Last August, I finally had the chance to meet Michael Thompson, the Medellin-based photographer behind Lightenupandshoot.
His suggested venue was the brand new Pergamino Café, around the corner from the Juan Valdez at the top of Parque Lleras.
Pergamino was opened by Pedro Echaverria, a 20-something Colombian with an American university education, and a wealth of experience in the coffee industry as the son of a coffee producer.
A patio with tables and chairs is situated outside the café, which lies behind an unassuming red brick facade.
The street is relatively quiet, so you can sit outside without fear of being blasted out of your seat by car horns and motorbikes.
Inside, the modern decor is bright and welcoming. Sunlight illuminates a whitewashed wall in the deepest corner.
The decor of Pergamino Café is a welcome change from the cookie-cutter stylings of Juan Valdez Cafés. It feels like I could be in any number of American or European cities.
The wood counter features tempting cakes and pastries, as well as mason jars with gourmet dog treats for four-legged friends.
Wi-Fi is a given.
Orders are made at the counter, and delivered by the staff. I opted for my usual, a cappuccino (3,900 pesos, $2), as well as a piece of cheesecake (6,500 pesos, $3.50) to get the full experience.
The presentation was nice for both, but I honestly can’t tell a good coffee from a great one, and I wished the cheesecake was a little thicker.
If you’re a coffee enthusiast, go ahead and read this article which is a more erudite look at why Pergamino is a world-class cafe.
My friend Joel also wrote about Pergamino here.
Last Friday afternoon, I met up with a few readers at Pergamino. It was my first time back since last August, and the whole place was packed with a mix of foreigners and Colombians.
Pergamino, it turns out, was an instant hit not only with the foreign expats looking for an alternative to Juan Valdez, but with Colombians as well.
I ordered the first thing I saw on the menu this time, which turned out to be blackberry juice.
I resisted the red velvet cake I saw on the counter, though I might not be so strong next time.
A plate of fresh potato chips were delivered to our table outside. Thinking they were complimentary, I began eating them, only to find out later on that they were intended for another table.
In addition to coffee and pastries, Pergamino also offers a short selection of sandwiches and salads for between 11,000 pesos to $14,000 pesos ($6 to $7.50).
What’s your favorite cafe in Medellin?