Despite my little tirade about the Costanera Center, I found myself visiting last weekend for a specific, non-spotlight-related reason: Café Lucca. This new specialty coffee shop in Santiago caught my attention on Twitter, and I was looking forward to trying something that was neither Starbucks nor Nescafé.
My first clue that Café Lucca takes its coffee seriously was when I asked about the difference between a café latte and a latte macchiato. The barista told me, in a voice that indicated he was excited to share this important information, that it’s all in the sensory experience. His exact words. Apparently, in a café latte, you sense the coffee first and then the milk. In a latte macchiato it’s the opposite. I think.
In the interest of science, Jenn and I ordered one of each. I never ended up trying hers nor she mine, however. Both of us were too busy mmm-ing over our own mugs to even think of offering tastes. Which is clearly a good sign.
I can’t honestly tell you that I noticed the order in which the flavors washed over my palate. What I can tell you, is that my Café Lucca latte macchiato was delightful. Perfectly balanced with no bitter notes, this drink was worth its steep $2.100 (US$4.20) price. My only slight disappointment was that I prefefred Jenn’s heart design to my rising sun, but since I am an adult – or at least usually try to act like one – I got over it.
We were tempted by the desserts but were satiated with our coffees. Next time, I’m going with an empty stomach and getting a slice of that passion fruit confection. They also had sandwiches, but with cakes like that, do you really think I took the time to check out the savory options?
I’ll be honest: Café Lucca even made my Costanera Center prejudice disapear. We went at 11am on a holiday Monday, and the massive mall was virtually empty. By the time we left at 1pm, the hoards were arriving, but for two hours, we could enjoy the shiny new-ness of the mall, with its open spaces and tempting stores (Banana Republic is coming, people!), in peace. With a delicious coffee. There’s no better way to kick off the weekend.
More in this series:
Saturday in Santiago