Getting out from work, wondering how much time I will take to arrive home. I passed trough the Continental Hotel to avoid the the rain for at least one block on my way to the bus station, and there I found Contraste Coffee Lab. I heard several times about this unique place in the city center, and I was lucky enough to be attended by the owner Manuel, the first time I asked for coffee in there.
You could say Manuel is very passionate for coffee, just by seeing his big smile when he's behind the bar brewing some coffee (or all the coffee-related tattoos on his arms).
I approached Manuel, and with curiosity and a little bit ashamed (ashamed of not knowing whats was all I was seeing in this coffee shop, I used to thing I knew about coffee) I asked for a cup of coffee. I realized it wasn't that simple, you can not only ask for a cup of coffee, you need to describe what you like to the barista and then he can recommend you the best choice (from infinite kinds they have to offer). After telling Manuel what I liked in coffee, he gave me a short explanation on his coffee beans and the methods he had at the moment to brew it (to brew: to prepare specialty coffee), then he recommended the drip V-60 to start my coffee journey.
The first sip from this drink, was an unexpected revelation. My mouth and hole body were filled with new aromas, flavors and sensations; even before you drank you can already feel this incredible smell in the shop ambiance. After I finished my drink, I realized I couldn't go back to drinking the same coffee I had for all my life; I could not start my mornings again without having the kind of coffee I just tried at Contraste. I think Manuel realized I was having that debate on my mind and he rapidly suggested that I should take some coffee home. With no doubt I bought a couple of coffee bags and some gear to make coffee the same way Manuel did. He made it so easy to prepare coffee, that I thought I could make it the same at home.
The next morning I start my day grinding the coffee, and brewing the same method I had in Contraste. It was the best coffee I have ever had at home, but it is still a long path to get the flavors and aromas that Manuel created the day before. Now I go every week to THE LAB (how friends call Contraste) hopping to encounter Manuel, to get some of his coffee wisdom!
I have no doubt, that anyone that comes into Contraste Coffee Lab will have a great experience and learn lots about coffee. If your looking for a place to relax and drink the best Colombia has to offer go to THE LAB.