Chácara Santo Antônio, a neighborhood in the south zone of São Paulo, has one of the highest office densities in the capital. It is not easy to find good coffee around here—perhaps because most people are only after a post-lunch espresso, and head back to work right after.
Kofi & Co‘s purpose is to fill the quality coffee void, and a few others. The cafe is built within the house where Marcello Cunha, one of its founders, grew up. His parents, who were still living there until the beginning of 2016, became tired of going up and down the stairs and decided to move to an apartment nearby. That’s when Cunha and his partner, Maurício Aurichi, decided to renovate the spot to fit their dream.
Both Cunha and Aurichi held high-level positions at multinational corporations before opening Kofi & Co, and have employed their extensive business and management experience to streamline all operations of the shop. As they give me a tour of the inside, they explain that the high ceilings in the kitchen allow for good room temperature for the employees, the compact barista counter was designed to allow for precise barista movements, the space under the stairs is used as a receptacle for drink bottles, etc. The entire place is also fully wheelchair accessible and can accommodate families with kids so that families like theirs can come as well.
Having worked in São Paulo for most of their lives, the partners remember having to go to several different places for good food or good coffee, or good beer. They wanted to concentrate these items in one single place to make it easy for people who work in the area. Some customers choose Kofi & Co to host business meetings here—the second floor is really quiet—and then break up their meetings with a coffee experience. A barista will go right to the table and explain one of the filter methods before serving the attendees. It's all very civilized.
Kofi & Co is a rather unusual coffee shop: you will also find lunch options, tea, wine, beer, and a great selection of cachaça (Brazil's national liquor) as well. Cunha and Aurichi took their time researching every item that is served on Kofi & Co’s menu. There are 30 national craft beers here, including five that are made with coffee. The teas are also very well chosen, all of them from Dammann Frères, not so easy to find in Brazil. The iced tea drinks are to die for.
Wolff Café is the roaster of choice here, with a staggering 15 filter methods available. For espresso, baristas man the La Marzocco GB5 and serve well-crafted espressos and cappuccinos. All of the filter methods are priced the same so that the client is not biased towards one or another option because of price.
Cunha and Aurichi tell me they would like Kofi & Co to be known as a coffee shop that serves other items at the same high standards as the coffee served. The non-coffee elements of the menu are poised perfectly alongside the beverage menu—like an inspired pão de queijo waffle—and are a further representation of their vision of streamlined, harmonious execution of all elements, right down to the sensory level.
The partners' level of attention is so great, they're each at the coffee shop every single day, following the operation closely. The idea is to open a second shop in the near future. The challenge, Cunha says, will be replicating the concept and the high-quality standards in the next shop. With their experience and quality-obsessed minds, I am betting they will make it.
Juliana Ganan is a Brazilian coffee professional and journalist. Read more Juliana Ganan on Sprudge.
Photos courtesy of Alexandre Xavier.