Published On: Thu, May 9th, 2019

Coffee-brewing is an art in San Miguel (NatGeo)

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At the top of a steep cobblestone street framed by mustard-yellow buildings hides Ki’bok Coffee, a tiny café that serves some of the best coffee in the world. The popular tourist spot—whose name means “good aromas” in a Maya language local to Tulum, where the business originated—is open and airy, the physical manifestation of an Esquivel! album, usually filled with tourists, expats, and locals alike.

It’s in good company in San Miguel de Allende, a colonial-era city of 140,000 in Mexico’s central highlands. Founded in the 16th century, the city is known for its stunning, UNESCO-recognized baroque and neoclassical architecture—and for its internationally renowned, locally sourced, and meticulously prepared gourmet coffee.

(Photo: Ki’Bok)

Why is San Miguel’s coffee perfect for true aficionados? It all comes down to a few factors: source, preparation, and pride.

“We have strong faith in Mexican beans,” says Christian Zaíd, one of the owners of El Café de la Mancha. The tiny joint in San Miguel’s downtown Zona Centro ethically sources its beans from a small farm some 400 miles away in Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca.



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