June 19, 2012

Satan's Coffee Corner, Barcelona

An evolving café concept, Satan’s Coffee Corner has metamorphosed not once, not twice but three times within its home of the city of Barcelona.  
 When young Marcos Bartolome opened the café, it originally sat in the window of a quirky shop full of curios in El Raval and was simply that – a window, for takeaway coffee without tables or chairs and a constantly transforming space. 

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People on the curb in the summer, leaning up against the door frame during summer showers or peppered on the floor inside the shop, feet tucked up underneath them, hands wrapped around their paper cup as they chatted to friends, customers or passers-by.
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Since then it has moved to the rear of a bicycle shop with a simple wooden bench but has now, for what might be the final time, rooted itself in the gothic quarter of the city where history and charm is so prevalent, it still has the capability to make me swoon. And, what’s more, the café has chairs, tables and food to boot. You could say Marcos has completed the picture.
 Serving up what is possibly the best coffee within the city or certainly a serious contender, I interviewed Marcos back when he’d only just opened the window at his first haunt and you can read more below.

If you stop by to visit, do be sure to say that Café Cat recommended the coffee to you and who knows? If the food is half as good as the coffee, you’ll be in for a real treat.

Original Text 19/06/2012

Everyone has their vices. For some it is a naughty chocolate bar or a glass brimming with red wine on the sofa. For others it is a Friday night stint with a classy prostitute by the name of Valerie. Either way, we all have our guilty pleasures.
For me, I treat myself to a coffee everyday. Making one at home is just not the same. Even when I was a penniless student, I would wind up in my favourite haunt, my hands wrapped around a steaming cup, making small talk with the person who was kind enough to make it for me. 
The whole ritual is something quite pleasurable to me and as I am a creature of habit, I usually find myself going to the same place and making pals with the staff. If I know the coffee is good and the service is sweet, then I am sold. 
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This little hotspot is new to Barcelona, having only opened last Wednesday. It's hot to trot shit and en 'bicing' route to my place of work. It has all the qualities of my perfect place- convenience, cuteness and lovely service. While not only being a coffee corner, it is also a little shop filled to the brim with pretty things and old records- perfect for a spot of fiddling while your brew is being created.
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And so allow me to introduce you to the charming proprietor of the coffee corner, 
Hola Marcos! Que tal?

Marcos is a young, twenty-something chap with a lot of character and is so incredibly easy to talk to that you have to allow extra time for coffee collection or else you'll be gabbering way past the time you were supposed to be somewhere else. Oh well!
So, Marcos, tell us where you are from and how long you have been in Barcelona?
I'm originally from La Rioja but I have been in Barcelona for the last 2 and a half years, working in Federal Cafe on C/Parlament.
Why did you decide to open Satan’s Coffee Corner?
I chose to open Satan's Coffee Corner because I wanted a change and because I felt like there wasn't really a place for good coffee in the Raval, especially to takeaway.
What coffee are you using? Why is it special?
Well, the normal coffee you get from most places is a often a blend of up to five different types of coffee. This is so you get a well-rounded taste and a 'perfect coffee' flavour but it often means that people just don't know what they are drinking or where it is from. I want to make people more aware of coffee, good coffee, and so each month at Satan's Corner I will have a different coffee but with a blend that consists of just two types of bean, always balancing an acid flavour with a warmer, sweeter taste. 

This month we have coffee from 'Debbie's'(Marcos indicated there was some kind of connection to Debbie Harry but unfortunately I was distracted with stirring sugar into my cafe con leche and didn't quite catch what he said!). Debbie's blends coffee from the regions of Sumatra and Papua.

Sumatra coffee, an Arabian bean, is known as a romance coffee- it is complex and gives an acidity that is profound but cushioned within the rich flavour. Papua, on the other hand, comes from organic Indonesian soil which provides excellent conditions to give a mild, mellow and broad flavour with complex aromatics. 
Do you know Satan personally?
No I am not connected to Satan personally. I chose the name Satan's Corner a) because Satan is dark, like coffee and b) because I had to enter in a pact with him to be able to have this place.
Coffee, cafe, international, best, Barcelona, independent, coffee shop So you're saying you have a PACT with the Devil himself?
No, not the devil himself. By the Devil, I actually mean my mother and grandmother who have both been benefactors within the project. So for me it feels like I cannot fail. It has to be a success. It's like they're sitting on my shoulders watching me.
Where's your favourite place in Barcelona?
That's a tough question. Where is my favourite place in Barcelona? Between Satan's Corner and working at Federal, I really don't have a lot of time for much else.  I do have a really cool rooftop terrace. This is my favourite place to relax. I just grab a bottle of vermouth, some ice and an orange and go up there, sit and get drunk. 
It has a great view of the city. It’s perfect.

Satan's Coffee Corner can now be found at:

Carrer de l'Arc de Sant Ramon del Call, 11, 08002

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