In the afternoon following EmeSen, we made our way out to Kawiarnia Filtry in one of the more unsuspecting residential areas of Warsaw. Quiet and unassuming from the outside with barely a sign, but enough of a presence to direct you in, we entered and approached the counter. With a number of coffees on the brew menu we picked a Layo Tiraga from Ethiopia roasted by Polish roasters Audun Coffee brewed on V60 and a slice of ridiculous chocolate cake to go with it.
Arriving at the table with aromas of honey toasted wheat and dark chocolate berries. To taste there was flavours of stewed red fruit, balanced by dark tones with a dessert like feel reminiscent of a berry and apple tart. Smooth, clean and sweet it was perfect to go with indulgent chocolate cake. This was the kind of coffee shop you hope for at the end of your road, good coffee, good cake and a relaxed vibe, perfect to lose an afternoon in.
Juliana Ursyna Niemcewicza 3,
Waking up the next morning we headed to Hala Koszyki a large food court and shopping mall just off Koszykowa with the intention of finding Czarna Fala and browsing a few cheese counters and bakeries. Walking past a veritable world of cuisine all doing their daily prep we found Czarna Fala tucked behind their array of green fauna representing their plant room. Approaching their counter, we asked what was on the brew menu, with the barista offering to brew us up anything from their collection.
With a large mixture of specialty roasters I was most intrigued by their own coffee and so ordered a self roasted Kenyan brewed on aeropress, with the barista brewing up a second cup of a Burundi from The Barn. The Kenyan arrived first with aromas of purple fruit, plums, blackberries, like a sweet dessert. To taste it was a dark chocolate plum crumble, big and full in the mouth. Occupying a great spot in the artisanal corner of Hala Koszyki, Czarna Fala have now moved and you can now find them in their new residence at Racławicka 99, 00-001 Warszawa.
Hala Koszyki, Koszykowa 63,
Just off plac Zbawiciela, a roundabout surrounded by coffee shops, retail and restaurants Forum doubles as a coffee shop by day and a comedy cellar by night. Stepping inside we headed to the counter to look over the brew menu. Using coffee from Coffee Lab, we picked a couple of their roasts to try side by side. Selecting a Washed Typica from El Santo in Mexico and a Colombia coffee from Buena Vista in Huila, both brewed on V60
Taking up seats round the corner and leaving the barista to do his work, we relaxed into the dim bar like atmosphere, highlighted by lamplight. The coffees arrived in quick succession and I made a start on the Mexican. Arriving with aromas of honey toasted wheat and toasted citrus it tasted of bright toasted citrus, honey, marmalade and yellow grapes, silky and with a dry finish it was more flavourful than a lot of Mexican coffees I’ve tried. Moving on to the Colombian with aromas of toffee apple, it tasted of soft toffee apple flavours with some lemon in the finish. Finishing up we returned the glassware and headed round the corner to Ministerstwo Kawy.
Almost in direct contrast to Forum, Ministerstwo Kawy was bright with sunlight pouring in through the windows, white walls and clean Scandinavian lines. Approaching the counter we enquired as to what was on the brew menu and were offered a selection of coffees from Swedish roasters Koppi, complementing the ethos and interior of the café. Selecting the Colombia San Juan, the barista offered to make it on V60 and so we waited in the window for it to brew, before we took it to go.
Arriving with tropical punch aromas the coffee tasted of tropical punch and white tea with a juicy tea like mouthfeel. A particularly fruity and well rounded coffee I was impressed by both the roast and the brew, tempted to suggest this might have been one of the best coffees of the trip. Taking the coffee with me as we left to head to Lazienki park.
Marszałkowska St 27/35,
Our trip was coming to an end, but we had time to pop into one last café on our walk back to our apartment and the centre. Taking a minor detour we ended up at Kawiarnia Relaks, walls awash with film and arts posters we popped through to the counter to ask what was on the brew menu. Featuring coffees from The Barn I picked the El Sonador from Colombia brewed on V60 to go with a slice of their blueberry cheesecake.
Arriving with complex aromas of roasted hedgerow berries the coffee had flavours of white grapes, coxes pippin apples, hedgerow and lemon leaf. Complex with a sweet acidity and a clean and crisp mouthfeel, the coffee was very particular and complex and a great example of coffees from Colombia. Stairing about the walls at the films posters of years gone by while taking my last sips, I was sad to be leaving Warsaw, it had easily bettered my expectations and had delivered high quality consistently without any theatre or bravado. Warsaw had been good and honest, providing at every turn, the coffee was great, the people better and the experience exemplary.