the first in a new series on Along Dusty Roads, coffee shop days will bring the coolest, most stylish coffee shops in South America to travellers searching for the perfect spot to enjoy a caffeine hit.
Cafe Velvet is a fusion coffee house - taking the best of Belgium's patisseries, chocolaterias and beers to be showcased alongside Colombia's ultimate beverage.
Inspired by Europe's cafe culture, the owners have created a clean, open space to enjoy - whether you want a break from the boutique shops lining El Poblado's trendy Carrera 37 or a quiet place to catch up on e-mails.
All the coffee is local to the Antioquia region, with several different beans and roasts showcased - a board above the baristas proudly displays the coffee of the day, with a description of the body and flavour, alongside the name of the farmer.
Unique in El Poblado's thriving cafe culture, Velvet provides coffee and chocolate 'with a Belgian accent'. For the owner Ilse, this is best encapsulated in the small cup of tinto (the traditional way of drinking coffee in Colombia) served alongside a speciality speculoos biscuit, made from her family recipe.
However, for those seeking a more decadent example of this fusion should perhaps try the popular chococcino: a creamy cappuccino served over velvety smooth rich Belgian chocolate fondant.
True coffee lovers will rejoice in the range of slow filter methods here, with options to have your drink filtered by a Chemex, French press or V60.
A variety of luxurious hot chocolates and teas are also available, with soy milk on the menu.
Inspired by their logo, the design of Velvet combines a palate of whites, blues and greys set against coffee-coloured wood. Original art work adorns the walls and a glass-roofed sun trap provides natural light for customers as well as cascading greenery.
There are a variety of seating areas - from individual work stations (with power points), tables outside on the street and comfy sofas for bigger groups.
Their baristas are recognisable from their burgundy or grey woollen beanie hats, complimented by a single braid amongst the female staff.
The food in Velvet is distinctly more European than Colombian.
Italian and French ex-pats in Medellin provide the pastries, breads and lunch options, such as quiche lorraine or lasagne.
The menu del dia soup and sandwich combination, accompanied by an iced tea, promotes the cuisine of a different European country each day as a filling such as Norwegian salmon or German sausage.
A range of excellent Belgian beers are also stocked - Duvel, Maredsous and Delirium - but these are one of the pricier items on the menu.
what we drank
| two cups of 'slow' Antioquia coffee brewed and filtered by Chemex, with fresh and soy milk.
| cup of chococcino (coffee, milk and belgian chocolate fondant)
| cup of cappuccino (espresso with frothy milk)
| two glasses of iced-tea
what we ate
| roast beef and caramelised onion sandwich with leek soup
| tofu cheese and italian salad sandwich with leek soup
| belgian biscuits and cakes.
cafe velvet: location & social media
Coffee and food was kindly provided by Velvet, but all opinions, photography and spelling mistakes are our own.
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