Updated: 7 August 2022
Mexico has three main coffee producing regions – Veracruz, Chiapas and Oaxaca. Due to its location beneath Veracruz and alongside Chiapas with the Pacific Ocean brushing the Sierra del Sur, Oaxaca’s coffee farms sit at around 900 to 1,850 metres above sea level – the higher the better for coffee production!
Coffee produced in both Chiapas and Oaxaca is known as ‘Altura’ – high grown – and is “considered to be very high quality and among the finest grown in the Americas.” With coffee available in the many coffee shops of Oaxaca City at very reasonable prices (average price of an Americano is 30 pesos / $1.45 USD), it allows you to be able to sample the various coffee beans produced in the region and from other parts of Mexico.
As coffee lovers, between us we have entered many coffee shops in Oaxaca. Here is a selection of our favourite coffee shops that you must visit during your stay in Oaxaca City.
1. Filemón Y Sagrado
Offering a fantastic selection of coffee beans from all around Oaxaca, Filemón y Sagrado (newly named) is undoubtedly one of the best coffee shops in Oaxaca City. Here you can sample roasts from regions such as: Sierra Sur, Sierra Norte and La Cañada. They have coffee sealed and ready to purchase if you want to brew it yourself at home. A simple Americano is my personal favourite but I do love their experiments with the Cascara Fizz and Cold Brew Tonic – they’re extremely refreshing for a hot Oaxacan day, especially in their new patio. For those that add milk to their brew, their flat white packs a punch and their lattes are silky smooth.
Of course, you can accompany your coffee with a freshly baked pastry from Sagrado or try a dish from their innovative menu.
Open: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 7am – 5pm
Friday – Sunday: 7am – 8pm
Location: C. de Ignacio Allende 218, Ruta de Independencia, Centro
2. MUSS CAFE
Set in the entrance of the elegant hotel, Casa Antonieta, this trendy coffee shop has an extensive menu along with some catchy tunes. Sit at their ‘brew bar’ for a V60 or Chemex or if you’re visiting later in the day, why not try one of their adventurous cocktails. The Carajillo Oaxaqueño is a muss-try!
At Muss Café, they source their 100% organic coffee from Finca las Nieves, located in San Juan Lachao, Oaxaca, close to the Pacific Coast. Bags of coffee beans are available to purchase so you can try their shade grown “altura” coffee at home.
Head up to the rooftop terrace, AMÁ, for a tranquil setting , excellent wine list and fantastic sunset views of the city.
3. ME Brew Coffee Lab
This coffee shop, just a few streets back from the Iglesia de Jalatlaco, is home to Eduardo who’s kindness, passion and keen eye for detail shines through in everything he prepares. Behind the brew bar, you can order V60, Aeropress, Chemex and their homemade Cold Brew. Talk to Eduardo about any of these processes and he’ll open up a whole new world of coffee for you. You can even take a workshop to learn about each method in pristine detail and master the skill of latté art.
One of the most impressive coffee shops in Oaxaca City is Cafébre. It may not appear so upon entering but once you get chatting to the baristas or see what coffee beans they have on offer, you’ll soon realise they know what they’re talking about. When we ordered a Chemex, it came with a side of cacao nibs that were a certain % of cacao that complimented the flavours of the Chemex perfectly. Their Instagram page gives a detailed description of each roast, detailing each ones’ flavour and aroma.
At Cafébre, they source their coffee beans from regions throughout Oaxaca, such as Mixteca Alta and Sierra Norte. Using a computerised software, Cropster, Cafébre can measure exactly the roast they want for their coffee and replicate this for consistency. You will regularly see their staff being trained on new beans or techniques on their Instagram stories and they usually host coffee training events for those who have an interest in knowing more. You can also take part in their regular coffee workshops to learn about being a barista or coffee tasting and aromas.
They also have a small boutique cafe in Colonia Reforma for those who like to get out of the centre for their coffee fix, offering a different menu focusing more on waffles than bagels.
Open: Monday – Sunday: 7:30am – 10pm
Location: Calle de Manuel Bravo 108, Ruta Independencia, Centro
Instagram: @cafebreoax and @cafebre.boutique
5. EL VOLADOR
This coffee shop has one of the best locations in Oaxaca City. Situated on one of the most photographed streets of Oaxaca, El Volador is hard to miss and it is perfect for a quick coffee fix. Café el Volador is best for a take out americano to start the day with or spend a lazy sun-kissed afternoon outside by the Cruz de Piedra, listening to the practising music students from the school opposite.
You can also buy coffee beans produced in Oaxaca, Veracruz or Guerrero at around 80 pesos per 1/4 kilo and have them grinded for you there and then. Or go off the barista’s advice and take the whole bean home and grind it freshly yourself.
Open: Monday – Sunday: 8am – 9pm
Location: Plaza de la Cruz de Piedra, Calle de Xólotl, Centro
6. MARITO & MOGLIE
Marito & Moglie is certainly one of the most aesthetically pleasing specialty coffee shops in Oaxaca City. Offering a selection of Oaxacan produced coffee from regions reaching as high as 1850 metres above sea level, this Italian/Mexican couple take a more professional approach to maintaining a ‘coffee shop’ status in Oaxaca City.
“As you walk in, you are first greeted by a lovely curved bar that features a brew station with three Hario scales and Kalita drippers and a San Remo Zoe compact espresso machine. On the wall, you’ll find various books including James Hoffmann’s World Coffee Atlas and a seasonally changing menu of local and international single-origin coffees.”– The Coffee Vine, Jan 2020
Not only do they serve outstanding coffee, but their food menu is exquisite and the duo are always experimenting with new additions, mainly inspired by mediterranean cuisine.
7. CAFE SL28
This 100% Oaxacan coffee shop offers a variety of pour over methods, which complements their lightly roasted beans and coffee that has subtle and acidic flavours.
Consistently praised for their attention to detail, excellent coffee experience and mad latte art skills, this hole in the wall coffee shop close to Jardín Conzatti is certainly worth a visit.
8. CAFETO & BARISTAS
Last but certainly not least, Cafeto & Baristas is one of the most sophisticated specialist coffee shops in Oaxaca City, with a real focus on extraction methods and single origin coffee. Their range of coffee beans pays homage to many communities of Oaxaca and their knowledge of the origin of this coffee allows them to know exactly where each bean comes from, what variety it is, how it has been grown, and how it has been processed. All of this influences the final result you taste in your cup.
“Making coffee is about experimenting – sometimes that ‘something new’ is a delicious recipe.”– Cafeto & Baristas
Visit their website for blogs about yearly harvests and the regions they source their coffee from. You can also buy beans from their online shop or if you’re in Oaxaca City, I would highly recommend entering to chat with the baristas and be showered with information about all things coffee.
Open: Monday – Saturday: 8am – 6pm
Location: Calle de José María Pino Suárez 407- B, Ruta Independencia, Centro.