Navigating Coffee Culture An Expats Guide to Argentina

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Welcome, expatriates! As you settle into life in Argentina, you may find yourself drawn to the country's rich coffee culture. Whether you're a seasoned coffee aficionado or a casual drinker, this guide offers insights and practical tips for exploring Argentina's coffee scene. From understanding where coffee is sourced and produced to embracing local customs and traditions, we aim to help you connect with the local community and experience authentic cultural experiences.

Understanding Coffee Origins and Production

While coffee is not traditionally grown in Argentina, the country does import beans from neighboring Brazil and Bolivia for processing. However, local coffee enthusiasts and producers are pushing to change that, with new crops being grown in regions such as Mendoza and Córdoba. These locally grown beans may be more expensive than imported varieties, but you can often taste the difference in their flavor and aroma.

If you're interested in learning more about coffee production in Argentina, there are several opportunities for expats to explore coffee plantations and farms. Some popular options include Finca Las Nubes in Córdoba and Finca Cavera in Mendoza.

Embracing Favorite Coffee Style Drinks

One of the most popular coffee styles in Argentina is the cortado, which is similar to a Spanish cortado or an Italian macchiato. This drink consists of an espresso shot with a small amount of steamed milk, resulting in a rich, creamy flavor. Other popular coffee drinks in Argentina include thecafe con leche - a classic espresso with hot milk - and the refresco de yerba mate, which involves steeping yerba mate leaves in hot water to create a tangy, refreshing beverage.

For expats seeking to explore the local coffee scene, there are many excellent cafés and coffee shops throughout Argentina. Some expat-friendly options include Abuela Espreso in Buenos Aires, Café Tortoni in Buenos Aires, and Café de la Leyenda in Córdoba.

Embracing Coffee Drinking Customs and Traditions

In Argentina, coffee culture is deeply ingrained in daily life and social interactions. Argentinians consume more coffee per capita than any other South American country, and coffee is a ubiquitous part of the national culture.

One unique custom is the cafe-cocido tradition, which is popular among men in Buenos Aires. This involves taking a break from work or errands to enjoy a cup of coffee and a few slices of cake or pastries, typically in the early afternoon. This tradition is less common among women, who are more likely to enjoy coffee with breakfast or brunch.

It's also important to remember the role of gesture and respect in coffee drinking customs. Argentineans tend to drink coffee slowly and savor each sip, often accompanied by conversation or reading material. It's also important to accept a cup of coffee if it's offered to you, as this is a sign of hospitality and respect.


We hope this guide has provided insight and inspiration for expats seeking to immerse themselves in Argentina's vibrant coffee culture. Whether you're a coffee aficionado or a casual drinker, the local coffee scene offers a wealth of opportunities for connection and cultural exchange. By embracing local customs and traditions, you can deepen your connection with the local community and experience authentic cultural experiences.