There is no shortage of coffee places in Santiago. Some places have nescafe push button machines (like the ones you’d find in petrol stations) others have espresso machines and a few have both.
We decided to skip the nescafe machines and try the real thing. For some reason, the coffee tastes watery and very bitter. Whether its because the grounds are too thick, the stuff is not packed tight enough, their running it for too long or the good coffee grown in south America is exported elsewhere. I don’t know, I’m no expert barrista, but what I do know is they have the right equipment and something is going wrong somewhere!
Maybe we just haven’t found the right place. We have tried trendy cafe places, not so trendy takeaway places and then the “caffe” hot spots. These are the ones with exotic sounding names like Caffe Caribe or Haiti. They have huge espresso machines, sometimes two. They only seem to serve coffees, welcome smoking, have long benches with standing room or bar seats and are curiously filled mainly by males. I had to have a look. I left the kids outside with my husband while I entered the haze.
The girl at the caja (cashier) finally enlightened me. For starters, we weren’t ordering right…Cafe cortado = cappucino, Cappuccino = cortado with lots of cream on top, if that makes sense…. The girls standing on the outside of the coffee machines are in stilettos and tight dresses that just cover the bare essentials which explains the male presence. Still, it did not explain the poor coffee.
At the moment, we have resigned ourselves to making our coffee with our cafeteria bought from home and our battery operated frothing device. I almost feel like if we had bought our coffee machine from home, (could it fit in our luggage?!) I would feel like a pretty damn hot barista right now (we aren’t known as the coffee capital in Australia for no reason).
Anyway, just as I was thinking that someone, anyone from Melbourne, should come and get a job here, we happen to come across “The Melbourne Cafe” (daggy I know, but so nice to see something from home).
The cafe which was not even in Santiago by the way, but about 1.5 hours away in the seaside town of Vina del Mar, not only served Flat whites…(never seen here before), but made great cappuccino, complete with intricate designs (you know, the leaf and heart ones..what a loving touch..)
P.S No one outside of Melbourne (literally Melbourne city) has ever heard of a baby cino. My son is now enjoying real chocolate milk (not just the sprinkles – how delighted is he!!) However Belles Artes museum cafe in Santiago, even frothed up the milk for him, perfecto…!
Sorry I cant personally recommend any, can anyone?