At some point or another, coffee is always a prerogative. The legs become leaden, mind turns to soft unthinking goop.

On a busy but otherwise unremarkable avenida in Roma, just East of the Fuente de Cibeles, Cafe Cumbe appears as if summoned by an angel.

Modern espresso bars are relatively new to Mexico, but they are gaining popularity fast.

It is a windowless cube with huge bay doors in an immeasurably large colonial-era building; one tiny subdivision of an enormous beehive. Such layout is typical of many restaurants and cafés that share space in this hyper-densified city.