverage.

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Por um Punhado de Dólares

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Named after the Sergio Leone classic western, "A Fistful of Dollars," this café is located right downtown, a central region undergoing gentrification. Owners Marcos Tomsic (barista) and Felipe Yabusaki strive to serve coffee straight to the point, with no bells and whistles. Preparation methods vary from French press to brewed coffee, and the house blend (called Fuckcoffee) is sourced from a farm in São Sebastião do Paraíso, a city South of Minas Gerais region, one of the best for coffee harvesting in Brazil.

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Sofá Café

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With a branch in Boston on Newbury Street, Diego Gonzales started his business as a coffee shop serving quality cups in a cozy environment–no wonder it was dubbed couch coffee, in Portuguese. Today, he has five locations (three in São Paulo and one in Rio de Janeiro, plus another one forthcoming), that offer cups of coffee served in five different sensory profiles (from “comfort,” with a moderate acidity and balanced sweetness, to “cult,” with floral and nutty notes). All the beans are roasted in-house and Gonzales himself creates every blend.

The Little Coffee Shop

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In a really tiny space (less than 20 square feet), barista Flávia Pogliane prepares more than 30 coffees per hour. But don’t judge her coffee shop by its size: it is one of the best coffees in town. Pogliane pilots one Nuova Simonelli machine all by herself, serving perfect shots of espresso in disposable cups – to grab on the go. As she works alone, her coffee is one of the cheapest in town (around one dollar). But note, The Little Coffee Shop only serves weekdays.

Torra Clara

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In English, Torra Clara translates to "light roast," indicating a type of roast in which beans are left in the roaster for less time, preserving their natural acidity and generating soft and fruity notes. Owners Douglas Siqueira and Danielle Tsuzukibashi serve coffee from different producers, such as Mitsuo Nakao, from Patrocínio, in the Minas Gerais State. Prep methods vary from espresso to brewed Hario to siphon, all of which can be consumed alongside pão de queijo, Brazilian cheese bread.

Facebook

Beluga Café

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Drop by Beluga Café to relax over coffee. In the residential neighborhood of Vila Buarque, Beluga aims to serve perfect cups, something that baristas partners Flávio Seixlack, Rogerio Tarantino and Rodolfo Herrera take pride in doing. The team sources its beans directly from farmers throughout Brazil, including some rare finds usually not found elsewhere in the city, such as those from the Bahia state (try the yellow catuaí from farmer Eufrásio Lima). Opt for a great iced coffee, in addition to bites like bagels, sandwiches, and pies.

Facebook

Béni Café

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Opened by three Korean partners in the Bom Retiro neighborhood (sort of like São Paulo’s Koreatown), Beni Café aims to serve quality coffee in a totally underserved hood. Both espresso and brewed coffee are made via a blend created by farmer Mariano Martins who harvests the beans off his farm, Fazenda Margarida, and sells directly to clients. Here, try the Americano that's made from equal parts espresso and hot water–a common way to drink coffee in Korea.

Facebook

Coffee Lab

Acclaimed barista Isabela Raposeiras is behind Coffee Lab, where Brazilian coffee is elevated to a higher sensorial experience. Raposeiras sources beans from all over the country, but has an affinity for those grown in the state of Espírito Santo, which she calls the Brazilian Africa of coffee. Besides different coffees made in various methods - from Clover to espresso - one can also buy her carefully selected beans to take home. Of note: World champion barista Tim Wendelboe has elected Coffee Lab as one of the best places in the world to have a coffee. So you won't want to miss this spot.

Gelato Boutique

Facebook

Gelato Boutique, as its name suggests, is actually an ice cream shop that also serves coffee. And for the perfect espresso, this is your jam. Owner and ice cream chef Marcia Barbin graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and makes some of the best gelato in town. (Don't miss Caffè-Lime, made from coffee and lime juice.) After marrying an Italian, Barbin became picky about her coffee, and at Gelato Boutique she only serves ristretto, so as not to spoil the experience of sampling gelato, too.

Facebook

Isso é Café

Inside Mirante 9 de Julho, an open air space in the heart of the city, Isso é Café (the Portuguese equivalent to This is Coffee!) serves coffee beans harvested off the farm of its owner, Felipe Croce, for a true farm to cup experience. From shade-grown beans to select small batches, all sustainably farmed, patrons can choose from several brew methods, like Hario and AeroPress. To eat, there's house-made yoghurt and unbeatable Brazilian pão de queijo (cheese bread). Every Sunday, the cafe also promotes brunch featuring different local chefs.

KOF - King of the Fork

Facebook

KOF is a coffee shop for cyclists, selling both brewed beans and bike gear. Drop in for a morning espresso accompanied by delicious levain toasts topped with cream cheese and capicola or banana with Nutella. If you need a boost at the day's end, opt for a cold latte to refuel.

Facebook

Mocotó Café

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Chef Rodrigo Oliveira’s Café Mocotó is a small space in the Mercado de Pinheiros (Pinheiros Market) that offers an abbreviated version of the menu served at his celebrated Mocotó (on San Pellegrino's Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants list.) Expect snacks like tapioca and quick lunch dishes such as Baião de Dois, a famous sertaneja dish, with rice and beans, mixed with jerk beef, cheese curds and sausage. The coffee served here comes from Yaguara farm in the Pernambuco state, from coffee grower Tatiana Peebles, who harvests only typica, the first bean variety introduced in Brazil. The coffee cherries are selected and picked manually, then roasted to produce a very special beverage.

Facebook

Por um Punhado de Dólares

Facebook

Named after the Sergio Leone classic western, "A Fistful of Dollars," this café is located right downtown, a central region undergoing gentrification. Owners Marcos Tomsic (barista) and Felipe Yabusaki strive to serve coffee straight to the point, with no bells and whistles. Preparation methods vary from French press to brewed coffee, and the house blend (called Fuckcoffee) is sourced from a farm in São Sebastião do Paraíso, a city South of Minas Gerais region, one of the best for coffee harvesting in Brazil.

Facebook

Sofá Café

With a branch in Boston on Newbury Street, Diego Gonzales started his business as a coffee shop serving quality cups in a cozy environment–no wonder it was dubbed couch coffee, in Portuguese. Today, he has five locations (three in São Paulo and one in Rio de Janeiro, plus another one forthcoming), that offer cups of coffee served in five different sensory profiles (from “comfort,” with a moderate acidity and balanced sweetness, to “cult,” with floral and nutty notes). All the beans are roasted in-house and Gonzales himself creates every blend.

The Little Coffee Shop

In a really tiny space (less than 20 square feet), barista Flávia Pogliane prepares more than 30 coffees per hour. But don’t judge her coffee shop by its size: it is one of the best coffees in town. Pogliane pilots one Nuova Simonelli machine all by herself, serving perfect shots of espresso in disposable cups – to grab on the go. As she works alone, her coffee is one of the cheapest in town (around one dollar). But note, The Little Coffee Shop only serves weekdays.

Torra Clara

Facebook

In English, Torra Clara translates to "light roast," indicating a type of roast in which beans are left in the roaster for less time, preserving their natural acidity and generating soft and fruity notes. Owners Douglas Siqueira and Danielle Tsuzukibashi serve coffee from different producers, such as Mitsuo Nakao, from Patrocínio, in the Minas Gerais State. Prep methods vary from espresso to brewed Hario to siphon, all of which can be consumed alongside pão de queijo, Brazilian cheese bread.

Facebook

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