2 Comments March 28, 2011

Café Passmar

Mercado Lázaro Cardenas, Adolfo Prieto S/N, México D.F., México, Official Website

En route to the Frida Kahlo’s house in Coyoacán, I made a pit stop for lunch at Mercado Lázaro Cardenas, the covered market in Colonia Del Valle.  The market, abundant in colorful piñatas, fruits, and antojitos, also had another surprise: excellent coffee.  I was floored to see a La Marzocco occupying the small space squeezed between two fruit-vendors.  It’s hard to imagine a more perfect afternoon snack than fresh tostadas followed by an espresso (or three).  Café Passmar has some of the best coffee I’ve tasted in Mexico.

Passmar’s house blend is entirely Mexican in origin, a secret mixture of beans from Guerrero and Chiapas.  The coffee is roasted just next door to the storefront at Passmar’s micro roastery.  This was the first time I’d tried coffee in the same country from where the beans originated.  All the best espresso I’d had previously contained beans that were cultivated, packaged, and air-shipped halfway the world before being roasted.  After seeing what the dryness and low pressure environment of air transport does to food I’ve packed myself, it would be hard to imagine that extended air transportation doesn’t have an effect on coffee beans.

The coffee I tasted at Passmar was some of the nuttiest most chocolatey espresso I have ever tasted.  My girlfriend — who despises coffee — took one sip and nearly finished my first cappuccino.

Café Passmar, a coffee oasis in the middle of a busy market

Service is laid-back and comfortable, hard to imagine a line

Cappuccino – The result of a single pull from a 14g basket.  The flavor was incredibly nutty and chocolatey with hints of butter.  The milk foaming was gorgeous, creating a microfoam that lasted until the last sip.

Cortado doble – A single pull from a 14g basket with significantly less milk than a cappuccino, around 3oz.  The flavor is more intense and concentrated.

Florentine La Marzocco in action

Stack of espresso cups

Passmar was a wakeup call that Mexican espresso deserves a lot more attention.  I’d always loved the beans but never been to a place that takes the preparation seriously.  This espresso gem — which the owner explained to my ignorance has been open for nearly fifteen years — is a place I hope to visit more often.

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  • yeyetzitl mezaMay 6, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Son los mejor cafés…

  • Jay FrancisSeptember 9, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    My buddy, Jim, who retired to Mexico City told me about this great review. Have you been to Cafeteria Gabi on Liverpool. The owner brings coffee from his cafetal in Coatepec and roasts in the cafe every afternoon. Another fun coffee place for you in Mexico City.

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