Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > B.C. (inc. Vancouver) >
Jun 27, 2009 09:58 PM

Can you get spanish style coffee in Vancouver? Where?

When my husband and I were in Barcelona, we had the best coffee we have ever had (better than in Italy-for us) and we have tried ordering it here in Vancouver where we have been told it is called Cafe Americano Misto but it doesn't taste anything like what we had in Spain? Does anyone know where I can find something close to it in Vancouver or how I can make this coffee at home? It was regular coffee with milk/cream.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. "Well I've never been to Spain...but I kinda like the music"...sorry, couldn't resist! Maybe you need to add some brandy & kahlua! Actually, maybe try & order a Café con leche. Good luck in your search!

    1. >>"It was regular coffee with milk/cream."

      It could be that you were served a different type of roast -- "mezcla". The Spaniards roast some of their coffee beans with a bit of sugar....something that isn't done here. The process is called "torrefacto". That is probably the difference you are tasting.

      Hopefully, one of the coffee experts on this board will chime in on a source.

      7 Replies
      1. re: fmed

        thanks fmed-I thought it might have been the coffee maker used or the milk but what you said makes more sense. I hope someone on the board can tell me if I can buy it here or order it online. We did try ordering it as a cafe con leche as well and that didn't do the trick!:) It's funny, I enjoyed the coffee in Sweden as well and actually bought one of their makers and coffee so that I could repeat the experience at home-I wished I had done that in Spain (much better though) as well....

        1. re: selena03

          Online - La Tienda sells 100% torrefacto beans: (currently out of stock).

          I think most Spanish coffee is a blend of 'mezcla' (torrefacto roasted) and 'natural' (regularly roasted beans) - so you can blend it with a locally roasted bean.

            1. re: selena03

              dulcinea on denman is a spanish coffee shop, not sure about their cofee but the hot chocolate is supposed to be awesome

              1. re: vandan

                The hot chocolate there is fantastic....I don't remember if they had Spanish style coffee (with the "proper" beans), though. (Dulcinea, I just found out, is actually run by Spanish-Filipinos).

        2. re: fmed

          I tried to order the coffee you suggested but shipping was $30 so I have decided I will just wait until a friend goes to Spain and can bring me back a bag:).

        3. Can you elaborate on the style? WIth milk for breakfast? Midday at a cafe? Something special after dinner?

          2 Replies
          1. re: paulj

            We would order it at breakfast, cafe's, and after dinner and we always asked for cafe con leche or cafe americano con leche. It wasn't anything fancy just coffee with milk but it tasted so much creamier and richer than any other coffee I have ever tasted.

            1. re: selena03

              Maybe it had more to do with the richness of the hot milk, than the coffee itself.

              In some parts of Latin America, cafe con leche brings you a pitcher or cup of hot (steamed) milk, and a cruet of cold coffee essence (tinto 'ink'), or even instant.

          2. Cafe Artigiano carries something called a Spanish Latte. It contains condensed milk which may create a close facsimile. The condensed milk would have the sweetness and richness mentioned in other comments. I don't know how authentic it is but my Columbian boss is absolutely addicted to them

            6 Replies
            1. re: lunchslut

              The use of sweetened condensed milk is also characteristic of Vietnamese style coffee, both hot and cold. The coffee itself needs to be robust to stand up to the sweetness of the milk.

              1. re: paulj

                Robust=burnt to a crisp. Actually a good espresso--not burnt to a crisp--pairs beautifully with sweetened condensed milk. All cafe sua da is good IMO but to taste it made with quality beans and not the 65 cents a pound charred robusta that they use in Vietnam is a revelation, a really amazing desert beverage.

              2. re: lunchslut

                Thanks for the tip on the Spanish latte at Artigiano, ls. We have one very nearby but I always hit Dolcetto instead as 49th Parallel has usurped CA's place in our coffee habits. I'd like to try it though as I am a fan of Viet style coffee per paulj's post below...

                I'm randomly choosing to link to the Hastings CA as there are so many and not all are in CH eg the one near me at Broadway and Balaclava-ish.

                Dolcetto Cafe Ltd
                2967 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6K, CA

                Caffe Artigiano
                740 Hastings St W, Vancouver, BC V6C1A3, CA

                1. re: grayelf

                  Tried the Spanish latte at our local CA today -- very tasty, though next time I might ask them to go a bit easier on the condensed milk.

                  1. re: grayelf

                    The book Culinaria Spain, attributes the use of sweetened condensed milk to the Canary Islands, calling it 'Cafe canario'

                    It doesn't say anything about the roast or brewing of the coffee, but lists the presentations in the classic coffee house tradition as:
                    cafe solo - little cup of black
                    cortado (cut) - with little dash of milk
                    leche manchada - stained milk, hot milk, just little coffee
                    cafe con leche - milk added at table by waiter
                    cafe con hielo - with ice
                    cafe del tiempo - with ice and lemon

                    1. re: paulj

                      Cafe canario is also often called cafe bombon.

                      A Spanish Roast is also darker than French or Italian even if it doesn't go through the torrefacto process where they first spray it with sugar (to make "mezcla" beans), the regularly roasted coffee itself ("natural") will taste different compared to the typical dark roasted coffee we get here. (Some people will say it is over roasted, actually).

              3. I am not sure if this would do it for you, but... my venezuelan friends make something similar. They make their coffee the same as you or I would, but they make it slightly stronger. They then transfer the coffee to a blender and add condensed milk (always the eagle brand stuff... I dont know if that makes a difference) and then they blend it all together for 30 seconds. It comes out very creamy and slightly frothy.

                I hope that helps at least a little :)

                1 Reply
                1. re: danniek

                  I have had the spanish latte at CA and it is just not the same and am waiting to order my Torrefacto coffee as the company Fmed suggested will email me when they have it in stock BUT I did just try the method above with the condensed milk with my own twist not at all like what I had in Spain but nevertheless delicious!!!!
                  So I made the coffee extra strong and in a small saucepan I combined 1 1/2 tbs of condensed cream with a few tbs of coffee cream and whisked them together over low heat until I had foam and added to my strong coffee and voila a creamy sweet coffee better than CA made right at home-thanks guys for the condensed milk idea. PS I would have used the blender but my daughter is taking a nap!
                  When I get the Torrefacto beans I will reply back with results....