A review of HanSo Cafe, which serves espressos and single origin coffees. This is a good cafe for digital nomads and people doing remote-work. This cafe is part of my Madrid Coffee Walk.
Located between Plaza de Espana, San Bernardo, Bilbao, Tribunal, Grand Via, and Chueca metro stations, it’s hard to not pass by HanSo Cafe in the heart of Madrid. It was so convenient I passed it several times en route to other cafes, knowing I could save it for last. Just before my afternoon flight out of Madrid, finally dropped by after visiting two other cafes that morning.
HanSo Cafe is located in the Malasaña, a student-friendly area that (I found out after the fact) was close by Madrid’s most LGBTQ-friendly neighbourhood, Chueca. The independent shops and eateries with unabashed flare charmed me from the day I arrived in Madrid and strolled around during the evening.
By the time I arrived, it was around lunchtime and I already had too much caffeine and too little of anything else, so I started with a juice. I sat by one of the window ledge seats and just people watched. The cafe is known for its breakfast and has Asian-inspired red bean and green tea drinks as well.
For once, I wasn’t remote working, so I actually had time to flip through the magazines on their shelf and just enjoy the open space with the communal table in the middle. I’ve never seen the cafe full or too noisy, though half the seats are usually taken. Most people who visit are either working, studying, or taking their time catching up with friends.
HanSo Cafe has its WiFi password on the wall where it displays the independent roasters they have sampled from around the world, and several people were clearly making use of it. The guy sitting near the entrance was online gaming! I sat by a wall plug, but you’ll have to look for them scattered throughout before choosing your seat.
After a bit, I couldn’t resist ordering one last espresso drink. Even though Madrid’s Third Wave coffee scene is quite young and a bit of a struggle for independent owners, the ones I’ve tried during this 2017 trip have been impressive and reasonably priced (especially compared to Asia).
Their Story / What I Like About Them:
As for the coffee, they have espresso and single-origin pour over options. I wanted to enjoy the cortado I wouldn’t so easily find in East Asia, so that’s what I ordered (again) and my honest answer is I don’t remember the details months later. It didn’t stop me in my tracks, but I remember being satisfied with the balance of milk frothing and acidity.
I remember reading that at least one HanSo owner was Chinese. The characters for HanSo are 韓舍, which if I were to take at face value mean Korean House to me. I don’t know the explanation for the name choice, but it does match with the baristas, who were Chinese as well. I spoke to them in Mandarin and at least one of them told me that they were here medium-short term and found work here. Of course, their first languages for serving are actually Spanish and English. I have a fondness for cultural outposts that always have a story behind them.
- Coffee: Espresso, pour-overs
- Food: Breakfast, baked goods, lunch
- Cafe Space: Approx 30 people
- Friends: Hangouts, meal
- Workspace: Individual tables, bar tables, communal table
- Remote Work: Wi-Fi available, 1-2 plugs
|Address:||Calle del Pez, 20, 28004 Madrid, Spain|
|Hours: (Closed Mon)||Tues – Fri: 9:00 – 20:00
Sat & Sun: 10:00 – 20:00