Peter Roque’s fingernails were fierce. I had to do a doubletake to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating but as it turned out, they were real and you definitely didn’t want to get on his bad side. “Do you do drag?”, I asked him. “Yea, very occasionally. But these babies got glued on and they’re really hard to take off so I just kept them on,” he explained while pouring a perfect cappuccino.
My boyfriend and I were at Quentin Café’s newish location on Amsterdam in Hipodromo Condesa, one of if not THE loveliest street in the Mexican capital. After almost three weeks of travelling around my homeland with my partner and showing him some of the most beautiful spots in the country, we had one last day in CDMX before heading back to Amsterdam.
Quentin Café is a regular caffeine-refill station for me whenever I am in Colonia Roma (where they have their original location on Calle Alvaro Obregón) and before getting on an 11-hour flight home, I asked Michal if we could pop over to their second outlet in the city.
Luckily, he loves coffee just as much as I do and is easily convinced.
The space itself blends in perfectly with its surroundings and has a lovely concrete façade with beautiful cacti acting as a natural fence towards the street. Right by the door, you’ll find some stools that offer great seating if you just want to have a quick pick-me-up and down a long corridor towards the back, there is a small space with more comfortable seating.
Admittedly, the layout is a bit odd but its unusual design adds to the experience. It was created by French architecture bureau We Are An Event who used a lot of brass, marble and upsidedown monkeys to create a steampunk-meets-planet-of-the-apes vibe that is a welcome change from the often over-used jute bag and live-laugh-love look of many cafés these days.
Quentin’s founders Menachem Gancz and Salo Askenazi set out to create a unique space that would set it apart from other specialty coffee bars in Mexico City, not just with its distinct look and fabulous staff but also with the coffees it serves.
Normally, Mexican cafés focus mostly on showcasing locally grown single-origins but at Quentin, you can also taste coffees from Ethiopia and other origins in an effort to tell a more detailed story of great coffee.
Menachem discovered his love for coffee during a longer trip to Chiapas in the south of Mexico where much of the country’s best coffee is grown. There, Cafeolo taught him a lot about what he knows and armed with that knowledge, he came back to Mexico City to open the first Quentin Café.
Much like the catch of the day in restaurants, at Quentin Café the coffees on the menu change every week according to what’s fresh and delicious and this has won them lots of fans in the city and beyond.
After finishing our coffees, I browsed the selection of beans available on the shelf and decided to take home a bag of Maricela Esperon’s natural-processed Bourbon and Typica coffee that was used during competitions recently.
It was an expensive coffee actually at around $15 for 250g and I thought its profile was a bit too developed but what’s going on in Mexico City’s coffee scene is f***ing exciting and Quentin Café is part of what is fuelling this change.
I can’t wait to go back!
Thanks for reading our review of Quentin Café.
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