Santo Grão Café from Café Crawl Through São Paulo Slideshow
Café Crawl Through São Paulo Slideshow
Santo Grão Café
There's a guy with a clipboard stationed at the door and the tables inside are packed. But make no mistake, this is not a club, just one of the city's popular cafés. Located in the trendy Jardim neighborhood, this airy, open spot is the kind of place you could really sit and linger for a while. The intoxicating smell of fresh coffee hangs in the air, and if you head to the back of the room you'll see why: There's a giant floor-to-ceiling wall of coffee beans behind the bar, positioned as an impressive backdrop for the café's large antique roasting machine.
Address: Rua Oscar Freire, 413
Santo Grão Café: What to Order
The focus here is on celebrating the various Brazilian coffee-growing regions, so if you're looking to geek out on Brazilian coffee, this is the perfect place. Try, for example, comparing an espresso made from Mogiana beans with one made from Sul de Minas beans. Another must-order? A cappuccino. In Brazil they sprinkle chocolate powder over the espresso before adding in the milk. In addition to simply tasting good, it also adds great definition to latte art.
Cafés Suplicy Especiais
Just a short walk away from Santo Grão Café is another heavy-hitter in São Paulo's burgeoning café scene. Home to a number of competition baristas, this clean, modern spot with a black-and-hot pink aesthetic (which includes a hot pink LaMarzocco machine!) is great for espressos and specialty drinks.
Address: Alameda Lorena, 1430
Cafés Suplicy Especiais: The Trifecta
The big draw here is a machine called the Trifecta that has been likened to — pardon the coffee speak — a cross between a Clover and an Aero press. Essentially, it allows for different brewing peramiters per coffee, which, admittedly, is pretty darn cool. It may look like a regular, plain cup of joe but take a sip and you'll realize it's much more — a press pot-style body with a sparkling, clean acidity.
Walk through the narrow entryway up the ramp to this small café and you'll find yourself in a kind of funky, coffee oasis. Snag a table by the big windows looking onto the plush tropical garden, and order an espresso (try Atelier du Café, a French micro-roastery).
Address: Rua Oscar Freire, 727
Isabela Raposeiras Coffee Lab
From Oscar Café, hop in a cab over to Vila Madalena, the city's artsy-bohemian neighborhood, where you'll find the Isabela Raposeiras Coffee Lab. Run by Brazil's first female brarista champion, this place is just, well, badass. It takes the "lab" concept to heart — baristas wear matching jumpsuits, and quotes stating their coffee philosophy are printed on the wall.
Adddress: Rua Cônego Eugênio Leite, 1121
Isabela Raposeiras Coffee Lab: The Drawing Board
Here, ideas are written out in brainstorm fashion on the tile wall (ostensibly to save paper).
Isabela Raposeiras Coffee Lab: Shakerato
A must-try drink at this unique café experience is something called the Shakerato, a citrusy-tangy-foamy mixture of coffee frappé, citrus juice, and sparkling water. And as a snack to go with it, don't miss out on the biscotto de polviho, a puffed breadstick served with Brazilian cream cheese.
This young but renowned café, also home to a number of barista championship competition winners, is all about celebrating Brazil's coffee culture. Everything about the space is tied to the process of coffee making — from the air, the shape of the building resembles that of a coffee bean.
Address: Avenida Brigadeiro Faria Lima, 2966
Octavio Café: What to Drink
There's plenty to sample from at this sleek café-restauarnt-lounge hybrid. Coffee nerds can sample brews made using the Clover machine (of course there's filter, French press, Turkish, Italian, and siphon method too), or try any one of their specialty drinks (the Menta Café and Café Gelato come highly recommended).
Octavio Café: Coffee Walk
Just one of the many cool features at the café: On the ramp up the the second floor are facts about coffee that illuminate as you walk over them.