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.
Now sadly closed, although you would have thought it wasn’t open in the first place, if like me it took you three times round the block just to find the place. In a tranquil overgrown garden and sign posted by a small metallic square sculpture, Omotesando is somewhat hidden from the casual passer by, it’s somewhat hidden from those who are trying to find it too. Fortunately we persevered and made our way inside, where we found a stripped down, but highly professional service. Continue reading