I came to Yucatán for the first time in 2011, and on the second day, I visited El Hoyo, locally known as Casa de Té. It’s still my favorite writing spot in town, and boasts one of the nuttiest tasting cups of joe around.
When I moved to Mérida in 2015, I started buying whole bean coffee for my French press from Caffé Latte, the city’s “original gangster” of cafés. Later, much to my delight, appeared Café Montejo, a place full of character, cultivated by the tedious tastebuds of a sister-brother duo from Tabasco.
In the last year, Manifesto and Márago opened their doors, bringing an incredible strong game to the table – Manifesto for its hip design and Márago for its dedication to serving the best “Americano” on Paseo de Montejo. All sell coffee by the kilo to enjoy at home.
For 22 years now, Rosario May and her bubbly personality have reigned supreme in the world of coffee in Mérida. Located half a block from the historic park of Itzimná, Caffé Latte offers coffee from Chiapas, Veracruz, and Puebla. They have light, medium, and dark roasts, and sell whole bean (“en grano”) and ground coffee (“molido”) by the quarter, half, or whole kilo. Visit around 11 am and you’ll run into the regulars, a group of men who have been with Rosario since the day she opened.
Monday – Friday, 8 am – 7:30 pm
Saturday 8 am – 3 pm
Av. Pérez Ponce #101 x 21 y 21-A, Col. Itzimná
FB: Caffe Latte Itzimna
El Hoyo, Casa de Té
“Beware of the cat,” reads the sign on the sliding glass door of El Hoyo. The calico is curled up on one of the cushions, and looks innocent. Pet her once with a quick stroke (irresistible), and leave it at that – trust me. Featuring a thorough menu of teas and tisanas, chocolate and cheese fondues, plus beers and wine, I still always go for the coffee (and the environment). The Americano is nutty with hints of citrus, a cup that
delights my inner barista and keeps me coming back time after time.
Monday – Saturday, 11 am – 11:30 pm
Calle 62 x 55 y 57, Centro
FB: El hoyo: Casa de té
Fernando Montejo made 14 different trips to the highlands of Chiapas to find that perfect coffee bean. His sister and co-owner was embroidering during our visit, and she boasted the hand-ground Tabasqueño chocolate that they sell. The coffee is best sipped alongside one of their decadent pastries and cinnamon rolls. Find a table in the courtyard of this restored colonial gem, and allow the gardens and pasta tile floors to take you to the land of caffeinated tropicality. I love to buy whole bean, Chiapaneco coffee here to grind at home.
Calle 59 x 72 y 74, Centro
Monday – Friday, 8 am – 3 pm, 7 pm – 1 am
Saturday and Sunday, 7 pm – 1 am
FB: Cafe Montejo Merida
Manifesto Casa Tostadora Calabrese
I know (for a fact) that Manifesto is the hippest café in town. Walk inside and you’ll feel consumed by clean, modern design, smartly integrated into the colonial city. The coffee is prepared with a professionalism and attention to detail that will bring you to your knees and make you never want to leave. The familial team helps teach you how to prepare coffee using myriad methods (also documented on their website): Chemex, Dripper V60, air press, and French press. The menu is small, but complete, and encourages you to drink coffee the right way – this is their manifesto.
When I sat down with Rodrigo Sahuí to hear the story of Márago, I felt like I was hearing a pitch for a blockbuster movie. Over the years, Rodrigo has developed a complex relationship with coffee, first learning how to sell it, and later learning to drink it. Márago is the love child of this evolution, a place which threw money-making out of the window and concerned itself with one thing only: serving the absolute best cup of coffee possible. And I can assure you, it’s one of the best I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a lot of coffee in my life.
Every day, 8 am – 10 pm
Paseo de Montejo x Calle 39 y 41
FB: Café Márago
By Amanda Strickland
Photos by Allie M. Jordan for Yucatán Today