Café Loustic | Why Palma de Mallorca is the best city for specialty coffee in 2022
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Why Palma de Mallorca is the best city for specialty coffee in 2022

30 Aug Why Palma de Mallorca is the best city for specialty coffee in 2022

A catchy and controversial headline; certainly ludicrous, but I haven’t been as impressed with the coffee scene in any city since I visited Belfast in late 2017.

But first – the city of Palma de Mallorca. The capital of the largest Balearic island of Mallorca, it’s a fully-formed city on the coast, with it’s famous gothic cathedral, old town, and splendid architecture. It’s not just a sunny beach town.

Nestled in amongst, is a compact and amazing coffee scene. You wouldn’t normally expect a great coffee scene on an island in the `Mediterranean chiefly known for summer family holidays by the sea. But perhaps that’s the reason. Mallorca is a haven for Northern Europeans – principally Scandinavians, Brits, and Germans. In the neighborhood of Santa Catalina, there are times when you hear more Swedish spoken than Catalan/Spanish.

In a wholly unscientific study such as mine, you still need some metrics. Apart from the usual (great, trained baristas, good café design, friendly – but not fake – service, clean loos, the owners’ personal touches), there is always one extra criteria I look for – the quality of its customers. Oh yes. I’m not talking here about social class, or riff-raff. I’m talking about how customers interact with the surroundings, speak to strangers, and how they treat the staff.

Of course, the type of customers one gets are out of the control of many establishments. Or are they ?

So – no to people video-calling or watching videos without headphones. No to bloodthirsty middle-aged customers with too much money and little patience treating staff rudely (poke: Australia). No to weird customer requests outside your own country (poke New Yorkers and Angelinos). No to oversized double prams in small cafés. Etc.

Yes to people turning their heads and striking up conversations with strangers (we get a lot of that at Loustic). Yes to books and magazines, rather than laptops. Yes to staff chatting to customers. Yes to sit-in rather than take-away when possible (an ecological conscience). Yes to slow, rather than fast. Yes to meeting the owners and of them being present in the establishment. Yes to a fostering a local identity and flavour, rather than trying to be ‘Melbourne’ (whatever that is.. postwar Italian migrants brought the coffee culture there).

Which brings me back to Palma.

Here are some great addresses:

Mama Carmen 1 (not vegan)

Mama Carmen 2 (vegan)

La Molienda (3 locations)

Rosevelvet Brunch and Coffee – sit in

Rosevelvet Bakery – the best bread in Palma

Café Riutort – my favourite – great local feeling, Mallorcan identity and menu, local roaster

Café Noti – great owner

Mistral Coffee House

Mistral Roastery

Nano Coffee Lab – perhaps the snharpest baristas in Palma, an Argentinian couple.

The Barn – yes the German ‘Barn-y Army’ has set up a location here.

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