A Café Crawl Through São Paulo

Where to best experience the Brazilian city's burgeoning café culture
Maryse Chevriere

 For beverage enthusiasts visiting the sprawling, utterly captivating city of São Paulo, there's a must-do drink crawl on the activities checklist and it has nothing to do with Caipirinhas. 

Despite the fact that Brazil is the number one coffee-producing country in the world, its café culture is still more or less in its infancy. Or rather more like its early 20s — young and fresh, still finding its footing but steadily gaining confidence. John Moore, V.P. of sales and marketing for Dallis Bros. Coffee, refers to it as a kind of "farm-to-table and back again" phenomenon. Finally, the people from the producing origin are getting to experience and appreciate the fruits of the land. And thankfully so, because missing out on it would be such a shame.

Essential to the develpment of this culture have been barista championship competitions (such as the USBC and WBC) and quality grading programs like the "Cup of Excellence," which have helped celebrate the people who celebrate coffee. Winning recognition through these programs can transfrom farmers and baristas into veritable rockstars.

And rockstar cool is indeed the sort of vibe you'll find at Isabela Raposeiras Coffee Lab, the café and creative think tank run by the country's first female barista champion. Or if you're looking to experience the great and diverse range that the Brazilian coffee landscape has to offer, there are places like Santo Grão Café to explore. Like to geek out on brewing gadgetry? There are cafés for that too (Café Suplicy has a Trifecta, and Octavio Café a Clover).

Read on to learn more about five of the city's top cafés.

Click for the Café Crawl Through São Paulo Slideshow.