Carmen Alto 115, Cusco, Peru
Used for medicinal purposes, in religious ceremonies and as a natural stimulant, the coca leaf is the backbone of Andean culture and lore. The Coca Shop, located just off of the plaza San Blas, is an employee owned cooperative that was founded with the objective of informing individuals about the history and uses of the plant. Strong advocators that the coca leaf is not a drug, the Coca Shop serves up one of the best cups of coca tea in Cusco as well as coca-infused chocolates, coca cookies, coca ice cream and more literature about the history of the coca leaf than you could possibly read in one sitting. They use all natural and local ingredients and also offer a wide assortment of flavored chocolates. A great place for the chocolate addict, history buff interested in a different perspective on Andean culture, or the traveler looking for the perfect gift to take home. Usually open between 9am until 7pm, there are a few tables and sofas available to enjoy a midday coca tea.