On our way back into Berlin we were lucky enough to skirt past Concierge Coffee, a cosy little spot hidden in a courtyard alley. Stepping inside, there was just enough room to swing a cat, featuring a cosy looking chair, some retail shelves and fully equipped bar at the back. Browsing the menu, we opted for a couple Ethiopian Yirgacheffe batch brews roasted by Concierge Coffee themselves. Continue reading
Getting up the following day with the intention to head to Silo Coffee for brunch, the tube stop let us out conveniently across the road from Coffee Profilers and so we headed there for a quick coffee stop on the way. Entering in to the quiet soft space, we immediately relaxed from the drizzly unwelcoming weather outside and found some seats on the communal long table towards the back before we took a look over the menu. Continue reading
Berlin has more specialty coffee shops than it’s possible to visit in a week, nevermind a long weekend and with that in mind calling this a best of is a little bit on the misleading side. Berlin’s passion for specialty coffee is fairly insatiable and so if you’re going to visit you’re also going to have to decide which establishments you really want to visit and which ones it’s possible to see while taking in a wealth of culture that stretches from art to music to history to architecture and a spectacular amount of national traditions. Given the ridiculous amounts of things to see and do, here are a few of the many places I managed to have the pleasure of visiting on our trip to Berlin. Continue reading
Bologna and Venice are both old towns with a wealth of historic culture, but they’re both distinctly different. One a university town full of youth, progressive ideals and a love of food and the other a maritime powerhouse full of beauty, canals and tourists. They wouldn’t be Italian though, without a love of espresso and chocolate and both help to cater to their devotees in different ways. Bologna providing traditional Italian coffeebar culture to its discerning patrons and Venice providing the locals with a very Italian respite from the heavy impressions of non native feet. If you look closely, it’s not too hard to find these hidden gems as you explore the cities history and culture.
Starting in Bologna and getting in late, we arose in the morning to head out for our first introduction to northern Italian coffee. Continue reading
Just a step outside of Oslo’s Mathallen building is a coffee shop that owes its name to Henrik Ibsen a Norwegian playwright and poet and the universally beloved Jimi Hendrix, which I guess speaks of both home and music a theme that encompasses this cafe. Entering the place, it feels like a hangout space, walls lined in equal parts by records, art and bags of retail coffee beans, with nothing looking out of place. Continue reading
There’s a dedication to coffee in Oslo that you don’t often see in other cities, where the coffee itself is the thing that is respected and revered. At times it feels like you’re more likely to find a specialty coffee shop than you are a second wave coffee chain and while you might find coffeeshops selling cocktails, tea and even records, the main focus is always on the coffee. There’s no avocado instagram lifestyle with coffee as the afterthought here, just seasonally roasted coffee and casual but informed service. In a country where the Janteloven is still heavily woven into their culture these coffeeshops might downplay their successes and achievements, but with Norwegians drinking more coffee than everyone except the Finnish, it’s maybe not surprising to find that they place it on such a high pedestal.
The day was ebbing into its later stages and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to slowly make my way from coffee into alcohol via the convenient route of coffee liqueur. So I swung by the Mr Black stand to try some of their light enveloping black magic. Made from distilled grain alcohol – that’s Vodka to you and me – and blended with cold pressed coffee, Mr black produces a liqueur that’s sweet and light with distinct flavours of dark roast espresso and a lifting edge of citrus. Mentally considering its uses for coffee in good spirits competitions, I headed off to find some more liqueur. Continue reading