As if they were using alchemy, ‘Retrogusto Coffeemates’ takes making and drinking coffee very seriously. Scales, thermometers, timers, quality equipment and, of course, excellent coffee. In a space no more than three metres long, this small coffee shop is revolutionizing the city of Valencia.

In Retrogusto Coffeemates, you can buy coffee beans and also savour a double espresso, filter coffee or a cappuccino. They only work with specialty coffees and roasters they trust and provide all the product traceability details: farm of origin, altitude, processing, date of roasting. No more than a month should pass from the date of roasting until the coffee is consumed because the priority here is the pursuit of taste, “and you can only get that if the coffee you’re working with is freshly roasted.”

The owners Martina Requena and Paula Esquembre are very clear on that point: “We pursue the total taste in coffee: coffee is bitter, but also acidic and also sweet! Our goal is to achieve the best possible taste and we do everything in our power to get it.”

You will not find any blends in Retrogusto Coffeemates, only pure 100% Arabica bean coffees. These are top quality, high-scoring coffees that require different recipes: “An Ethiopian coffee with natural processing and a very light roast is not the same as a Nicaraguan coffee with a processed roast for an espresso.”

“Each coffee requires different treatment, according to how it has been processed and roasted. Our job is to complete this process as well as possible and offer the best possible experience with that coffee. A few coffees work better with milk, others are preferable with a filter. We always recommend drinking them without sugar because we consider the different sensory nuances of a coffee can be experienced much better that way, whether it tastes fruity or citrusy, chocolatey or nutty.”

Although they do have brown sugar for now, if someone still doesn’t dare to drink their coffee without sugar: “Our taste buds have grown very used to some at flavours with coffee, very bitter and burnt tasting, so we need to add sugar in this case. But when you drink these coffees, you gradually realize that the coffee doesn’t really need it.”

San Francisco, London, Berlin, Melbourne…We are now in the third wave of coffee, where the traceability of the product is taken seriously, the baristas take care of the final processes and the main priority is respect for the bean. That third wave has been in place in the world for several years now but only taken root in Spain more recently, “although there are always exceptions and people working very seriously on this for years here.”

But it is true that it was only a relatively short time ago that roasters dedicated exclusively to specialty coffees were slowly introduced in Spain that can measure up to the major roasters like Intelligentsia Coffee, Square Mile, Five Elephant and Ona Coffee. “Right Side Coffee and Nomad Coffee, for example, are the regular roasters we work with, and also some others.”

In short, Retrogusto Coffeemates is a space where you can enjoy a good coffee in the wonderful atmosphere inside the modernist building of the Mercado Central, considered one of the best markets in Europe dedicated to fresh products. Who wants a coffee?

Report by ’24/7 Valencia’ team

Article copyright ’24/7 Valencia’



Mercado Central

Plaza Ciudad de Brujas, s/n




Palcos / Stalls 169 – 170

Entrada / Entrance from C/ Palafox, second row on the left

Open Monday – Saturday

07.00h – 15.00h

Tel: 637 959 270

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