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Why go to Starbucks in Medellin when you’re in Colombia?!

starbucks coffee in medellin

I’ve been living in Medellin Colombia for about 6 months.

Drinking coffee is an everyday thing for me. I wake up and drink coffee, after lunch, coffee, work and drink coffee. Caffeine doesn’t really effect me and I’ve accepted the fact that I like to enjoy black coffee. While majority of the people like to enjoy fraps, caps, cream and sugar, there are few who loves tasting coffee for the simple fact that it tastes so good.

Starbucks in comparison with other coffee shops in Medellin

I’ve been to Velvet Cafe, Al Alma Cafe, Ondas Cafe, Juan Valdez in Medellin. However, I always ended up going back to Starbucks. Back in the states, I would go to Starbucks every other day to switch up my working environment, great thing about working from home is that you can change the scenery 🙂

There’s about three Starbucks location in Medellin and it looks likes they are going to continue their expansion. If you’re in the States you know most Starbucks are filled with people, and people waiting in line. You will see the same feel here in Medellin, Colombia.

The baristas are friendly and will soon get to know your name. I haven’t experienced that in other cafes, except Ondas. It’s the Starbucks way; to make you feel welcomed,acknowledged and the people working there look happier than those who work at Juan Valdez.

Both Paisas and tourists always asked me why do you go to Starbucks, you’re in Colombia! I’ve then began to write my list of reason and thought this would be a nice article to help people understand that Starbucks in Medellin is Colombian, or I guess it’s my point of view, we shall see.

For those who loves black coffee, this is the article you want to read.

Starbucks brews Colombian coffee! They do not serve Sumatra, and coffee from other parts of the world, it’s Colombian coffee. The coffee doesn’t taste burnt, they are far from it. Most coffee you get in the market in Medellin are cheap, since all the good ones are being exported. Coffee in Starbucks ranks at the top of my list for good coffee. If you’re an espresso person, I haven’t tasted every single espresso from each cafes, so feel free to send your article!

You can get a venti size coffee compared to a grande size from Juan Valdez. Yes, you get to enjoy more coffee if you’re like me sitting inside Starbucks working for a few hours. Juan Valdez largest size is about the same size as a grande (maybe smaller) from Starbucks. So why should I go to Juan and buy two cups when I can buy one venti?

When it get’s too hot in Medellin

Starbucks in Mila de Oro has air conditioning. Medellin can get hot sometimes. The sun heats up my apartment and Medellin apartments rarely has air conditioning. What better way to have air conditioning and emerge yourself with people in Starbucks. If you don’t have heat problem in your apartment, you can still the air conditioned environment and the aroma of coffee.

Does it feel like home? Well, the downside of working at Starbucks is… the people in Medellin love to talk with each other and especially on their phones. If you enjoy hearing people talk then it should not be a problem, otherwise, bring a headset. What might feel rude or ignorant in the States, does not apply here. So adapt to their culture or improvise.

How’s the WiFi in Starbucks?

WiFi in Mila de Oro Starbucks is better than Sante fe mall, I haven’t checked the Starbucks in Oviedo. YSanta Fe Mall provides free wifi, so you can use that instead of the Starbucks one. Hopefully they’ve changed it. If you’re reading this and can share your opinion do let us know.

Starbucks tinto (what they call brewed coffee) from the brew is lot stronger, darker than Juan Valdez tinto. There’s only one flavor, no house, no blonde, no dark. Okay, if you compare with those, the coffee they provide is on the darker side. If you want that oily, almost creamy, boldness of a coffee, you want to go to Starbucks. Juan Valdez is a bit mild for me and if you add in the equation of the cup size, you feel as if you’re being robbed compared to Starbucks. I’m not going to Starbucks because of status, the prices difference in most is about 100-300 pesos.

If you feel like I want to drink a light, mild, blonde coffee…

If the weather is absolutely amazing…

If I don’t want air conditioning…

If I want to hear cars pass by…

Then I would walk across the street to Juan Valdez located on the outside, near Office Depot. Yes, it’s an outside coffee shop. But you can find Juan Valdez at every mall. Each mall might have more than three Juan Valdez.

Here’s what you might feel missing at Starbucks in Medellin

You won’t be able to use your Starbucks app, but they do give out cards, buy 10 and get one free. Yes, they’ve printed out cards for you get your stamps. So, you won’t accumulate stars from 5,100 COP or $1.70 cup of coffee (venti). They actually increased their coffee price from 4,900 COP, a whopping 200 pesos in the past month. Instead of giving them 100 pesos as a tip, I have to save that for another cup of coffee, call it inconvenience or getting ripped off.

starbucks in medellin

The pastries are combination, providing similar nostalgia of Starbucks back home in the states and a mix of Colombian. Cheesecake here in Medellin aren’t cheesecakes back home. My favorites are blueberry or apple muffins. Sandwiches are bit different here, it’s not those amazing boxed ones, but still good and fresh.. in a way. They have arepa con queso, but it’s a bit commercialized.

If you’re into black coffee, try going to all the coffee shops in Medellin and share your experience with us. If you don’t know where all the coffee shops are, we’ve provided a map for you to explore around Medellin.


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