In Ibiza – even internationally – Passion Café is renowned for its healthy, colourful and creative cuisine. It’s responsible for some of the most Instagram-friendly dishes on the web, however a lesser known fact about Ibiza’s most-loved café empire is that it is also home to the one of the best cups of coffee in Ibiza. The Passion commitment to coffee harks back to as early as the 80s when a young Lana Love would visit her older brother and his wife in their beautiful apartment in Belgrade. She recalls looking up to her glamorous sister-in-law, who would talk about the arts and use products from Germany – which included, among other things, Nescafé and condensed milk. “She just had this finesse about her,” Lana recalls. “She’d make coffee and we’d sit and sip it for hours… I am sure this is where my obsession with coffee began – though the Nescafé days are long gone from my life! People often don’t realise I have more passion for my coffee, and even my coffee machines, than I do for fresh juices!”
Over the years – as her personal journey saw Lana move to London followed by Ibiza – the love of coffee continued to grow. Evolving into a well-travelled coffee connoisseur, her addiction was not fuelled by caffeine addiction; rather, a pure unadulterated passion for flavour, ingredients, techniques and of course, that magical scent. It made sense then, when Lana launched her own café that she would seek out and serve the very best coffee she could find. Back then (in 2002), Illy coffee was the best to be found on the island. Today however, as Passion has grown to include seven different locations across Ibiza, her roast of choice is an exclusive bespoke blend created by on-island artisans Meke Coffee Roasters. The team behind Meke share Lana’s pure passion for coffee, and worked tirelessly alongside the Passion founder, roasting, roasting and roasting some more, until they reached the perfect blend. Described by the brand as a ‘delicious espresso blend that brings a nutty, chocolatey flavour to the cup with just a hint of fruits of the forest’ – a sip of it’s described (quite accurately) by Lana as heaven. Whether you like it straight up as an Americano, a double espresso, in a latte, a flat white, a cappuccino, cortado, macchiato or Bulletproof – the custom Passion blend is what gets Ibiza’s coffee cognoscenti going.
Any self-respecting coffee enthusiast will tell you, a good blend does not necessarily guarantee a good cup of coffee. There are other aspects to consider when it comes to the art of making a good coffee, such as equipment, cups, cleanliness, freshness, water filtration, milk quality (if that’s how you take it) and of course, the skills and experience of the barista making the cup in question. Passion Cafés take all these elements very seriously, starting with the investment in high-tech La Marzocco coffee machines (“When it comes to my coffee, I spare no expense!” laughs Lana) which are meticulously maintained in order to preserve the integrity and consistency of Passion coffee. Not only is the Meke Coffee Roasters Passion blend very freshly roasted, it’s also ground seconds before going into your cup. The water used is the very best filtered water and milk is organic and high-grade – be it coconut, cow’s, almond, soya, cashew or oat. “I have to give a lot of the credit to our baristas,” says Lana. “They are really amazing and true coffee nerds themselves. You can have all the best toys and ingredients, but you really need to have their skills too. Our baristas are top notch.” With a high volume of coffee being ordered on a daily basis, the Passion baristas are like the ninjas of Ibiza’s coffee culture.
In addition to all the coffee classics, each Passion also boasts an extensive menu of ‘trendy lattes’ – matcha, pink, turmeric, charcoal, frozen and many more – which sees their artistic skills taken to another level, and gives those who (gasp!) don’t drink coffee the opportunity to experience latte art and coffee culture without the caffeine hit. “When someone tells me they don’t drink coffee… I’m in disbelief!” says Lana jokingly. While the combination of a coffee lover, her own custom coffee blend and seven cafes in which to indulge in her obsession may sound like a recipe for disaster (or a very hard-thumping heart as an occupational hazard), Lana says she generally sticks to one strong coffee in the morning (opting for the authentic ‘Bulletproof’ – made with double espresso blended with MCT coconut oil, collagen and a dash of oat milk) and another pick-me-up in the afternoon. “I like that afternoon coffee to be sharp and black,” she says, with a distinct look of love in her eyes.
If you’re yet to sample the caffeinated delights at Ibiza’s home of health and happiness yet – you’re in for a treat. And once you’ve taken your first sip of that steaming hot cup of liquid black goodness, you’ll very quickly come to realise where the ‘happy’ part of that tagline comes from.