You’re having a stroll around Viejo San Juan, in Calle Recinto Sur to be more specific, and you are suddenly captivated by a local called “Cuatro Sombras“. You stare at the sign for a while and next to their door they have a little sign that catches your attention.
Ah, you thought to yourself, it’s a coffee shop. Hmm, I could really drink a good cup of coffee, ¡del bueno! You need a boost, a warm indulging cup of coffee. You pull the door handle and as you go in something across the cafe draws your attention quickly.
There’s a large red machine for the purpose of grinding the coffee. You, as a millennial, are amazed by this wonderful (vintage perhaps) machine. You have never seen such a thing like this in modern times. You can smell the caracolillo in the entire shop. Your eyes examine the whole cafe, the environment gives you this warm and cozy vibe to it. You love the wood furniture and you can’t wait for your legs to rest on that comfy couch you’ve been eyeing since you entered the cafe.
And now your eyes slowly rest on the menu, ah, here’s the fun part, you thought to yourself. At first, you don’t know whether you choose a latte, cappuccino or a mochachino. Hmm, I could really use a tiny bit of a chocolatey flavor to my coffee. OR, perhaps I can beat the weather with an iced latte or a mocha frappe. Oh!, Decisions, decisions. You look at the menu for a good ol’ two minutes and it was time to decide.
You order a big cup of mochachino, 10 oz to be exact. The cashier advised you to not put sugar to your coffee, you have to drink it like a good Puerto Rican. The decision was very difficult but you decide to go with her recommendation and accept the challenge. You secretly hope that it won’t taste too bitter for your tastebuds. Aside from the cafe, you want to eat something very light and yet fulfilling so you order a plain croissant with butter del bueno… REAL butter! Your friend (or “friend” he he, we know it’s a date) orders a big cup of cappuccino along with toast and butter. You hand out your money and as you get the receipt the cashier kindly says “please wait until your name gets called”. And you sit down in that comfy couch you’ve been looking since the minute you walked through that door.
You wait for a solid two minutes in the couch scrolling through twitter while your name is called. The background music of the place is phenomenal, and you start humming to the Frank Sinatra tunes I will feel a glow just thinking ooooooofff youuuu and the way you look tonight (*insert many music emojis*). Suddenly, your name gets called. You’ve been smelling that mochachino for quite a while now and you can’t wait to take a sip out of it. You stand up and go to the counter and pick up your coffee and you are astonished by the presentation. THESE BARISTAS ARE THE BOMB you thought to yourself. You are b l o w n away by their cute art.
You take it to your table along with your food which, by the way, is given in a cute small basket. This is very convenient for all the messy eaters out there. It’s impossible to eat a croissant without decorating the table with full of flakes. Most places will give your food on a small plate but this place took it up a notch and considered messy eaters (like you) to keep the table a little bit more cleaner and make it instagram-worthy.
You take a sip of your mochachino and you felt like you just went to heaven and came back to life. It’s true what the cashier said, it was not necessary to add sugar at all! And to not put sugar to your coffee has got to be quite insane of your part. Normally, a person would put a pack of sugar or two to their typical coffee but the barista did an outstanding job and impressed you in the most unexpected way. Your mochachino has that sweet cocoa taste to it while there’s a strong kick of coffee warming up your whole body, leaving you with a bit of goosebumps since it’s so rich in flavor. As for the fellow friend (or “friend”) of yours, his/her face is in awe with the masterpiece of the cappuccino as well as the bittersweet taste to it. (Shoutout to this super friendly barista that made my coffee taste heavenly delicious!!)
You eat your food and drink your ¡ay mi madre! este café está fuera de liga,’mano coffee, and at last you unwind while there’s still time to enjoy the day. Then, you force your friend to take pictures of you pretending that you’re pondering about life and try to look educated and cultured (which you already are, you just want to emphasize it more).
After you ate and did yourself a mini photoshoot, you’ve noticed that there’s a patio in the back of the cafe. You, as a curious person, casually walks to the patio and you see cute lights attached to the walls giving it a cheerful and comfy vibe. The green wall gives the space more life to it.
If it weren’t so hot outside, perhaps you would sit out in the patio and enjoy the fresh air but just like any other day in Puerto Rico the weather was insanely hot! You return to your seat and get your bag and head out to be a productive person.
Right before you walk out of that door, you take a one last look to the shop, the workers waved goodbye and smiled, knowing they did an outstanding job impressing you. You came down to the conclusion that this is the best coffee shop you have ever gone to. This local has a welcoming vibe from the minute you entered and to the last minute you walk out. The baristas and workers were amiable and friendly with the customers which is a very important key (to my heart) for a great successful business. Last but not least, these workers put a tremendous effort and love in order for you to enjoy every ounce and every gulp you take from that heavenly piece of art we all call coffee. You leave with the thought of coming again soon but before you walk away from the shop, you have to force your friend again to take a picture of you in front of the local.
Don’t forget to post your instagram-worthy pics on every social platform and spread some love in the air. Remember, eat your veggies and to always support your local workers! Until next time…