The first night Bruce and I were in Colombia, our cab driver stole our iPhone. The Colombians would call this “Giving papaya.” If you leave papaya out, someone will take it (song inspiration for the video). In this case Bruce and I let our cab driver look at our iPhone for directions and he drove off with it. We looked and felt stupid. Despite this negative and violating experience, Chapinero, a neighborhood in Bogota, became one of our favorite places.
I stumbled upon Salvo Patria that night. Although it wasn’t the restaurant we were looking for at the time, I distinctly remembered liking the ambiance. The following Monday, we found Salvo Patria on “Your Bogota,” not realizing that this was the restaurant I walked into the night of our thievery. This strange coincidence made Salvo Patria even more special. Sadly, they were closed on Mondays, but the owner, Juan-Manuel was kind enough to chat with us for a bit. Enchanted, we both decided we had to return the next day to eat and drink their coffee.
Juan trained as a barista in Melbourne, Australia. When he told me this, I knew the standards of this coffee would be even higher. Coffee in Colombia was simply a house drip. After every meal, coffee drinkers would have a small size coffee known as a “Tinto.” Hopefully Juan’s example will spark a gourmet coffee culture that would truly showcase the complexity and nuances of the Colombian bean.
Starting with a Chemex-style pour-over-drip, we were able to really taste the fruit in the coffee. Most people don’t realize why people use the Chemex instead of a machine. The goal of a pour-over is to get people to really taste all the subtle notes of the bean. Drip machines often do a poor job of evenly distributing the water to the coffee. I didn’t know this myself until I tasted the difference between a pour-over and machine drip.
Hand picked beans, a menu of the day that is super local and high quality, and an affogato for dessert… what’s not to love? It even fit the hobo budget!Salvo PatriaCra 4A # 57-28Chapinero, Bogota, Colombia
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