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.
Wandering around the central canal network of Amsterdam we found the perfect spot for a short respite on the unpronounceable Oudezijds Achterburgwal. 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
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
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
Waking up and heading to the festival on Sunday morning we had one thing on our minds, Cakesmiths’ breads, toasted, with butter on. Cakesmiths’ cakes are great but their breads are even better, or as they like to call them loafcakes, we ordered a smashing pumpkin and a banana and chocolate slice to be toasted and put away a pear and ginger for safe keeping. It took a bit longer waiting for them to be toasted, but it was well worth the wait and we enjoyed them thoroughly before setting off to find our first coffee. Continue reading
After all of the excitement over at Heart & Graft x Conti Espresso, we thought we best check in with another of Manchester’s coffee roasters who had taken up stall on the other side of the dividing wall. Here we found Ancoats Coffee Co, who we’d had the pleasure of visiting earlier in the year on a day out in Manchester – it’s a lovely space, you really should go – ready and prepared with four separate batch brews on the go. Jamie started us with a washed Guatemalan, which had pleasant red apple notes as well as a lovely balance, next we moved on to the familiar bright stonefruit flavours of the Guji Liyu from Ethiopia. This was like a showcase of atypical flavours in origin so far, with the range of coffees well balanced like a beginners showcase introduction to coffee. Up third was the Rwandan, which was on the dark side of citrus featuring blood orange and cocoa, a style of Rwandan I’d first come across at last years Cup North. Which left Jamie’s favourite coffee for last, the Kenyan Gakayuini washed peaberry a complex, but fruity coffee focussing around blackcurrants, I have to admit I still struggle with the odd Kenyan tending instead to prefer its fruity Ethiopian neighbours.