Viva Espresso is a leader in bringing world class retail coffee to El Salvador, and has a well earned reputation for performing well both in World Barista Competitions and, more importantly, on a daily basis for their customers.
Ever since moving to El Salvador my husband and I have made a point to go coffee sightseeing on a regular basis, and each of Viva’s locations have become regular haunts, not just to see how they are doing, but because they reliably produce a conversation worthy product.
Good coffee involves an element of risk. Some of the safer choices, such as large sweet drinks, dark roasts, and automated machines, remove some chances to fail, but they never blow minds either.
Viva espresso on some occasions delivers particularly good espresso, and at worst delivers it well crafted. This is not a complaint it is a compliment. Consistency is the enemy of exceptional. They are consistently good and frequently wonderful.
Today we visited Viva Espresso, Torre Futura, and ordered a single shot of espresso, a double machiato and a cappuccino. I asked what the best espresso was today, and was disappointed to find there was only one on bar.
The espresso was Finca Las Mercedes. Espresso is difficult to photograph, but it was a pretty little shot. The mouthfeel was soft and full, and there were sweet melon notes with a little orange oil in the aftertaste. Some people, depending on what espresso tradition they come from do not prefer sweet fruity espressos. I do. The shot was tasty, and well proportioned.
The machiatto was similarly well made. The espresso and milk got along just fine, and I think my husband may have licked the cup. The flavors of the espresso seemed to balance and get sweeter with just a touch of milk.
Viva Espresso, as in almost eery restaurant in El Salvador, has table service, and pays great attention to delivering the drinks with all the flair of a high-end restaurant. I find this very pleasant, and it can add to your justifications for spending so much money on good
coffee. My only small criticism of the system, and I bet it can be fixed, is that sometimes in the effort to deliver the drinks together, as one would a meal, on occasion one or more of the drinks has lost some of it’s structure or flavor.
On this visit the cappuccino suffered a little from the delay. I can tell this was a very good cup, and in fact it was very tasty, I drank the whole thing. It waited for me, and wilted a little bit. It was a very good drink that did not arrive in time for itself. This is a frequent difficulty with the classic table service that is expected here in El Salvador. Exceptional coffee drinks are on a very tight timeline!
I highly recommend a trip to Viva Espresso if you are in San Salvador. Torre, and Plaza Futura themselves are worth a look on their own. The second level of Viva Espresso opens up to a long flat pool. from the outside looking up, the nicely designed tower (torre) above is integrated into the geometric pattern that makes up the plaza making you doubt you are in the same country your friends were calling third or second world. Living in El Salvador we are constantly reminded why El Salvador is on the verge of a nice economic awakening to it’s own un-realized potential. Seriously, get yourself to El Salvador now.