Cafezal — Milan, Italy

Cafezal — Milan, Italy

Have you ever attempted to order an iced coffee in Italy? If you’re not immediately met with a quizzical stare or firm refusal, a begrudged cup of ice cubes is all that will accompany your espresso shot. Italians, understandably, dig in their heels when it comes to their culinary culture, making even the most taken for granted trends slow to catch on here. But the arrival of Cafezal, billed as a Brazilian-Italian micro-roastery and coffee shop, is a sign that change is in the air. In the run-up to the much-debated opening of Starbucks this fall, the first on Italian soil, it seems that third wave coffee culture in Milan is finally waking up.

Cafezal is on Via Solferino in the heart of Milan’s buzzing Brera district. Featuring a rotating cast of speciality beans – sourced from small-scale plantations from Honduras to Ethiopia – toasted on site and transformed into typical Italian espresso-based drinks alongside more novel (for Italy) offerings of pourover drip coffees and cold brews.

Local design darlings Studiopepe dressed up the 50sq m space in a style they call ‘post-modern urban’, washing the walls in an inky blue shade that makes the custom dusty pink banquettes pop. Woodgrain-printed wallpaper, terrazzo tabletops, spindly soft-cornered stools, black Marquina marble counters and a wavy, corrugated bar with brushed copper trim make for a welcome addition to Milan’s slowly percolating coffee scene.

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