Cute and catchy quotes aside, coffee is a very serious business. Caffeine connoisseurs have been known to spend a lifetime searching for the world’s finest beans, blends and baristas – something Ibiza entrepreneur Lana Love can attest to herself. The founder and creator of Passion Café and the recently launched Yalla Ibiza has always been a firm believer in the phrase ‘all good ideas start with good coffee’ – a quip brought to life with her brand-new, specialty coffee house, Máona, in Playa d’en Bossa.
“We Croatians are coffee drinkers by nature,” says Lana, as she recalls helping to prepare strong Turkish-style coffee for her mother as a child. “It’s in our DNA.” The Máona founder has cherished memories of visiting her older brother and glamorous sister-in-law in Belgrade, where they would sip and savour fancy cups of Nescafé and condensed milk sent over from Germany (no judgement, coffee nerds, remember it was Serbia in the 1980s!). Belgrade, coincidentally, was home to Europe’s first kafana (coffee shop). This is where Lana’s obsession started, and it continued to flourish when she moved to London around the same time as the birth of coffee culture as we know it. You can take the girl out of Croatia…
Máona is dedicated to high-quality caffeination, classic light bites and artisanal pastries and sandwiches, healthy takeaway dishes and much more.
It was really in Ibiza however, when Lana opened the doors to her very first Passion Café in 2002, that she fell truly, madly and deeply in love with coffee. “It wasn’t like I ever had an epiphany,” she muses, looking back on her experiences. “I just loved drinking coffee every day. I loved the flavour, the taste, the feeling. My real passion actually started when I began making coffee in Ibiza. I wanted to be known as the place where you could get the best cup of coffee in Ibiza, so I strived for the best. We were the first place in Ibiza to serve soy milk, we were the first restaurant to have a La Marzocco coffee machine – back then, I made the best coffee. Today, my Máona baristas would laugh at me – they are like scientists!”
When she stumbled on an available locale on the ground floor of one of Playa d’en Bossa’s most exclusive residential apartment complexes, Ibiza Royal Beach, Lana knew an opportunity when she saw it. With five Passion locations already successfully running (including the original Passion Café at the other end of the seaside town), along with her new Middle Eastern fusion restaurant Yalla Ibiza, it was time for her to embrace her creativity and start something new. Not only did Lana’s new idea start with good coffee, it would also grow to be completely centred around it. Máona had been brewing (no pun intended) in her mind for quite some time already – she’d even mentioned it ambiguously in an interview for White Ibiza Magazine Issue 6 – The Gourmet Edition in 2022.
This sleek specialty coffee house in Playa d’en Bossa is another new venture by the talented and creative Lana Love of Passion Café and Yalla Ibiza.
Inspired by her second home in Menorca, Lana had already dreamed up the colour palette, the interior design scheme and the menu, even the registering the name and Instagram account long before the first Máona would open its doors in Ibiza. An homage to the sister Balearic Isle, the name takes its cues from the area of Mahón – known as Máo in Menorquin – and the beautiful burnt orange hue of the branding, right down to the tiles and takeout cups, is reminiscent of colours from the region (not unlike the signature orange rind of the area’s eponymous cheese). With a vision to be eclectic yet urban, sleek and yet welcoming, the Máona concept is like Passion Café’s cool little sister – quietly growing into its character as it evolves with the season.
Coffee is at the heart of the entire Máona experience, starting with the sleek and stylish La Marzocco Strada machine that takes pride of place on the burnt orange bar. Here, hand-picked baristas grind à la minute, use osmosis water, and practice their craft like true artisans, using the bespoke Máona deep roast blend that handmade and roasted in micro-batches by island specialty coffee roasters Meke. Sam and the team from Meke have worked with Lana for many years, producing custom blends for Passion Café, but the Máona blend takes it to another level. Using only ethically traded, organic coffee beans sourced from the best producers in the world, the artisanal blend has a flavour profile that is simple, timeless and strong, a testament to Lana’s personal taste and preference.
Drop in for a laid-back breakfast or lunch, take a meeting, answer emails or pick up all the take away essentials you need for home or the beach at Máona.
“When you’re creating a brand, you have to channel part of yourself,” she explains. “And I really like my coffee to have a punch! Coffee should taste like coffee.” Compliments have been coming in thick and fast, from other island baristas, from self-confessed coffee nerds, from local foodies and from the visiting tourists who come alone one day, then bring groups of friends with them the next. There’s decaf at Máona too, of course, plus a grinder dedicated to a ‘visiting’ coffee brand on regular rotation. An entire matcha bar is on offer for those who prefer a green energy buzz (whether in a shot, a latte, a float, a flat green or lemonade), and there’s a section of the menu dedicated to some of big sister Passion’s most famous hot and iced drinks like ayurvedic tea, spiced chai latte, superfood hot chocolate, Reishichino, Passion Bulletproof Coffee and much more.
If you’re feeling peckish at Máona, there’s plenty of goodness on the menu to complement your coffee. Everyone’s favourite avocado toasts are served on a light sourdough, and artisan focaccia sandwiches take casual dining up a flavour-filled notch, with all breads created specifically for Máona by revered Ibiza chef David Rearte of Pomona. Think silky Parma ham with lush mozzarella and rocket; savoury goat cheese, olive tapenade and roasted vegetables; or the umami-rich kimchi and melted cheese. The Máona fridge is stocked with healthy salads, breakfast bowls, overnight oats, health shots, cold-pressed juices and more, while the mouthwatering selection of pastries, cakes and cookies on the counter are difficult to pass up – as is a bag of Máona coffee to take home.
Everyone (and their dog!) is welcome at Máona, open daily from 10am until 4pm. Grab a takeaway coffee as you like it – espresso, cortado, flat white, Americano, café latte, cappuccino, et al – or a cold-pressed juice for a stroll along the beach (just a few metres away), or bring your laptop, pull up a pew at the bench in the chilled interior and connect to the speedy WiFi for a relaxed day of remote working. Soak up the sun on the terrace with friends over breakfast or lunch, fill up your beach basket with takeaway goodies for a picnic or to take on the boat to Formentera, stop in for a quick snack after a workout, post-school run, pre-work – whoever you are, whatever you do, there’s something for everyone at Máona. But first, coffee…