Best of Oslo: Coffee Part 1

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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.

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Best of Dublin: Coffee & Chocolate Part 3

Joe’s Coffee

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Tucked into the entrance way to Arnotts department store Joe’s Coffee looks modern and stylish from the outside with a penchant for the quadrilaterals and some long communal tables on the inside. We made our way to the counter to see what was on the brew menu. Continue reading

Best of Dublin: Coffee & Chocolate Part 2

Forest Avenue 

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We were lucky enough to have booked ourselves in for Saturday brunch at Forest Avenue, now Forest Avenue isn’t a coffee shop it’s a Michelin calibre restaurant (imho at the very least), but I feel it’s worth making note of places that should serve great coffee but aren’t necessarily expected to. Here the food was amazing to say the least and I’m not sure I could isolate an individual course that stood out as being better than the rest, such was the consistent quality of the food. Still coffee was an afterthought for us at least, we had plans to move on to 3fe afterwards and weren’t expecting anything extraordinary to go with our brunch. We probably should have noticed more quickly the extreme professionalism of the open kitchen and the relaxed but attentive service. The brunch opened up with coffee. Continue reading

Best of Dublin: Coffee & Chocolate Part 1

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Dublin is a friendly place with lots of friendly faces and more coffee shops than it’s possible to visit in a weekend. There’s also a passion for specialty coffee in some more unusual places, where they’re not obliged to serve you anything exceptional or exiting. The service here might not be as dedicated as it is in say Japan, but it’s continually done with a smile and the relaxed and casual atmosphere makes it both enjoyable and approachable. There’s also plenty of good chocolate, cakes and breakfasts to be had too. Continue reading

Best of Amsterdam: Coffee & Chocolate Part 3

Koko: Coffee & Design

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Wandering around the central canal network of Amsterdam we found the perfect spot for a short respite on the unpronounceable l. Koko blurs the lines between that of a coffee shop, a workspace and a high end retail destination all with aplomb. Entering into the corridor shaped space we made our way down to the counter, trying not to get distracted by the fine looking clothes and artsy ceramics. Continue reading

Best of Amsterdam: Coffee & Chocolate Part 2

Lot Sixty One

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On the way back into the city from White Label is Lot Sixty One another of Amsterdams coffeeshop roasterys, swinging past we popped in to see what they had to offer. Set out on two floors the retail counter is up on the top ground floor level, with the roaster and additional seating down a set of stairs to the left. Approaching the counter there was brewed coffee available to order, but their batch filter was an Ethiopia Tchembe, which had come via ninetyplus and so I leapt at the chance to try some. Continue reading

Best of Amsterdam: Coffee & Chocolate Part 1

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Amsterdam has got more coffeeshops than you can shake a stick at, but most of them aren’t selling coffee, or if they are it’s not the good stuff, or should I say the specialty stuff. That is unless you know where to look, coffee houses have been popular in Amsterdam for a long time and there’s plenty of them if you’re willing to sift through tonnes of misdirected recommendations for hazy hash driven ‘coffee’ joints. Take a walk down some of the westerly canals or in some of the more leafy suburbs and you’ll find plenty of passion for roasting and brewing more than just an accompaniment, here you’ll find micro roasters and independents that are all riding the third wave.   Continue reading