El Barista Café
A trendy local coffee hotspot in upscale Pinares, Pereira
If you ask any expat who’s spent some time living in Pereira for coffee shop recommendations, it’s incredibly likely that they will point you in the direction of the Pinares Coffee hotspot El Barista.
I was introduced to El Barista by a Colombian friend of mine several years ago, and I’ve since visited this trendy Cafe several times during my five years living in Pereira. El Barista isn’t a terrible coffee shop, but despite its popularity with locals and foreigners alike, it’s actually one of my least favourites in the city.
First the good stuff, El Barista does make very good coffee. Locally sourced and of gourmet quality, the coffee served up here is decent and they also open fairly early in the morning, which for an early bird like me is a huge plus and a frustratingly rare find in Pereira. However, despite the good coffee and the long opening hours, El Barista has several characteristics that render the place probably my last resort for an afternoon caffeine hit or a day’s remote working.
One item on my list of annoyances is the huge pane glass windows. Don’t get me wrong, the large windows make the space feel much bigger than it is, and allow a great deal of beautiful Colombian sunshine to pour through. However if like me you generally visit coffee shops in order to work on a laptop, this can quite often become very uncomfortable. El Barista has a tendency to heat up inside quite a lot during periods of sunshine, even though they leave the doors open, the place gets almost no breeze and it can be quite stuffy at times.
El Barista is pretty good if you haven’t any work to do and simply fancy a decent cup of Colombian Coffee with friends in a nice environment.
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Another factor making El Barista a difficult place to recommend for remote working, is the incessant noise level. Their wooden chairs on the ceramic tiled floor make the most unGodly screeching noise when moved. This combined with the fact that the owners of this joint seem to have managed to acquire the world’s loudest coffee grinder machine, mean that this relaxed coffee shop is more often than not, anything but relaxing.
The food they serve comes in fairly small portions and the menu is more of an afterthought than a main attraction, which is fair enough really considering this is a coffee shop first and foremost, not a restaurant. However I’ve tried several times to get comfortable and work in this independent coffee shop, but try as I might, I just don’t enjoy spending much time in El Barista.
El Barista is pretty good if you haven’t any work to do and simply fancy a decent cup of Colombian Coffee with friends in a nice environment, but in all honesty, as a place to spend any length of time concentrating on anything in particular, I probably wouldn’t recommend El Barista as my first choice.