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Catación pública: Colombian coffee store made for teaching

Catación Pública indoors
Paula Aponte

Paula Aponte

Hi, I’m Paula! A Colombian born and Australian raised foodie by heart and an architect and a Civil Engineer by profession. My other passions are traveling, exploring new cultures and trying new foods. I currently living in Bogotá and love to share my gastronomical discoveries, hope you find them as exciting as I have. You can also follow me on instagram as @espaciosysabores.

Coffee is basically a synonym of Colombia, but you will probably find that the average Colombian only knows the basics. Making the most of our world-renowned beverage, Catación Pública offers a wide range of coffees and teaches you about the process and how to truly make the most of your drinking experience in Bogotá.

I’m a total coffee addict. I love it and I found the most amazing place to get it! Catación Pública is a coffee shop designed for coffee enthusiasts, but don’t worry, you don’t have to be an expert to make the most of the experience.

The Drinks

© Photograph Paula Aponte

Coffee is a big thing in Colombia, but a lot of the time you will find that coffee stores here only cover the basics. Catación Pública is a unique store that isn’t just about the coffee, but also about the culture that surrounds it. Jaime Duque, the owner, is an expert and he has created a place that is designed for teaching and exploring.

The store offers over 15 types of coffee, coming from plantations all over the country and all the filtration methods you can ever imagine. This might sound a little overwhelming, but don’t worry, the baristas are total experts and they will guide you through the whole process.

© Photograph Paula Aponte

As a sneak peak these are the steps that you will go through:

First, one must smell the coffee beans and choose one. Taking into account that there are beans with all types of aromatic hints. Next, you must choose the filtration method… Siphon (the two-part coffee machine where the brewing happens thanks to vapor pressure), Hermiston (with a metallic filter), French press (also known as plunger or melior), and Chemex (for those who like richer and creamier coffees). After the barista will help you grind the beans and you can smell them again to sense different aromas that weren’t so obvious beforehand. Then the coffee is filtered, this part is carefully done by the barista. Last but not least comes the tasting!!! The best part is that if you go with friends you will be given a large cup of the one you chose and smaller ones of the ones your friends chose, so you get to compare and choose the one that is just right for you.

The Place

© Photograph Paula Aponte

Just off the center of Usaquen, a couple of blocks to the east of Cinema Paraiso at calle 120 # 3a – 47, is Catación Pública. The place is easily accessible by private transportation or public services on Carrera 7. If you decide to take your car, you can even park right in front of the place.

The store is divided into two main areas: one for the coffee enthusiasts who are just there for a drink, and another for the pros who truly want to learn about coffee (they offer diverse barista classes). The areas for the general public are simple tables for small groups that allow the coffee to be the main event and not the space surrounding it. The lab for the pros is like a super cool classroom, but with all the coffee gadgets needed.

Recommendations

After tasting various types and filtration methods, my personal favorite is Manta from Cundinamarca made with a Hermiston. But this is really a matter of personal opinions; I’m into sweet yet strong coffees.

The best time to go is on a Sunday because you will get to experience the famous Usaquen flea market nearby.

Last but not least, if you are up for other groovy ideas, take a look at KO Asian Cuisine or Chichería Demente. Also, for other restaurant reviews, you can follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Degusta as Espacios y Sabores.

Go and become a true coffee guru! 

Bonus: they make the fruits of the coffee plantations into a dessert that is an amazing side to your cup of coffee. 

Don’t forget to keep checking out the homepage for future articles.

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