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Don Karp, January 1 2024

Café Arté, Tepoztlán

                                                 Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Inside Café Arté. Photo by author

Brief History of Cafés in Tepoztlán

In 2003, when I moved to Tepoztlán, a "Magic City" in Mexico, there was only one café, Buenos Tiempos (Good Times). I can't remember when the second one, Tepoz Café, was added.

Buenos Tiempos started in a booth at the entrance to the open air market before moving to a regular shop. Friends of the owner, Paola, told her, after two months of losing money, she ought to give it up. She persisted, offering free community services beyond coffee: a wall for notices, a jug of drinking water to fill one's bottle, and a blackboard that listed your name when someone left you an item to pick up there. This first coffeehouse became a huge success. Paola partnered with another Mexican woman who ran the store, and eventually Paola sold out to her. The new owner offered no free benefits, her coffee was weak, and she was strict about not letting people "hang out." But coffeehouses are where people "hang out." Because of its great location, it persisted until a year ago, when it had to move. Here is its old space on the main street, Calle Revolucíon--

 

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. The old Buenos Tiempos coffeehouse that no longer exists at this location.                                                                                                         Photo by author


Tepoz Café 
was owned and operated by a young local family who were very friendly to all of their customers, unlike the owner of Buenos Tiempos. Their coffee was strong and delicious, supplied by their brother who grew it in a neighboring state. They were so successful that they now serve coffee and delicious pastries at three locations in town.

I don't know how many cafés there are now, but I would guess there are at least a dozen.

Where does Café Arté fit in?

Inside Café Arté

Let's take a tour of this small intimate cafe in the heart of Tepoztlán.

                                         Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Entering Café Arté. Photos by author

Now that we are inside (see photo at beginning of this article), let's take a look around. There are two small tables. On the left, behind the  couch is a mural. At the end of the couch is a curious-looking lamp. On the right are craft items for sale. Let's take a closer look at these three.

              Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Café Arté: mural (l.), lamp (center), shelves (r.) Photo by author

What Café Arté Offers

The baristas, Mike and Claudia, offer us a wide line of coffees and teas, and fresh baked pastries, pictured below.

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Café Arté offerings. From the top left are the baristas, behind them are lists of                               teas and coffees. The baked goods are displayed in a basket. Photo by author

They also rent shelf space by the month to artisans to display and sell their goods. The usual way to do this is by consignment. Here are some of the items displayed: jewelry, decorations, books, oracle cards, tinctures, skin preparations, cacao, chocolate products, small candies, honey, sauces,  and marmalade.

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Café Arté shelves. Left: the cafe's space; Right  two: rented by crafts people.                                                                                                  Photo by author


Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. My shelf at Café Arté, displaying my books and preparations from herbs I grew.                                                                                                Photo by author


Interview with Café Arté's Founder and Logistical Info

Barista Mike, the founder of Café Arté, kindly spent time with me recording this interview:



Restaurant Guru gave Café Arté a very high rating, showing five stars from Google.

Here is how to contact the café:

Barista Claudia Campos: +52 744 292 8361


In case you are a local, or coming for a visit, here are the Café's hours:

9am-1pm and 3pm-8pm every day, but closed Thursdays.

It is located on Buena Vista #2A, just a few doors up from Tepoztlán's main crossroad:   Calle Revolucíon, and Av Tepozteco.

   I hope you have enjoyed this article, as it gives a "taste" of Tepoztlán, in terms of one of its best coffeehouses.



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Don Karp

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