There’s a lot more to Argentina in 2017 than famous icons such as Eva Perón. When you’re in Buenos Aires—a city that was once all about Evita, tango, and steak—these days, it’s clear that the city is no longer just a European enclave; it’s a contemporary haven for young creatives. Thanks to a recent change in government, solid new investments and developments, and strong immigrant growth, the city feels refreshed. Coffee, naturally, plays a perfect role in this very evolution. And the new Editor Market, right in the heart of the creative neighborhood of Palermo, recently overhauled its coffee offering inside the design store cafe.
But first, coffee as a concept in Argentina deserves a moment of reverence. After all, it has deep and very specifically rigid roots in the very culture of the country—inspired by tippings over from Brazil, and its long strikes back to Europe via Spain and Italy. And as porteños (local Buenos Aires residents) will tell you—they do the best coffee in the world. Period. It may be an overstatement at the very least, but with dozens of specialty cafes and a new respect for fresh beans all over town, we might be more inclined to listen to the sweet hyperbole these days.
Editor Market is a chic design store, which is a new retail concept for Argentineans. The simple, stark white warehouse space was founded in 2015 by Gabriel Brener, who believed that Argentinean designers needed a better, bigger, and more accessible platform. “We decided to do it on Avenida Corrientes to showcase this beautiful avenue and give it a new meaning, looking toward the future,” says Brener. “After its opening, we added two more stores, one in Palermo [our Soho and Williamsburg mix] and Nordelta.” The name simply came from offering exclusive editions of brands, all curated by experts in each category—from fashion and beauty to home decor and coffee, of course.
“We love good coffee,” says Agustina Fernández, who works on the creative direction of Editor Market. “So when we decided we would have a coffee shop as part of our project, we knew we wanted to offer the best specialty coffee in Buenos Aires. Along the way, we learned we would need four key points that represent our path toward excellence: the raw materials, the baristas, the grinder [the La Marzocco Vulcano], and the coffee makers [the La Marzocco GB5 and FB80].”
And so they went to work with these goals in mind. The barista side was difficult because “it’s a new profession here in Buenos Aires,” says Fernández. But the special blend from the coffee supplier Coffee Town was much easier to procure. “Together we designed our exclusive blend for Editor,” says Rodrigo Riccitelli, who is responsible for the kitchen and all its coffee.
And the beans come from Honduras, Sumatra, and Colombia—which gives the baristas plenty to talk about. “The Sumatran coffee’s complexity complements the Colombian coffee’s acidity and the Honduran coffee’s sweet and citric notes,” says Fernández. “The blend was conceived to achieve the best extraction in both espresso and other systems, without losing its distinctive notes.”
“The coffee culture in Buenos Aires is directly related to social meetings and friendly gatherings,” says Riccitelli. “We use it as an excuse to drink coffee and chat, talk about work, relationships and life itself.” But even Argentina’s coffee intensives, who traditionally love espresso drinks, have come around to the French press, a Chemex, and even an AeroPress—all of which are offered by Editor Market. “People still drink mostly espresso, cappuccino, plus our new tonic espressos and cold brew in summer,” adds Riccitelli. “Argentineans enjoy drinking coffee at a table rather than running away with it. Although this modality has grown a lot in our city.”
“We are also big fans of matcha tea, which is already a global hit but wasn’t sold in Argentina,” adds Fernández. “We decided to import it from Japan and offer it to our customers for them to enjoy its wonderful properties.” And with that Editor Market has grown the rest of its menu to include handmade pastries, sandwiches, fresh salads, and breakfasts.
Looking around the Palermo location’s market, it is filled with young people hunting for home goods and grabbing a coffee to go, well-dressed women sitting around talking about the latest political scandal, coffee fans who come every day to have their dripper cup, readers who stack up magazines and sip on a cappuccino. “One of the best things about our work is that we have so many clients who travel 30 miles just to come here to enjoy a cup of coffee,” says Riccitelli. Welcome to the new Argentina.
Daniel Scheffler is a Sprudge staff writer at large. His work has appeared in T Magazine, Travel And Leisure, Monocle, Playboy, New York Magazine, The New York Times, and Butt. Read more Daniel Scheffler on Sprudge.