[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”504″ gal_title=”The Coffee Road”]
The Coffee Road opened in 2014 and quickly became popular. Almost four years ago, Traveling and Living in Peru featured an article on The Coffee Road when they were previously opened in their original, much smaller space in San Isidro. Now they reside in a much more spacious 300 meters (approx. 3,000 sq.ft.) locale across the street from their old space, which is ideal when you have steady customers that come from the nearby Universidad de Pacífico, residences and offices.
The decor at The Coffee Road is charming, with eclectic artwork and vintage touches (wheels, antique coffee contraptions, old license plates from different countries, etc.). You immediately feel comfy when you enter. You’ll probably notice the baristas preparing coffee, and if you walk farther into the restaurant, you find a variety of seating options with plenty of room for privacy if you wish.
Alejandro Chu is the owner of The Coffee Road. He is also a coffee barista, coffee enthusiast, and passionate about off-roading. Alejandro attended the Lima Cordon Bleu and participated in classes in restaurant management and some pastry and gastronomy after that. He was focused primarily on the specialization of coffee. Over the past several years, Alejandro and several of his friends have increased their coffee knowledge and techniques by continually educating themselves and practicing. They have also trained other people. Alejandro was involved with the openings of several good specialty coffee shops in Lima. Along the way, he met people who were instrumental in expanding his coffee horizons such as Anibal Kovaleff (actual national barista champion). Alejandro met Anibal about 9 years ago and is currently his trainer to represent Peru at the World Barista Championship 2019. Alejandro also has competed in barista events as well as being a Sensory Judge at the national barista championship for the past few years. Every process along the way was important for Alejandro’s coffee knowledge. He learned from many sources, just not one. Many of his friends are also owners of specialty coffee shops and have become educators and teachers of coffee. Alejandro continues his education in coffee and is always learning. He is also hands-on and involved in coaching his 8-person staff at The Coffee Road. It’s obvious that coffee has been a labor of love for Alejandro.
We began with a flavorful, medium roast coffee and medium grind from Cusco called Finca La Esmeralda. Alejandro prepared our coffee using their Chemex. He wanted to demonstrate the aroma, body, and texture which increases with the Chemex. With the V60 method the coffee is more fruity, but with less body and aroma than the Chemex.
The cold brew that we sampled was also prepared using the Finca La Esmeralda, the same roast as all their brewing methods. Alejandro always looks for a fruity and sweetness profile of the coffee and the Yama Cold that they use works very well with this roast. Alejandro explained that doesn’t mean that they can’t make one with an espresso roast profile. The cold brew can last almost a week refrigerated because it is extracted with cold water. The oxidation is very different in comparison to when it’s extracted with hot water. The cold brew is popular at The Coffee Road and they have a very good rotation during the summer months. I enjoyed the extra touch of the cold marbles in the glass of our cold brew. The marbles keep the coffee cold without diluting it.
One of the table favorites was the Latte Helado (S/. 12), served in a large mason jar with a stainless steel straw. The Coffee Road uses double espresso (doppio) and regular pasteurized milk. This is something I would definitely drink every day during the summer months here.
Besides all the beverages, The Coffee Road offers a limited, yet satisfying selection of snacks, sandwiches and sweet treats. We began with their Enrollado de hummus (S/. 15), which included two warm wraps filled with hummus, avocado, and sliced tomatoes. This is an ideal snack if you want something not too filling, but relatively healthy.
We sampled three desserts. I was very pleasantly surprised. The Volcán de chocolate (S/. 17) was decadent and delicious. This flourless chocolate cake was served warm. When you cut into it a bit of molten flowing chocolate escaped. It was served with a scoop of delicious homemade mascarpone and berries ice cream, which totally complemented the cake. The cake takes 20 minutes, so plan ahead if you order this.