Buenos Aires has experienced a serious coffee boom in recent years, with a slew of sleek spots popping up all over town – not only in the typically trendy Palermo but also in Microcentro and San Telmo. After generations of accepting burnt cortados and mediocre cafés con leche, younger palates have grown more discerning as their penchant for buzzwords like “fair trade,” “organic,” and “flat white” gradually evolved into genuine interest and expertise.
We’re all familiar with the current favorites: LAB Tostadores de Café, Lattente, Barrio Cafetero, and Coffee Town (special mention for The Shelter and its insanely well-done interior design). No one can deny that they’re the collective caffeine kings, bolstered by delicious add-ons like LAB’s chocolate chip cookies and Lattente’s special guest Sheikob peddling his perfect bagels on Sunday mornings.
So let’s take a minute to give a warm welcome to newcomer Editor Market Café, a special little gem that is sure to earn its spot along the new ruta de café porteña (patent pending on that phrase).
For the uninitiated, Editor Market is a new concept store that brings together a well-curated mix of Argentine fashion (Riviera, Nous Etudions, Blackmamba, etc.), home goods and design, and more. It’s an elite shopping experience that combines department store practicality with chic monochromatic overtones. Yes, it borders on pretentious but damn if it doesn’t inspire you to throw out the rags in your closet and start from scratch with impractical neoprene jumpsuits and linen palazzo pants. Currently there are two locations: Downtown at Av. Corrientes 503 and Palermo Hollywood at Av. Dorrego 2133. Think massive lofty spaces (nine and three floors, respectively) backed by a cohesive, almost austere aesthetic.
The Café at Dorrego offers a relaxed space to refuel at any hour, serving up special blend coffee by trained (and very friendly!) baristas along with simple salads, sandwiches, and sweets. Flooded with natural light, it radiates a minimalist, selective sensibility that keeps in line with the overall atmosphere. It’s also the most approachable part of the store, in that you don’t feel like you have to be dressed in avant garde designer clothing just to sit down to lunch. Besides, any place that blasts Haim on its playlist is awarded extra brownie points from me.
In terms of variety, you can choose from nearly anything from a classic espresso to an iced latte, chai latte, and flat white… you get the picture. Tempted by the chance to cool off on a muggy Saturday afternoon, I went for the iced latte while my lunch date opted for a cozy cup of chai. As our drinks arrived the barista explained a little more about the coffee they use in their quest to make some of the best cups of joe around. They use high-quality beans from Coffee Town in a special blend from Sumatra, Colombia, and Honduras.
My latte was spot on, providing just enough of a caffeine jolt in between creamy sips of chilled heaven. OK, it’s obvious I’m not a coffee sommelier but I can sniff out a good brew when I see one. Bitter flavors are only fine by me when they’re found in a Negroni; when it comes to coffee I need something smooth, rich, and not so intense that it will leave me with heart palpitations.
The chai was balanced, not too sweet or artificial tasting, and would be perfect for those chilly fall days that make an appearance around April or May. I would have liked a little more “oomph” from the chai spices, as it felt like there was perhaps a tad too much milk that overshadowed the rest. Overall, it was still lightyears beyond the syrupy mess that you can find at any Starbucks that plagues the city.
We snacked on a chicken, bacon, and avocado panini and finished with a chocolate + sea salt brownie. In a shopping space dedicated to bringing together “the best of the best,” the Café menu doesn’t necessarily put forth Earth shattering food. However, sometimes you want what’s predictable, easy, and above all tasty. Other options include smoked salmon, blue cheese and walnut, and mixed veggie. As for dessert, Argie classics like Rogel and Chocotorta share space alongside Key Lime Pie and homemade cookies.
As a way to mix it up and step outside the box, it would be cool to see a greater variety of salads (something grain-based, maybe? God knows models can’t get enough of quinoa and bulgur) and perhaps sandwiches that pack slightly more punch. It’s clear that for the time being, the focus is on the coffee, and that’s totally fine with me.
Editor Market is worth a visit, even if you only plan to window shop before sitting down for a coffee and catch up with your BFF. You’ll walk away with loads of inspiration and ganas to up the ante in terms of personal style and interior décor. That neoprene jumpsuit might never get worn, but while you sip on your espresso tonic and soak up the utter design porn that surrounds you, for a fleeting moment you’ll feel like anything is possible.