I first heard about Satan’s Coffee Corner, a hidden gem in the small streets of the charismatic city of Barcelona, from another coffee lover.
Formerly located on Carrer Peu de la Creu in the El Raval nieghbourhood of Barcelona, I was deeply disappointed to find the former little shop of old records and vintage clothing boarded-up. As the sun dipped behind the roofs of old buildings and streetlights began to flicker-on around me, I knew that perhaps my journey to Satan’s Coffee Corner had come to an end.
A shopkeeper busy closing his store for the evening pointed towards a bicycle store just a few meters ahead on Carrer de la Lluna.
Where: Carrer de la Lluna, 3, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
When: Tue – Sat: 10:30 am – 6:00 pm
One of the last stores to still shine brightly, I walked in. At first I wondered why my journey to find some of Barcelona’s best coffee had led me into a bicycle workshop. Bamboo bicycles and gleaming colourful city bikes lined the walls, a young toddler played happily in the back by the workshop. I looked for a Rabbit Hole of sorts to take me magically to a coffee shop, but the distinct fragrant aroma of roasted coffee beckoned me to head deeper into the shop. To my surprise, there it was: Satan’s Coffee Corner and its humble yet charismatic barista and proprietor, Marcos.
“Sorry we’re closed today!” The handsome entrepreneur, casually dressed in a white t-shirt with his tortoise-rimmed sunglasses resting on the pressed fibre-strand counter, said sadly. “But if you don’t mind, I can make you filtered coffee,” offered the surprised but happy barista, who’s been known to serve some of the best coffee and even conversations in town.
With more than 3,200 followers on Facebook, Marcos has amassed quite a loyal following since opening Satan’s Coffee Corner in June 2012. The grandson of coffee roasters from La Rioja, Spain, Marcos’ passion for coffee and life are a breath of fresh air. A five-minute conversation with Marcos whilst he patiently poured water into the filter, carefully soaking every coffee ground, was both mesmerizing and inspiring. Therapeutic, even.
Every month, Marcos offers two different blends, chosen by the progression of coffee-picking seasons around the world. This month was “La Bella” from Guatemala, next will be beans from Honduras with Rwandan blends to follow next. Marcos works with an award-winning roaster to perfect unique two-bean blends that best accentuate the floral and robust flavours of the coffee.
The menu is simple: Pour Over, Espresso, Americano, Macchiato, Cortado, Flat White, Mocha, Hot Chocolate, Breakfast Tea and Chai. Sorry decaf-lovers, you’ll have to go somewhere else.
Though Satan’s Coffee Corner is a take-away only place, two long stools provide some seating while you wait for your order, get your bike fixed, or shop for a new bamboo bicycle. The hand-drawn “Café” sign propped up by books seems simple, but like everything at Satan’s, including the coffee, there’s always a beautiful story behind it.
“You’ve come so far…It’s on the house!” Marcos insisted with his endearing smile, but to no avail. “Ok, check on Facebook next time you visit, I’m planning to open a coffee shop in another neighbourhood in a few weeks!”
Whether you’re looking for the best coffee in Barcelona or are simply in a mood for engaging conversations, head to Satan’s Coffee Corner for one of those memorable experiences worthy of sharing.
PHOTO CREDIT: Susan Wong 2014
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