FINDING GOOD COFFEE IN LAGOS
Until a year ago it was almost impossible to find good coffee in the Algarve, let alone Lagos. Yes there was one or two spots where good coffee was served but apart from Casa Mãe, Lagos was pretty barren. I regularly found myself dreaming of trips to Lisbon and Porto (where the speciality coffee business is booming by the way) just to get my hands on the stuff.
Luckily for me my flat white prayers were answered when several new stylish and cool coffee spots opened up over the past 12 months. Scroll down to THE RUN DOWN to start making notes.
SO . . . WHAT IS ‘GOOD COFFEE’ ?
Of course this question is hugely personal depending on what you look for in your cup of jo. For me good coffee is made from high quality, 100% arabica beans, roasted professionally and made by to a high quality.
And for me the next step up from good coffee is speciality coffee. This is made using speciality or single origin beans by a trained barista; often using special or particular methods. This is coffee I personally can’t make at home. Often found in independent coffee shops and hipster cafes around the world. Speciality coffee variations include Flat white, Piccolo and Cortado – oooh faaaaancy!
The popularity of good coffee and in particular, speciality coffee, has skyrocketed in the last 5-10 years. Many people have favourite coffee shops that serve excellent quality coffee in their hometown. But as its popularity increases more and more people are now searching for good coffee when they travel too. When I start my trip planning one of the first things I research is coffee shops so naturally I have been impatiently waiting for good coffee to arrive in Lagos where we are based.
THE RUN DOWN
In the last year Lagos has cottoned on to the need for good coffee and a number of stylish and cool coffee joints have been popping up all over town. Here is a run down of my favourites.
A NOTE : All of these spots are regular haunts for me and all serve good coffee. The coffee shops featuring SPECIALITY next to their name serve not only good but EXCELLENT coffee. These places have good coffee knowledge, use only the best quality beans and use specific methods; without a doubt these three are my favourite spots in Lagos to get my caffeine fix. Ok let’s get to it….
ORTA RESTAURANT (CASA MÃE)
Open for brunch 8am-1pm daily.
Orta restaurant is part of the stunning boutique hotel Casa Mãe located in central Lagos. If you are staying in Casa Mãe (lucky you!) you’ll likely dine at Orta during your stay and I have no doubt you’ll be impressed by its seasonal and delicious menu. Luckily for the rest of us, Orta is open to the public and serves an epic brunch complete with excellent speciality coffee. Orta sources it’s coffee beans from Fabrica Coffee Roasters and you’re guaranteed a good cup!
A NOTE : Orta is part of the hotel and although the restaurant openly welcomes non-guests this is more of a breakfast or brunch spot as opposed to a coffee hangout. By all means indulge in their satisfying menu but check out some of the other coffee shops we’ve listed below for a more relaxed vibe.
COFFEE & WAVES
Open daily in the summer from 9am -3pm.
Winter times may vary – check their instagram page.
A small but friendly coffee shop with a laid back vibe, excellent coffee and tasty loaded toasts. The staff regularly take part in coffee training and are genuinely passionate about what they do. Warning : this place can get super busy but take-away coffees are just as good. Get 25p off when you grab your coffee in a keep cup.
BLACK + WHITE
The newest coffee spot in town but Black + White are already making a name for themselves in the good coffee department. What to expect? Minimal design with all the cliché coffee shop trimmings (I spy Kinfolk and Cereal) but more importantly, superior coffee. These guys source their beans from The Roasting Party and are promising smoothie bowls and all day brunch in the very near future. In all honestly? I’m probably going to be clocking up some hours and caffeine hits in here!
9am-3pm (closed Tuesdays)
The sweetest hangout with plenty of seating and gorgeous Lagos views. Abigail’s offers all the usual favourites including cappuccinos and flat whites using Lavazza beans. Their juices and smoothies are top notch and their breakfast menu is well worth shouting about; think breakfast burrito and red velvet beetroot velvet pancakes. Are you drooling yet?
8:30am – 24:00 daily (summer)
A ‘surf cafe bar in the heart of Lagos’ Twin Fin’s breezy set-up features plenty of leafy green plants and pleasing decor. There is a wide range of good coffees to choose from including my personal favourite on a hot day; iced coffee with coconut milk. Hungry? Twin Fin specialises in topped waffles – sweet or savoury you decide!
PORTUGUESE COFFEE CULTURE
The Portuguese have a prominent coffee culture. The locals here drink coffee at all times of day from first thing in the morning to last thing at night. It can sometimes be accompanied by the local spirit Medronho or at the end of a long lunch. The drink of choice is usually an espresso with sugar and it is rare to see milky drinks served anytime except morning. The majority of coffee drunk In Portugal is a dark and bitter blend made from mostly Robusta beans. Its bitter nature means sugar is a necessary sweetener. In fact the word for espresso in the central and southern regions of Portugal is ‘Bica’ an acronym for ‘beba isto com acucar’ which literally means ‘drink this with sugar.’
If you want to live like a local and try some Portuguese coffee for yourself use our language guide below.
HOW TO ORDER COFFEE IN PORTUGAL
Uma Bica (central/south) or Um Café – Espresso.
Café Duplo – Double espresso.
Meia de Leite – Half coffee (espresso), half milk. The closest thing you’ll find to a flat white.
Galão– Milky coffee. The closest thing you’ll find to a latte.
Café pingado – Espresso with a touch of milk (Macchiato).
Abatanado – Large black coffee (Americano).
Save this blog to Pinterest for later using the red pin it button on the image below. Why not check out our Coffee Shops Around The World board for more coffee travel inspiration.
Check out our Complete Guide to Lagos, Portugal for more cafe, restaurant and bars to add to your travel itinerary.
Good coffee is always on our travel agenda. Some of the coffee experiences we’ve written about include 5 best coffee hangouts in Bangkok , Where to eat and drink in Nusa Lembongan and Lisbon Eats Guide.