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Coffee in Spain

Opa Theo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais to Santiago
#1
As an American I require coffee to fuel my day. I've seen videos of tiny cups of coffee from pilgrims, that would border on deprivation for me. I realize there are no Starbucks or Duncans on the camino. Does Spain have the equivalent of a Cafe au lai?
Thanks
 

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linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 05/17 brazo roto Portomarín
Francés 09/17 SJPdP - Santiago
(Portuguese: 09/18)
#3
Café con leche? Since you mentioned Starbucks ... I brought a box of Starbucks Via. I used them some mornings when I started early, and I wish I had brought more. I tried the Nescafe, but I think the Via was much better.

Café solo para mí.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#4
All the coffee I had on the Camino was served in, for lack of better words, standard sized coffee cups. You can get cafe con leche, which is similar to au lait, or plain black coffee (cafe solo, or cafe Americano).
Thank goodness no Starbucks or Duncan on the Camino.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#6
About three decades ago while we were car touring in southern Spain Peg had trouble remembering the phrase cafe con leche. So, about half the time when getting her coffee in the mornings (without me, I'm not a coffee drinker) she would request "Cafe au lait, por favor" to her regret. She says that whenever she did she got something different and not as good. Peg picked up some Spanish for our camino trip. She did okay understanding spoken Spanish but not so well with speaking it herself (I did most of the talking.) She sure did remember to say "Cafe con leche, por favor" though.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#7
Coffee in Spain is the best - never had a bad cup in the past 6 years - cafe con leech - I started drooling at the mere thought - hahahaXXX
:D:D:D I suppose that was autocorrection or typo but "leech" in combination with "drooling" nearly choked me laughing. Degustibus non disputandum est :D
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
#11
Just say no to fabulous Spanish coffee? Very sad. Just say no to Spanish tortilla? Just say no to Spanish chorizo? Just say no Spanish rioja-navarra-ribeiro-Albariño-Modello? Just say no to manchego? Just say no to caldo galego? Just say no to Spanish lomo (well, maybe yes), When in Spain, grin and bear it, Do as the Spanish do!
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
#12
You are in for a treat!
Spanish coffee are the most well made and everyone is an expert in making it.
You will soon find out that your dreadful milked-down Starbuck vieriety is nothing compared to a Café con Leche, and then you go for more; Cortados with the taste of the best in the coffee.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cortado

Indicate how much warm milk you want in it, but the smaller is the better !!
Good luck
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#19
About three decades ago while we were car touring in southern Spain Peg had trouble remembering the phrase cafe con leche. So, about half the time when getting her coffee in the mornings (without me, I'm not a coffee drinker) she would request "Cafe au lait, por favor" to her regret. She says that whenever she did she got something different and not as good. Peg picked up some Spanish for our camino trip. She did okay understanding spoken Spanish but not so well with speaking it herself (I did most of the talking.) She sure did remember to say "Cafe con leche, por favor" though.
That's the first thing I learned in Spanish on my first Camino. That coffee is the best!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#20
I always ordered "un café doble, por favor." I love the coffee too much to have just a single at a time!
I always asked for a "cafe con leche grande" and showed them my hands spreading outward. They knew I meant the biggest one. :)
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
#21
Forget the Starbucks bud - you can get a better coffee fix in the smallest , poorest little town on the Camino.
They don't call the franchise Starsucks for nothing! Years ago a pilgrim asking for a vegetarian menu would see the waiter faint dead away. I don't think Spain will ever see Pumpkin Spice Frappe without a revolution!
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
#22
One last word, The Mediterranean World, Egypt, here in Jerusalem and all Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, Greece (don't even consider asking for Turkish coffee here!), Bulgaria, Italy, Morocco, France, and Spain k-n-o-w how to make coffee! Don't argue with them!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#25
One last word, The Mediterranean World, Egypt, here in Jerusalem and all Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, Greece (don't even consider asking for Turkish coffee here!), Bulgaria, Italy, Morocco, France, and Spain k-n-o-w how to make coffee! Don't argue with them!!
I was in Turkey last year as part of a tour and upon arrival we were given a very small cup of complimentary "sludge"...oops, I mean coffee. I couldn't get past the first sip! Absolutely black, and so thick a spoon would stand up. It was horrible.
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
#26
I was in Turkey last year as part of a tour and upon arrival we were given a very small cup of complimentary "sludge"...oops, I mean coffee. I couldn't get past the first sip! Absolutely black, and so thick a spoon would stand up. It was horrible.
Istanbul-Kosrta among us Jews, has some fantastic coffee no cardamom no fenugreek only coffee you fell into a very different place!
 

volleyjanice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
08/2013 St. Jean Pied de Port-Belorado, 08/2015 Burgos- Santiago/Finisterre/Muxia, 08/18 Portugese
#28
People who know me are shocked that most days on the Camino, I am up and out the door to walk about 10 k before getting a coffee. In fact, I am rather shocked by the whole thing myself! At home I shuffle from bed to the kitchen looking miserable until coffee can be located. Just knowing that a delicious cafe con leche awaits seems to be enough to get me going. Of course the first usually leads to a second (why oh why have I never thought to ask for a doble?). Our worst day ever on the Camino was en route to Finisterre. We had been enduring epic winds and downpours, slept in a damp albergue which had a faint aroma of cat pee, and eagerly awaited the opening of the adjoining restaurant where we had dinner the night before. They had promised us they would be open at 7:00. That time came and went, as did 7:30 with no sign of anyone coming to open the dang door. Had we already wrapped our heads around walking before coffee it might not have been so bad but the false promise truly affected our psyches. Off into the mist we shuffled, feeling extremely sorry for ourselves. If nothing else that particular section of the camino forced us to reflect on what true hardship is (hint: it's not a rough day on the camino) and to truly appreciate the joy (and mood balancing caffeine) that a simple cup of coffee can provide!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May 2018
#31
What about people like me who hate the taste of coffee and would like tea in the morning? (with hot steamed milk would be great.) Is that an option on the Camino?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
#32
Hi! Is Cafe con Leche sin azucar (without sugar) or do I have to ask for it that way? I love coffee and adding sugar to it seems like an abomination (unless it's cafe gelato!)
Coffee of any sort is served without added sugar but usually with a paper sachet of sugar in the saucer alongside the spoon, to be added if you want it. Like you I never add sugar so this suits me fine!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#35
Forget the Starbucks bud - you can get a better coffee fix in the smallest , poorest little town on the Camino.
You may never want to go to Starbucks ever again...........! ;);)
Awful coffee. At least here in Australia and in Thailand it is........
 

evanlow

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances06
Primitivo07
Plata08
Norte12
Levante(14-15)
Vasco16
Mozarabe(16-17)
Madrid17
Portuguese18
#36
If you want a bigger portion then 'cafe con leche grande'. Bear in mind that it's just a slightly bigger cup. Proportion wise, unlike Starbucks (to me just flavored milk), you get to really taste the coffee in Spain.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#37
This belongs to another thread, sorry!
So, can tea and coffee be taken into Spain? Why not just pack some sachets of each, and if they are detected and held up for all the world to see, you calmly say, that is for my lunch. As other posters have said, Spain does have teabags, and coffee sachets. I scanned most of the posts, and see there is some comment about sugar. I do not like sugar in tea or coffee, but I never passed up the sachets provided. At the end of the day, first thing was to take a glass of water with about three of the sachets dissolved in it. Don’t ask me why, but my walking pal said that is a good thing to do to avoid cramps, so who am I to argue..,.,.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Via Francigena (2017), plus more than 2000 Km/year of trekking, hiking and minor caminos since 2000.
#38
One last word, The Mediterranean World, Egypt, here in Jerusalem and all Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, Greece (don't even consider asking for Turkish coffee here!), Bulgaria, Italy, Morocco, France, and Spain k-n-o-w how to make coffee! Don't argue with them!!
And when you will come to the Italian Caminos, you will be surprised by the variety of the ways we drink coffee:

Normale (it's what foreign people call "espresso")
Lungo (espresso cup filled to the edge)
Ristretto (concentrated, half volume of normale)
Prime gocce (first drops, the essence of the espresso!)
Macchiato caldo (with some drops of hot milk)
Macchiato freddo (with some drops of cold milk)
Lungo in tazza grande (like lungo but with more water)
Americano (lungo, in large cup with a glass of hot water to add)
Corretto (taste "corrected" with alcohol, say sambuca, grappa, brandy...)
Con ghiaccio or salentino (like the Spanish "con hjelo")
Marocchino (coffe, cream and... Nutella!)
Schiumato (coffee with foam of milk)
Decaffeinato
Doppio (double)
Freddo (cold, amaretto could be added)
and... Cappuccino!!!!

And don't forget the coffe that we make at home, with the moka machine.
 
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hotelmedicis

Commercial Interests
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2001 (+more)
VDLP 2013, 2018
#40
It's not easy leaving Medford or Revere and not getting a morning cup of Dunkin' Donuts. Sometimes 7-11 will do, but Starbucks is never far away. Even New Jersey is too far. Canada? Forget it. Spain? I'm done for.
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
#42
And when you will come to the Italian Caminos, you will be surprised by the variety of the ways we drink coffee:

Normale (it's what foreign people call "espresso")
Lungo (espresso cup filled to the edge)
Ristretto (concentrated, half volume of normale)
Prime gocce (first drops, the essence of the espresso!)
Macchiato caldo (with some drops of hot milk)
Macchiato freddo (with some drops of cold milk)
Lungo in tazza grande (like lungo but with more water)
Americano (lungo, in large cup with a glass of hot water to add)
Corretto (taste "corrected" with alcohol, say sambuca, grappa, brandy...)
Con ghiaccio or salentino (like the Spanish "con hjelo")
Marocchino (coffe, cream and... Nutella!)
Schiumato (coffee with foam of milk)
Decaffeinato
Doppio (double)
Freddo (cold, amaretto could be added)
and... Cappuccino!!!!

And don't forget the coffe that we make at home, with the moka machine.
And don't forget the Por Favor and don't miss the chance to get rid of those small irritating coins in your pocket as a tip!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camin0 Frances (2004, 2008), Camino Portugues (2010), Camino del Norte (2012) Via de la Plata planing April92014), CaminoiPortugues (2015.)
#45
What about people like me who hate the taste of coffee and would like tea in the morning? (with hot steamed milk would be great.) Is that an option on the Camino?
not really, you better bring your own, you will be offered an "infusion" from either Menta Poleo or Manzanilla. very seldom you will get tea in small towns.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2017
#46
They don't call the franchise Starsucks for nothing! Years ago a pilgrim asking for a vegetarian menu would see the waiter faint dead away. I don't think Spain will ever see Pumpkin Spice Frappe without a revolution!

Just as an FYI, there are full-functioning Starbucks in both Terminals 1 & 4 at Madrid Barajas Airport. After a month or more in Spain, I always look forward to my first skinny Vanilla latte at Starbucks after security.

That said, Spain has the best coffee. As others have said, you can get excellent coffee in the most remote and tiny cafe or bar. Here is your coffee primer:

Cafe con Leche (coffee with milk)​
Cafe Solo - (black coffee)​
Cafe ... con azucar (coffee ... with sugar)​
Cafe Largo (a long or large coffee - order "solo" or con leche... e.g. 'cafe largo con leche')​
Cafe Americano - (one shot Spanish coffee cut with hot water - same as Starbucks Americano)​

There are other phrases used to describe these basic coffee drinks. I only offer the very basics here... Consider it "survival coffee."

Hope this helps.
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
#47
All the coffee I had on the Camino was served in, for lack of better words, standard sized coffee cups. You can get cafe con leche, which is similar to au lait, or plain black coffee (cafe solo, or cafe Americano).
Thank goodness no Starbucks or Duncan on the Camino.
I got coffee in cups, large cups, tumblers and large tumblers with handles almost like a beer glass. Ask for cafe con leche grand for bigger cups :)
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#48
Personally, I started being spoilt with Italian coffee in the 1970s, and with the main exception of properly prepared French bourgeois breakfast café au lait (which several of you may be familiar with, I'm sure -- the Municipal at SJPP usually has the good stuff, just for starters) or café crème for later in the day, nothing else really does the trick for me.

OH !! Except of course a genuine viennese coffee. Ouch !! o_O :cool:

Starbucks etc from my POV are just sugar drinks.
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
#49
What about people like me who hate the taste of coffee and would like tea in the morning? (with hot steamed milk would be great.) Is that an option on the Camino?
Becky, many places will have té negro (black tea) and you can ask for un poco de leche caliente. That way they'll still give you hot water for the tea but hopefully bring out the milk in a little metal pitcher so you can add it to your tea as you like. Otherwise you can buy your own tea bags in the grocery store and ask for un vaso de agua caliente (cup of hot water), again with a bit of leche caliente.

Buen Camino!
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Portugal coastal route..Leaving from Portal June 3rd, 2016. 2nd coastal leaving Porto June 1st, 2018
#50
As an American I require coffee to fuel my day. I've seen videos of tiny cups of coffee from pilgrims, that would border on deprivation for me. I realize there are no Starbucks or Duncans on the camino. Does Spain have the equivalent of a Cafe au lai?
Thanks
The coffee is the best that I have ever had in Spain and Portugal and served in regular cups..the highlight of my mornings, afternoons and evenings. I became addicted and looking forward to having again this summer.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April 20, 2016 to May 20, '16 SJPdP to Santiago d C.
#57
One of my favorite memories of the CdS was very early the first morning, in the municipal albergue in SJPdP. I was the first up and made myself a cup of instant coffee, which was all I could find. Shortly later a little Basque/French lady came in to make breakfast and a sleepy couple came to the table. I thought she was going to brew some coffee, but she made the thickest, blackest instant coffee I'd ever seen, and served it to the young couple in a large bowl, with a small spoon (for the sugar and milk). The fellow looked at the bowl, picked up the spoon, and took it like a bowl of soup! I can only laugh now, as I might have done the same thing!
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
#59
As an American I require coffee to fuel my day. I've seen videos of tiny cups of coffee from pilgrims, that would border on deprivation for me. I realize there are no Starbucks or Duncans on the camino. Does Spain have the equivalent of a Cafe au lai?
Thanks
Cups are smaller than those we have in the U. S. The Espresso is very small.
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
#61
Just a thought, well, another one. When I first visited Spain years and years ago and not so many years ago when I first started walking the Camino I have several very distinct memories. One involves food, sway, a tourist or pilgrim would enter a restaurant and ask for a vegetarian menu and the waiter would faint, dead away. Today things have changed. No problem at all. However, today, should a tourist or a pilgrim try to order, say, a Decaffeinated Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino - I shudder to think what the reaction might be!
 
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#65
Just a thought, well, another one. When I first visited Spain years and years ago and not so many years ago when I first started walking the Camino I have several very distinct memories. One involves food, sway, a tourist or pilgrim would enter a restaurant and ask for a vegetarian menu and the waiter would faint, dead away. Today things have changed. No problem at all. However, today, should a tourist or a pilgrim try to order, say, a Decaffeinated Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino - I shudder to think what the reaction might be!
Scorn and laughter! Rightly so!!:cool::p
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many
#66
The one bit that I don't see mentioned is that you can actually do a lot to modify the temperature of the coffee as well.

I'm a cortado drinker myself but can't drink a super hot coffee and don't always have the time to wait for it to cool... so I order it 'templado' and it arrives at a more agreeable temperature.
Under a hot afternoon sun I'll take it 'con hielo' and it is served alongside a glass of ice to pour it over.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Summer of 2012 - Astorga -Finisterre
Summer of 2014 SJPP - Sarria
Summer of 2017 Primitivo-Muxia
#67
As an American I require coffee to fuel my day. I've seen videos of tiny cups of coffee from pilgrims, that would border on deprivation for me. I realize there are no Starbucks or Duncans on the camino. Does Spain have the equivalent of a Cafe au lai?
Thanks
Spain has the BEST coffee. Every tiny bar or restaurant, even in the middle of nowhere, has a fabulous coffee maker. I would suggest NOT bringing coffee from the states, especially anything in plastic....and enjoy the delicious cafe con leche! You are in Spain!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (09-10.12) Portuguese(05-06.13) Norte (05-06.15)
#70
Rest assured, they drink coffee in Spain too!
As to the finding of it, in fact the daily search for your morning brew borders on a mini pilgrimage in its own right. Just wake, up hit the road & follow the arrows. Like with everything else you need, the Camino delivers.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPDP to SDC May & June 2017
#72
The coffee was very good. Ask for con leche grande. I usually got between 6 and 8 ounces. Once I got a glass of con leche about 4 inches in diameter and 5 inches tall. Usually the 2 ounce size cost one euro and the 6 ounce size was 1.25 euro.
 

Kathy Val

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
August 2017
#74
As an American I require coffee to fuel my day. I've seen videos of tiny cups of coffee from pilgrims, that would border on deprivation for me. I realize there are no Starbucks or Duncans on the camino. Does Spain have the equivalent of a Cafe au lai?
Thanks
Order a cafe con leche GRANDE, a bigger cup of delicious coffee. You will be forever hooked!
 
#75
As an American I require coffee to fuel my day. I've seen videos of tiny cups of coffee from pilgrims, that would border on deprivation for me. I realize there are no Starbucks or Duncans on the camino. Does Spain have the equivalent of a Cafe au lai?
Thanks
I have to say I am very pleased there are no Starbucks around here. I think the only non Spanish brands of coffee bars are the ones found at the airports. They are Italian. You will find some Spanish ran bars using Italian roasts.
You will be in a different country and I would encourage you to taste (with your eyes, ears and nose) to absorb what Spain has to offer you.
 

Tom Smith

Tom Smith at KM 0 in Madrid
Camino(s) past & future
2017
#76
As an American I require coffee to fuel my day. I've seen videos of tiny cups of coffee from pilgrims, that would border on deprivation for me. I realize there are no Starbucks or Duncans on the camino. Does Spain have the equivalent of a Cafe au lai?
Thanks
You can always find a good cup of coffee in Spain...either "solo" (black) or Cafe con leche (with milk). OR some places offer an "Americano" which is a large cup of coffee. Always good!
 

volleyjanice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
08/2013 St. Jean Pied de Port-Belorado, 08/2015 Burgos- Santiago/Finisterre/Muxia, 08/18 Portugese
#77
Hi! Is Cafe con Leche sin azucar (without sugar) or do I have to ask for it that way? I love coffee and adding sugar to it seems like an abomination (unless it's cafe gelato!)
It is without sugar. They almost always seem to stick a couple of sugar packs on the saucer. I too prefer it without!
 
#79
As an American I require coffee to fuel my day. I've seen videos of tiny cups of coffee from pilgrims, that would border on deprivation for me. I realize there are no Starbucks or Duncans on the camino. Does Spain have the equivalent of a Cafe au lai?
Thanks

I never saw take away coffee plastic cup in Spain. A coffee for 1 euro and you cam alway get 2. They also serve a glass of water essential for walking
 
#80
As an American I require coffee to fuel my day. I've seen videos of tiny cups of coffee from pilgrims, that would border on deprivation for me. I realize there are no Starbucks or Duncans on the camino. Does Spain have the equivalent of a Cafe au lai?
Thanks
As a humble Irish gentleman what’s wrong with a cup of tea or te in Spain. Managed 23 caminos without touching a drop coffee.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
#82
DSCF4162.JPG

You cannot get around this guy as he prepares coffee for the morning rush:
Is there a cup waiting just for you.
You bet !!
Is he fast. He is!
Will it propel you down the road. Most certainly...
( In the back of his battery he is preparing a cuppa for a tea thirsty Brit Pilgrim )
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#84
I never saw take away coffee plastic cup in Spain. A coffee for 1 euro and you cam alway get 2. They also serve a glass of water essential for walking
I hate drinking my coffee out of plastic/styrofoam cups. Another thing I like about Spain...none of that.
 

offtrail1

Dave Black
Camino(s) past & future
May 9th - June 13rd (2015) St Jean to Santiago
June 1st - June 29th (2016) Leon to Santiago & Finisterra
#85
Hi! Is Cafe con Leche sin azucar (without sugar) or do I have to ask for it that way? I love coffee and adding sugar to it seems like an abomination (unless it's cafe gelato!)
Never comes with sugar, Katherine - but it is on table or bar someplace for those who need sweetening.
 

Bogong

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First, March 2014
#87
Cafe con leche cost me a euro and a quarter in San Sebastian, mind you not the cheapest place in Spain but fabulous. It was good all over my walk, mind you now four years ago. Mit’s made on UHT milk (all I saw in Spain) but didn’t have the rotten plastic taste the stuff here does. It was very much a milk coffee, so I didn’t have to stop behind every second tree. But I mainly drank water/orange juice on my walk given my concerns that coffee is a diuretic. If you wanted coffee with a dash of milk, I think the term is cortado.

At the time, a flat white in Oz where I lived would set you back between $4 and$5 in some places. Very rarely $3.50.

And there are Starbucks and Starbucks. My first intro was in Vancouver, almost three decades ago and it was wonderful. Subsequently the chain opened up in Australia and it was indescribably awful. My wife dragged me into a Starbucks in London not all that long ago and it was even worse. Thankfully Starbucks went broke at least in Canberra which I visit and live in occasionally. And the Canberra industrial suburb of Fyshwich boasts the world champion barista.

De Colores
 

Roberto Mitelpunkt

El peregrino judeo.
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones, Invierno
#90
When I arrive to a location at the end of an etapa in all the caminos I did, after placing myself and showering and dressing I go out to find a place where to have my early morning café con leche. It’s a difficult job because nothing is open in Spain before 9. The secret is to find where the workers in the morning wait for their transportation and for sure there is a coffee shop there. I’m an early bird and need it desperately. In case I don’t find, I take with me an elctric spoon and I can boil water in a cup or glass and put in my Turkish coffee, HATE INSTANT COFFEE .
 
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Coastal Portuguese
2018 Via de la Plata
(2019) del Norte
#91
As an American I require coffee to fuel my day. I've seen videos of tiny cups of coffee from pilgrims, that would border on deprivation for me. I realize there are no Starbucks or Duncans on the camino. Does Spain have the equivalent of a Cafe au lai?
Thanks
As an American I require coffee to fuel my day. I've seen videos of tiny cups of coffee from pilgrims, that would border on deprivation for me. I realize there are no Starbucks or Duncans on the camino. Does Spain have the equivalent of a Cafe au lai?
Thanks
Coffee drinking is very important to the Spanish as it is with the French and Italians. The coffee is robust and full of flavour.
Have a cafe con leche - coffee with milk and enjoy.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
#92
What ! I find small, modest cafés open at 7 o´clock along the CF!!
in the small towns they know where the earning is, and small holders have small breakfasts and some places they serve huevos fritos
 

Anamiri

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#93
My wife doesn't drink coffee but Tea con Leche was her drink of choice and some time they had a variety of teas. she likes white tea and the steamed milk spoiled her.
I forgot about that, I hated the steamed milk, I called it Mutant tea. Taught me to ask for cold.
 

Roberto Mitelpunkt

El peregrino judeo.
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones, Invierno
#94
As a psychiatrist I try to be up to date informed about the factors that can cause or prevent diseases especially at my age, 72 y old.
I drink about 4-5 cups of (good) coffee a day and smoke 3-4 cigarettes a day.
There is strong evidence confirmed by scientific studies that coffee and tobacco prevent Parkinson disease and probably Alzheimer disease at the range of 40 %.
In the case of tobacco it has the risk of cardio-pulmonary disease so I wouldn’t recommend it even if I smoke, but nobody is perfect.
But I recommend having a good cup of coffee wherever you meet it at the Camino. (Thanks God, Buddha, Karma and Tao there is no Starbucks along it)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino francés from Roncesvalles and from Astorga, Camino portugués from Tui, hospitalero Refugio Gaucelmo in Rabanal del Camino 6 times
#95
Unless I missed it I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned the underlying reason for coffee in Spain being different – and in my opinion, superb. It’s in the beans themselves. It’s my understanding that most of the bars use a coffee called torrefacto. Actually it’s not the beans, it’s the roasting technique in which the beans are sprayed with a sugar syrup glaze before roasting. This results in a caramelized coating on the outside of the beans.
Every time we return from Spain every extra cubic inch in our backpacks is stuffed with bags of torrefacto coffee!
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torrefacto
 

Pheilhans

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
walking on monday
#96
I have done the Camino frances five times in two years. I am sorry to say this but the Coffee in Spain, on the French way, is a hughe disapointment. The coffee is terribly weak. I needed two-three cups in the morning to get the amount of coffein I would get in ONE normal American coffee at home. I have seen again and again how cafe owners re-use the coffee in the machine to make bad, weak coffee for pilgrimes. When the locals come to buy their coffee they use New coffee. I met this american lady drinking a double espresso last fall, and she said it perfectly; "this double espresso tastes like an ordinary American coffee to me, maybe this is why we need to stop for coffee all day long". I do not mean to be very negative, but this is one of the negative Things for me on the Camino. Pilgrimes as a rule (With some exceptions) never come back to buy more coffee, most pilgrimes are in "heaven" on the Camino and do not complain. I fear this leads to the People making a living on the Camino can do whatever they like. As a rule I now watch them while they make my coffee, I watch them emtpy the old coffe out of the espresso machine and fill up With New. And when they tell you to sit Down and wait while they make the coffee, I never do... I also tell them when my coffee is really bad or weak. They are not used to pilgrimes complaining.
 
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falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#97
I disagree. The coffee is great! Most bar coffee is a blend of beans. A dark, oily French roast is rare. An espresso shot is only about an ounce. It is strong and caffeine-filled. There are three or four major distributors. They are reliably good, but the occasional bar with coffee from a small processor results in some truly great coffee. I roasted my own beans for a decade, so I have some experience in the process and chemistry.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#98
@Pheilhans on this forum, to unfavourably compare Spanish coffee to American coffee is fighting words. I have never had a bad coffee in Spain, and never had a good coffee in the US! I think this debate is like boots v shoes v sandals - different strokes for different folks.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2017
#99
It is also, perhaps, an extrapolation of Camino Rule #1: "Every pilgrim does their own Camino... No one has the standing or right to judge another, or the manner in which they accomplish their pilgrimage." I extend this is what one eats or drinks.

Whatever gets you down the Camino works for you...and THAT is all that matters.;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
Personally, I started being spoilt with Italian coffee in the 1970s, and with the main exception of properly prepared French bourgeois breakfast café au lait (which several of you may be familiar with, I'm sure -- the Municipal at SJPP usually has the good stuff, just for starters) or café crème for later in the day, nothing else really does the trick for me.

OH !! Except of course a genuine viennese coffee. Ouch !! o_O :cool:

Starbucks etc from my POV are just sugar drinks.
A "true pilgrim" needs true coffee. :)
 

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