Author: Leah Pattem
In 1946, José González and Pepina García caught wind that the market for horchata in the Spanish capital was untapped, so they packed their bags and boarded a train from Valencia to Barrio de Tetuán and opened Oroxata (AKA the Horchata Factory) on Calle Pedro Tezano, 11.
Seventy-five years later, their great-grandson Sergio now runs what many madrileñxs claim is the best place to find horchata in the city! And so, I went to investigate.
The little horchata factory was hard to find. For such an epic title I had expected to find it in a more prominent location. But there I found it, tucked flat into the ground floor of a plain façade, half way down a steeply sloping side street with narrow pavements and cars parked so densely in front of it I even walked past it the first time!
Upon entering, I was greeted with very few frills save for some old horchata machinery and modern horchata iced lollies. I spotted a photo of José and Pepina on the wall above the vintage tiger-nut processor and a few more old snaps above the horchata drum.
We ordered a few things to share: an horchata, a farton (an iced finger bun) and something I’ve never tried before: an horchata pudding with a traditional María biscuit on top.
People came and went, some very quickly drinking horchata like it was a quick mid-morning caña, while others stayed dunking their fartons with little concern for their structure (I suspect this is how the horchata pudding was invented).
Was it the best horchata in the city like so many say? It was certainly up there with the last horchata kiosk in Madrid! I definitely recommend a visit and, if you live in the area, make it your merienda regular!
As we left, the car parked outside pulled away and let me take this wonderful shot of Oroxata’s very no-frills facade…
- Oroxata is open for around six months a year, from the first sign of heat until the cold arrives.
- Location: Calle Pedro Tezano, 11, Tetuán.
- Best metro: Estrecho (L1)