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Cafe con Leche / Coffee on the Camino: Enquiring Coffee Lovers want to know!!

Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I'm not a coffee drinker but Peg is and she takes it with milk. Back in '88 on a non-camino trip in Spain Peg would get out before me to get her morning cuppa. She had trouble remembering cafe con leche though and often would order it as cafe au lait. She complained that when she ordered the coffee in French she would get an inferior product. Her Spanish has improved since then. :)
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Time of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
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Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I was wondering if I can order cafe con Leche….but with skimmed or low fat-milk in a cafe? Is leche descremada the right term to use? And is it available in bars?
 

Arctic_Alex

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2019
CP 2023 (planned)
There is no doubt that having a coffee is a very pleasurable experience in Spain. I think that most Spaniards would be most amused by this entire thread. Really…it just a cup of coffee. The Spanish are generally careful and thoughtful with many aspects of their cusine. Great coffee machines are a certainty in any shop that plans to serve coffee in Spain. The coffee itself is carefully prepared…no secrets there. Maybe many pilgrims are coming from countries with a less thoughtful coffee culture. I’m not sure if even the Spanish could serve a great cup of coffee if most of their customers wanted their order in a 24 oz paper cup or a large insulated container.
Where I live, coffee is mostly black, not sugar, no milk. And traditionally it would brought to the boil two or three times before you pour off the top layer with some of the ground coffee floating and then it is ready to be served.
The only further ingredient used by the true locals would be cheese. Yes you heard it right, cheese or animal fat. ;-)

Actually, very tasty.
 

Roscoe

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April 2023 Camino Frances
I did my sophomore year in college in Spain. Before going to Spain, I wasn't a coffee drinker. Started drinking coffee in Spain. When I returned home, I thought, "Well, no WONDER I never drank this stuff! It's terrible!" (I do drink coffee in the U.S. now, but I still don't like most restaurant coffee.)
Is espresso coffee becoming more popular in the US? Having experienced stewed drip filter coffee, I can understand why a number of Americans say they aren't coffee drinkers. Espresso coffee is the norm in Australia these days. Once, all we drank was instant and tea was the preferred hot beverage.
 
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Ivan_Prada

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés-(septiembre 2018)
Portugués-(en planes)??
Is espresso coffee becoming more popular in the US? Having experienced stewed drip filter coffee, I can understand why a number of Americans say they aren't coffee drinkers. Espresso coffee is the norm in Australia these days. Once, all we drank was instant and tea was the preferred hot beverage.
Well, in Southeast Florida espresso coffee is very popular and is called: Café Cubano.

It is a type of espresso that has its origins in Cuba. Is is sweetened using the first brew of the espresso machine to create a sweet foam that later is added to the rest of espresso brew. This can be drink by itself on a espresso cup or can be served on a larger coffee cup with milk which is then called: Café con Leche accompanied with toasted bread (looks like French baguette but with more mass) called: tostada cubana.

If you happens to have a layover in Miami, inside the airport is restaurant that serves this popular confection. But remember, do not add sugar to the coffee, it’s already added during the brewing.

Oh, forgot to mention, if there are more that one person that would like to enjoy a Café Cubano, you may request a “colada” you get the complete brew to share it with others.

Here is how a Café Cubano looks like when served:

1678976489827.png
 

mvanert

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2014, 2016, 2018, 2023
Before the Camino, I really didn't like coffee. Sacrilege, I know. Even now, I rarely drink it; I'm a herbal tea aficionado and lover.
But all that changes as soon as I set foot on the Camino. I became wooed and mesmerized by all things Cafe con Leche {and freshly squeezed orange juice, to be honest}. I even was seduced a time or two by the Lemonade Beer twist (Shandy??).

My question for you: what is your relationship to Cafe con Leche / coffee on the Camino? Pre, during and post? [to clarify pre, during and post, I am wondering both in your day-to-day on the Camino, and pre-arrival Spain and after leaving]
Do you have any favourite recommendations of must-go-to places for coffee along the Way -- whatever route that might be? Details and stories would be appreciated! Types of coffee? etc.

Buen Coffee Camino!!!
Got to have it.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Time of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Is espresso coffee becoming more popular in the US? Having experienced stewed drip filter coffee, I can understand why a number of Americans say they aren't coffee drinkers. Espresso coffee is the norm in Australia these days. Once, all we drank was instant and tea was the preferred hot beverage.
Not in the US myself -- but espresso has become more common everywhere since the invention of its capsule version, though it's not what I would consider as being espresso per se ... even though it is a very close approximation, and in best conditions (perfectly well cleaned and maintained coffee machine plus good, fresh coffee, and good water), it can be better than an average "proper" espresso.

But I am a bit spoilt, because I live in the South of France and right next to the Italian border, so that I can get either a good French café court, serré or normal according to taste, or even allongé (which isn't the same thing as a café long), but also excellent espresso made by Italians for Italians.

Though sadly, the cappuccino here has always been a bit sub-par (though again, my standards are unrealistically high), there's no Spanish-style cafe con leche at all, and whilst the bar-style French café au lait here is perfectly proper, a genuine grand crème is impossible to find in the vicinity (because of the Italian influence), let alone a bourgeois Parisian breakfast café au lait, which is likely to be the best non-cappuccino style of simple coffee with milk in existence, Viennese and similar being a different category altogether, to clarify.

YMMV of course ...

PS to Ivan, you can sometimes get café Cubano in Spain as well, not sure about Portugal.
 

Rita Flower

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 Via del la Plata
I'm not a coffee drinker, and the Camino is the last place I'd want to develop a coffee habit. I've seen too many peregrinos who are miserable until they can find a place open for coffee in the morning. Why put myself through that?

I had my first cafe con leche on the way to Zubiri when I sat sobbing after the big down hill, saying - I can’t do this! My new Camino family said - get a grip and have a coffee. But I don’t even drink coffee I moaned (being a recovering caffeine addict). Have a coffee they said. And I did. And all of a sudden the pain fell away and inexplicable joy arose. I easily walked to Zubiri.
I read much later that coffee also has some pain killing properties so then I completely understood its place on Camino.
We have great coffee in Australia but not everywhere. In Spain I decided it is the ‘happy cows’ but it seems the unique roasting method is also a factor.
Finally attitude plays a big part in any food prep - and I think the Spanish love of coffee goes into every cup.
At home the cafe in our tiny local shopping centre does the best coffee. But my home made coffee leaves a lot to be desired.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Time of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
But my home made coffee leaves a lot to be desired.
Same defect is why I almost never drink coffee at home.

Though conversely, with one single local exception of a local tea house that has Mariage et Frères tea, never tea anywhere except at home or one American friend's place, but she has an English tea culture and gets her own from Blighty. Mine is either Twining's or Tetley, which are not the best, but they're acceptable.

When I lived in Paris, I'd drink nothing of the sort except my own Mariage et Frères properly brewed leaf tea, the occasional French coffee, or a rare Viennese one (or chocolate) at the Austrian café near the Sorbonne. Or my Italian ex girlfriend's traditional Italian coffee gizmo version, which was OK, though I'd usually drink tea instead -- mostly because she was a genuine coffee lover, and needed it far more than I ever could !!
 
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Camino Way markers in Bronze
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that makes the ones you see on your walk.

WayWalker

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2013, 2016
Before the Camino, I really didn't like coffee. Sacrilege, I know. Even now, I rarely drink it; I'm a herbal tea aficionado and lover.
But all that changes as soon as I set foot on the Camino. I became wooed and mesmerized by all things Cafe con Leche {and freshly squeezed orange juice, to be honest}. I even was seduced a time or two by the Lemonade Beer twist (Shandy??).

My question for you: what is your relationship to Cafe con Leche / coffee on the Camino? Pre, during and post? [to clarify pre, during and post, I am wondering both in your day-to-day on the Camino, and pre-arrival Spain and after leaving]
Do you have any favourite recommendations of must-go-to places for coffee along the Way -- whatever route that might be? Details and stories would be appreciated! Types of coffee? etc.

Buen Coffee Camino!!!
My husband was a black coffee drinker. Until the Camino. Now we have a frother and it's Cafe con leche every day.
 

P Steeper

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2019) Sarria (2022)
Buen Coffee Camino!!!
I enjoy cafe con leche!
I did not drink coffee until my first trip to Europe. The coffee in Europe is served at a drinkable temperature where coffee in North America is too hot and it is a danger to my mouth. I made the mistake of ordering a takeout coffee in Venice one time and everyone glared at me! In Spain I only saw one take out cup on my Caminos. Much better to relax and enjoy it.
I do prefer larger sizes and you don't get that in Europe except Costa's in England where a large came in a soup bowl with two handles!
Of course a beer with your coffee is always an option in Spain!
 

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CaminoMonica

These boots are made for walking
Time of past OR future Camino
CF16 CP18 CDN22 Finisterre Muxia22 CF23 Le Puy24
Before the Camino, I really didn't like coffee. Sacrilege, I know. Even now, I rarely drink it; I'm a herbal tea aficionado and lover.
But all that changes as soon as I set foot on the Camino. I became wooed and mesmerized by all things Cafe con Leche {and freshly squeezed orange juice, to be honest}. I even was seduced a time or two by the Lemonade Beer twist (Shandy??).

My question for you: what is your relationship to Cafe con Leche / coffee on the Camino? Pre, during and post? [to clarify pre, during and post, I am wondering both in your day-to-day on the Camino, and pre-arrival Spain and after leaving]
Do you have any favourite recommendations of must-go-to places for coffee along the Way -- whatever route that might be? Details and stories would be appreciated! Types of coffee? etc.

Buen Coffee Camino!!!
I think I could have written part of this post! Love the orange juice on the Camino and even a Shandy a time or two, even though I never drink beer at home. Cafe con Leches are part of the Camino for me and I really appreciate a good one, even more a grande!
 

Annet2020

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
I've been drinking 2 or 3 cups of coffee a day my whole life but for years I couldn't find any that I really liked anymore.

Until the camino! I did the Portuguese 2 years ago and I love the meia de leite in Portugal even more than the café con leche in Spain.

Back home I bought a coffee machine and Delta coffee beans, now making my own meia de leite. Not quite as good as on the camino (but doesn't everything taste better on holiday or camino?) but I do like my coffee again.
 
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Canche

Volcano Climber
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte/Frances 2016, San Salvador & Primitivo 2021
Before the Camino, I really didn't like coffee. Sacrilege, I know. Even now, I rarely drink it; I'm a herbal tea aficionado and lover.
But all that changes as soon as I set foot on the Camino. I became wooed and mesmerized by all things Cafe con Leche {and freshly squeezed orange juice, to be honest}. I even was seduced a time or two by the Lemonade Beer twist (Shandy??).

My question for you: what is your relationship to Cafe con Leche / coffee on the Camino? Pre, during and post? [to clarify pre, during and post, I am wondering both in your day-to-day on the Camino, and pre-arrival Spain and after leaving]
Do you have any favourite recommendations of must-go-to places for coffee along the Way -- whatever route that might be? Details and stories would be appreciated! Types of coffee? etc.

Buen Coffee Camino!!!
Have to have my cafe con leche every morning
 

Anton

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016
Before the Camino, I really didn't like coffee. Sacrilege, I know. Even now, I rarely drink it; I'm a herbal tea aficionado and lover.
But all that changes as soon as I set foot on the Camino. I became wooed and mesmerized by all things Cafe con Leche {and freshly squeezed orange juice, to be honest}. I even was seduced a time or two by the Lemonade Beer twist (Shandy??).

My question for you: what is your relationship to Cafe con Leche / coffee on the Camino? Pre, during and post? [to clarify pre, during and post, I am wondering both in your day-to-day on the Camino, and pre-arrival Spain and after leaving]
Do you have any favourite recommendations of must-go-to places for coffee along the Way -- whatever route that might be? Details and stories would be appreciated! Types of coffee? etc.

Buen Coffee Camino!!!
What an awesome topic. I started drinking coffee here in the USA after college: Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, local coffee shops. Here in Portland, Maine we have had a pretty robust coffee culture, however I discovered cafe con leche on my first Camino Frances in 2015 and it was transformative. I could never ever locate anything as good back in the states. My wife and I walked the Portuguese Way in 2018 and found similarly incredible cafe con leche. What’s left to say, Europeans have superior coffee!
 

Kathy Val

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
August 2017
OMG, I love this thread! I was first drinking café con leche when I was a kid, age 3, in Cuba. We had it for breakfast. All my 7 sisters drank it for breakfast when we escaped to Miami. All of us are alive and well and close to or past 60, including one sister who would puke it up every morning. Was it lactose intolerance, or the coffee? The parental solution she ate breakfast in her slip the rest of us in our uniforms, but I digress. 😁 She loves ☕️ today. A tidbit: both Bustelo and Pilón were Cuban coffee brands until they got bought out by a large US brand. Then, the price jumped, and the aroma and taste are no longer the same.
Keep on drinking ☕ la ⛽️ del Camino!
PS: here in Miami we have ventanitas, little windows cut out into restaurants, supermarkets so that you can get a ☕️ hit as you walk by without having to come in.
PPS: my grandparents lived into their late 90’s and my Mom is almost 98.
Great story! Most likely the girl drinking it in her slip had acid reflux. I have that and managed to avoid the deliciously wafting aroma of cafe con leche and OJ during our 2017 CF…until coming into Santiago I just had to try both at the same sitting! It didn’t go well for me but I don’t regret doing it - can’t say enough about the smooth flavor of the cafe con leche and the brightness of the OJ! 😋
 

gtdevon

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Madrid
A tad off topic but still coffee and with humor, I lived in Lanzarote for 15 years and their coffee culture is totally different than the Spanish mainland. Firstly they don't see themselves as Spanish, they are Canarian and proud. back to the coffee, a cafe con leche is seen as a Spanish/touristy thing and not to be ordered unless you are one of the two, you have a few other local choices to order, all served in glasses , most popular is a "cortardo" 2 shots and hot milk ( which is where the Aussie's got their flat white idea from) a "cafe solo" 2 shots no milk and longer than an espresso, next is a " condensado" which is coffee and dash of condensed milk and I have seen sugar added,
And lastly and uniquely canarian and my
favorite is the " leche leche" or milk milk which is a cortardo with hot milk and condensed milk.
on hot days, all can be poured over ice.
 
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WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Time of past OR future Camino
2015 & 2016 (partial)
I don't know what the Spanish secret behind café con leche, you can taste the difference as soon as you set foot on Spanish soil.
My impression is that all the bars have the same machine, and therefore nearly the exact same taste. That's from having it in many places in Santiago, La Bañeza, Zamora, Burgos, Estella, Pamplona, Bilbao, Barcelona, and others, in addition to at least one in EVERY village on the Camino from Estella to Fromista.

The store in Villamayor de Monjardín had a vending machine. One button was "café con leche" and another was "lech con café" but they tasted the same to me.
 
Camino Way markers in Bronze
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that makes the ones you see on your walk.
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
which is where the Aussie's got their flat white idea from
Careful there!

Here is a quote from Wikipedia,

However, the origins of the flat white are contentious, with New Zealand also claiming its invention.[11][12] The New Zealand claim originates in Auckland, New Zealand, by Derek Townsend and Darrell Ahlers of Cafe DKD, as an alternative to the Italian latte,[1][13] and a second New Zealand claim originates from Wellington as a result of a "failed cappuccino" at Bar Bodega on Willis St in 1989.[11] Craig Miller, author of Coffee Houses of Wellington 1939 to 1979, claims to have prepared a flat white in Auckland in the mid-1980s
 

gtdevon

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Madrid
Careful there!

Here is a quote from Wikipedia,

However, the origins of the flat white are contentious, with New Zealand also claiming its invention.[11][12] The New Zealand claim originates in Auckland, New Zealand, by Derek Townsend and Darrell Ahlers of Cafe DKD, as an alternative to the Italian latte,[1][13] and a second New Zealand claim originates from Wellington as a result of a "failed cappuccino" at Bar Bodega on Willis St in 1989.[11] Craig Miller, author of Coffee Houses of Wellington 1939 to 1979, claims to have prepared a flat white in Auckland in the mid-1980s
I did say it was a" humorous" post to stop it from being taken too seriously.
But hey-ho, a "flat white" has the same 2 shot and foam recipe as a Canarian "cortado" which has been made like this in the Canarians ever since they got espresso machines. It's the same thing different name.
 

SabsP

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
A tad off topic but still coffee and with humor, I lived in Lanzarote for 15 years and their coffee culture is totally different than the Spanish mainland. Firstly they don't see themselves as Spanish, they are Canarian and proud. back to the coffee, a cafe con leche is seen as a Spanish/touristy thing and not to be ordered unless you are one of the two, you have a few other local choices to order, all served in glasses , most popular is a "cortardo" 2 shots and hot milk ( which is where the Aussie's got their flat white idea from) a "cafe solo" 2 shots no milk and longer than an espresso, next is a " condensado" which is coffee and dash of condensed milk and I have seen sugar added,
And lastly and uniquely canarian and my
favorite is the " leche leche" or milk milk which is a cortardo with hot milk and condensed milk.
on hot days, all can be poured over ice.
I guess you mean " cortado"?
 

JodienBlue

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April/May 2023
I nominate Artic_Alex for best in show: witty, creative with a sliver of sarcasm. Levity and fun. Like a lot!
Getting ☕️ from a hole in the wall adds an air of prohibition & mystery. 😂

Yup! Camino coffee throughout the day!
Before the Camino, I really didn't like coffee. Sacrilege, I know. Even now, I rarely drink it; I'm a herbal tea aficionado and lover.
But all that changes as soon as I set foot on the Camino. I became wooed and mesmerized by all things Cafe con Leche {and freshly squeezed orange juice, to be honest}. I even was seduced a time or two by the Lemonade Beer twist (Shandy??).

My question for you: what is your relationship to Cafe con Leche / coffee on the Camino? Pre, during and post? [to clarify pre, during and post, I am wondering both in your day-to-day on the Camino, and pre-arrival Spain and after leaving]
Do you have any favourite recommendations of must-go-to places for coffee along the Way -- whatever route that might be? Details and stories would be appreciated! Types of coffee? etc.

Buen Coffee Camino!!!
I have been following this post with great amusement. My wife and I will be starting the CF in about 10 days. My concern is that even though my wife enjoys the Australian version of a cafe con leche, my coffee order of choice is a “triple shot long black in a small cup”. (At home I usually have about 7 shots in a large mug but use a “French press/plunger” for timeliness. Can anybody tell me how I should order my TSLB without being ejected from the cafe! Or do I go with the flow and have a CCL.?
 
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SabsP

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
I had this terrific coffe in Lyon. Can anyone tell me what it is called. I’m a total coffee snob and learnt to order Cortada coffee to get the full flavor I’m used to in Australia View attachment 143216

Seems to be a café au lait in a glass instead of the more traditional mug?

I always order a noisette when in France.


 
Time of past OR future Camino
Sept. 2022 El Salvador, Oct. 2022 Tui Portugués
Most likely the girl drinking it in her slip had acid reflux.
Just by looking at the cafe con leche (coffee poured into warm evaporated milk) served in a tall plastic glass made her nauseous. The consensus was that she was trying to get away from going to school. She now makes some of the best Cuban coffee of all. We have ☕️ contests 😂.
 

mattythedog

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Before the Camino, I really didn't like coffee. Sacrilege, I know. Even now, I rarely drink it; I'm a herbal tea aficionado and lover.
But all that changes as soon as I set foot on the Camino. I became wooed and mesmerized by all things Cafe con Leche {and freshly squeezed orange juice, to be honest}. I even was seduced a time or two by the Lemonade Beer twist (Shandy??).

My question for you: what is your relationship to Cafe con Leche / coffee on the Camino? Pre, during and post? [to clarify pre, during and post, I am wondering both in your day-to-day on the Camino, and pre-arrival Spain and after leaving]
Do you have any favourite recommendations of must-go-to places for coffee along the Way -- whatever route that might be? Details and stories would be appreciated! Types of coffee? etc.

Buen Coffee Camino!!!
YES!! Gotta have my con leche every day on the Camino. 2-4 before noon. Not after or I don't sleep well. Noon, beyond and sometimes before I gotta have my fresh squeezed OJ. Many times, if the line is long and I've walked a couple hours, I will order two cafes at the same time. Beware (just my experience) as you get closer to Santiago, sometimes they ask if you want a regular or large. Large usually does not seem to be as flavorful. I suspect they just add extra milk. Now I always stick with regular size. Ironically, some of the fancier hotel bars are open much earlier than the surrounding bars and cafes, AND some of them only charge 1 or 1.25 euro for a cup. Before and after Europe, I am pretty much cafe Americano. Lattes and cappuccinos are just not the same.
 
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John A Richard

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2017), Portuguese (2019)
I love this thread! Our family always walked 5 to 8 km before having our first café con leche often accompanied by tortilla or bread (or both). This photo is from Azofra, 2017. We bought a milk frothing machine upon our return and have been having one every morning since. J 091.JPG
 

skydiva

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances-Finisterre 2018
Frances + Portugues 2022
I had my first cafe con leche on the way to Zubiri when I sat sobbing after the big down hill, saying - I can’t do this! My new Camino family said - get a grip and have a coffee. But I don’t even drink coffee I moaned (being a recovering caffeine addict). Have a coffee they said. And I did. And all of a sudden the pain fell away and inexplicable joy arose. I easily walked to Zubiri.
I read much later that coffee also has some pain killing properties so then I completely understood its place on Camino.
We have great coffee in Australia but not everywhere. In Spain I decided it is the ‘happy cows’ but it seems the unique roasting method is also a factor.
Finally attitude plays a big part in any food prep - and I think the Spanish love of coffee goes into every cup.
At home the cafe in our tiny local shopping centre does the best coffee. But my home made coffee leaves a lot to be desired.
OMG, I am SO sorry, but I broke out in uncontrollable laughter when you said that your new pilgrim family responded to your sobbing with 'Get a grip and get a coffee'. Sounds so callous (on both of our accounts) -- but it's absolutely TRUE!!! I can relate SOOOO much (I am the author of this post -- the one who didn't drink coffee prior to my Camino). I'm happy to hear that it helped you!!!
 

Rita Flower

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 Via del la Plata
OMG, I am SO sorry, but I broke out in uncontrollable laughter when you said that your new pilgrim family responded to your sobbing with 'Get a grip and get a coffee'. Sounds so callous

Oh it was necessary - like that slap on the face for a hysterical person. Not their exact words but absolutely tough LOVE 💕 . And the miracle of that coffee has never been forgotten by this pilgrim.
These four were my first Camino family (and Camino saviours) and they live in my heart forever.
 

skydiva

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances-Finisterre 2018
Frances + Portugues 2022
I've been drinking 2 or 3 cups of coffee a day my whole life but for years I couldn't find any that I really liked anymore.

Until the camino! I did the Portuguese 2 years ago and I love the meia de leite in Portugal even more than the café con leche in Spain.

Back home I bought a coffee machine and Delta coffee beans, now making my own meia de leite. Not quite as good as on the camino (but doesn't everything taste better on holiday or camino?) but I do like my coffee again.
I've never heard of meia de leite and I walked the Portugues for the first time last October. Thanks for the tip!
 
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skydiva

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances-Finisterre 2018
Frances + Portugues 2022
I think I could have written part of this post! Love the orange juice on the Camino and even a Shandy a time or two, even though I never drink beer at home. Cafe con Leches are part of the Camino for me and I really appreciate a good one, even more a grande!
Maybe we're Camino twin sisters, yet to meet? Let me know when and where your next Camino is .... we can celebrate with CCL and a Shandy! :)
 

skydiva

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances-Finisterre 2018
Frances + Portugues 2022
Same defect is why I almost never drink coffee at home.

Though conversely, with one single local exception of a local tea house that has Mariage et Frères tea, never tea anywhere except at home or one American friend's place, but she has an English tea culture and gets her own from Blighty. Mine is either Twining's or Tetley, which are not the best, but they're acceptable.

When I lived in Paris, I'd drink nothing of the sort except my own Mariage et Frères properly brewed leaf tea, the occasional French coffee, or a rare Viennese one (or chocolate) at the Austrian café near the Sorbonne. Or my Italian ex girlfriend's traditional Italian coffee gizmo version, which was OK, though I'd usually drink tea instead -- mostly because she was a genuine coffee lover, and needed it far more than I ever could !!
If I lived in Paris I'd be at a bistro everyday having hot chocolate with dipping croissants and a glass or 2 of Bordeaux, watching everyone else. I'd also probably be 25lbs heavier because of it!!
 

skydiva

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances-Finisterre 2018
Frances + Portugues 2022
Oh it was necessary - like that slap on the face for a hysterical person. Not their exact words but absolutely tough LOVE 💕 . And the miracle of that coffee has never been forgotten by this pilgrim.
These four were my first Camino family (and Camino saviours) and they live in my heart forever.
Beautiful ... nothing beats a Camino family that lives long past our days on walking the Way!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances May-June (2016)
I know there will be another in the not too distant future!
but cannot replicate the taste.
I've been told it has everything to do with the water. Unfortunately, not much we can do about that. Still, I am a cafe con leche, cafe latte, cappuccino (call it what you like) devotee and love using Italian Illy coffee and steamed milk. Closest I can come.
 
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Icacos

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013)
I am pleasantly surprised to see so many people who think it reasonable to drink cafés con leche during any time of the day. When I walked - in spring - and enjoying my cafés con leche, it seemed everyone else was drinking tinto de verano. One peregrina from Ibiza even made some comment about my choice of beverage.
 

Damico Walking

Another in 2023?
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 Portuguese
I am a coffee lover and drink almost a full pot of coffee most days here at home in the USA. I do make it stronger than most so it does have some good flavor. I have been coffee like this for about 35 years. On the camino I actually drink less coffee. I do love a double espresso in the morning, no milk or sugar, and one at night. But never an americano or anything like that.

My wife has drank cafe con leche since before we were married 47 years ago and I make it for her at night if she has the taste for it. She does drink coffee most mornings, but regular like I do but just not as much. She did drink coffee on the camino but usually either a cafe con leche or late. She usually drinks it in the morning, since the caffeine can keep her up.

But I must say that fresh squeezed orange juice we found on the camino was indeed nectar from the gods. Where I found I drank much less coffee the longing for fresh orange juice was almost unbearable.
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2018
Before the Camino, I really didn't like coffee. Sacrilege, I know. Even now, I rarely drink it; I'm a herbal tea aficionado and lover.
But all that changes as soon as I set foot on the Camino. I became wooed and mesmerized by all things Cafe con Leche {and freshly squeezed orange juice, to be honest}. I even was seduced a time or two by the Lemonade Beer twist (Shandy??).

My question for you: what is your relationship to Cafe con Leche / coffee on the Camino? Pre, during and post? [to clarify pre, during and post, I am wondering both in your day-to-day on the Camino, and pre-arrival Spain and after leaving]
Do you have any favourite recommendations of must-go-to places for coffee along the Way -- whatever route that might be? Details and stories would be appreciated! Types of coffee? etc.

Buen Coffee Camino!!!
Never drank coffee before my first Camino. Then I tried the cafe con leche in a glass. Been drinking coffee ever since but can never get one that compares with that first one in Cizur Menor. With you on the zumo naranja natural and the cerveza con limón. Little cafe in the corner of the plaza in front of cathedral in Logroño serves a good coffee in the early morn as does a little bakery on the way out of Pamplona. Or cafe in Lavacola where the lady made a happy face in my froth to the chagrin of the other pilgrims who just got regular froth. Oh heck, everywhere is good for cafe con leche
 

DeansFamily

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 18/916/10/17 Muxia/Finisterre 18/10-22/10/17 Norte 21/4-29/5/18 Primitive 20/9-5/10/18 VdlP
I reckon it's the anticipation that borders on desperate longing when the going gets tough/long/cold/tiring that makes having a cafe con leche soooo satisfying. Whether it comes to me luke warm or scalding it is savoured and appreciated like you wouldn't believe. My first confident Spanish phrase learnt was "cafe con leche grande por favor". And when having my first one I'll be enjoying tomorrow morning on the way to Sahagun I'll be thinking of all of you.
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Time of past OR future Camino
2015 & 2016 (partial)
A tad off topic but still coffee and with humor,
Further off-topic … I was an electronics instructor in San Diego and we had a restaurant-style drip brewer in the office. I speak Spanish, and would often go into Mexico. One trip, i brought back a giant can of coffee grounds I purchased down there. Collegues ordered me to NEVER again bring any of that awful tasting Mexican coffee. I found an empty Folger's can and dumped the "awful tasting Mexican coffee" into it. No more complaints!
 
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thomryng

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés (2013, 2016, 2018), Primitivo (2022)
I'm a coffee drinker, and a very spoiled one of that: my wife roasts our coffee out in the garage, pretty much on a weekly basis.

While traveling or visiting I have often had some pretty awful coffee. I'm always grateful, of course, because even terrible coffee is better than no coffee.

Having said that, I have never had a bad cup of coffee in Spain. My introduction to café con Leche was at a Madrid airport café, waiting for a bus to take me to Pamplona. I thought it was surprisingly good for airport coffee.

The next day, I had my first Camino café con leche at Roncesvalles, and it was an absolute revelation into the divine nature of the bean.
 

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