It all started in 2014 with a van that, for two years, brought specialty coffee to various stops, including festivals, markets and streets in general. Since last year, the Combi has been a fixed-space cafeteria and for some months now also a factory where green beans have been roasted, both for consumption in the house and for selling.
Mondays are roasting days, which customers can enjoy as the roaster is in the back room, separated by a glass and with open doors. It is Gonçalo Gonzy - one of the founders of the house, along with his brother Francisco Cardoso and João Vilar (who, meanwhile, left the project) - who sits the roost, controlling the whole process. Roasting for the house blend, a blend of Arabicas from Brazil, Colombia and Guatemala. Once roasted, the coffee must rest three days before being served or packaged.
All of this is produced in an old garage on Rua de Morgado de Mateus, in São Lázaro. A garage that was transformed by the architects Alexandre Gamelas and Catarina Santos into a bright and comfortable cafeteria.
The thing that has changed since opening was the food offering. The space has no kitchen, but prepares toast and various refreshments. The cakes all come from the renowned Nova Real confeitaria. The drinks are the same: espresso and espresso drinks such as cappuccino, flat white or macchiato, and filter coffees, made in V60, French press or Aeropress, among others. In the near future, Combi wants to have a smaller space to order and take. But "this is the mother house, and we like the place where we are, far from the tourist confusion of Baixa," says Gonçalo. "That way we can maintain the personality."