With coffee and music, travelling is one of my passion and I did my first ever trip to a Scandinavian country last weekend in the Danish capital city. I had high expectations and was thrilled by my time there! First thing I loved is how different it is from Barcelona – still, we are in Europe and in the “Western world” but there is something proper to Denmark that makes it a bit of a cultural shock for whoever is from and lives in Barcelona, or France as I used to. The legends are kinda true: people seem very happy biking on neat streets in the chilly weather, and the city has a very relaxed feeling, due to its pretty small size and its quietness. It has also amazing architecture, once again very different from the one in the latin countries (it reminded me Amsterdam in many points), a few great museums, many independent design shops (mainly furniture) and cafes to cozy up and forget the grey skies. Not to mention the interesting food (if you like fish and rye bread as I do) and numerous craft beer joints! Last but not least the Danes are very friendly and helpful, they speak perfect English and…they love a proper cup of filter coffee – here in the culture for years, showing another contrast with a country like Spain. Since a few years speciality coffee roasters have emerged and treat the coffee better with typical “Scandinavian” light roasted quality-sourced beans, and adding well-extracted espresso to their menu. While it is not difficult to get a decent cup of filter coffee in the centre of Copenhagen, the city boasts some of the best coffee venues in Europe (many of them roasting their own beans) and I was lucky to visit them! Here is a short listing of where to get caffeinated in “CPH”…
Copenhagen Coffee Lab, right in the centre, is a lovely spot with a few tables outside close to a canal, and basement-build premises (very common in Copenhagen). In a woody and welcoming interior, the bar offers espresso and two filter options (made on Kalita wave, the most popular brewing method here), made with home-roasted coffees. I went for a smooth and bright Kenyan filter, that I enjoyed to go as the sun was shining when I got there.
Prolog is a very recently-opened cafe and micro-roastery located by the meatpacking district (actually hosting a fantastic street food market every weekends), in the upcoming area of Vesterbro. In a so Danish-ly cozy and well-designed space, you will find books, prints, magazines and their two passionate founders, Jonas and Sebastian, happy to talk coffee with you, pouring banging filter brews and fruity espressos to satisfy our demanding palates. I was so impressed by their Yirgacheffe filter, with notes of redcurrant and a sweet caramely finish, that I took some to Barcelona! A big thanks to my Danish friend Sandra who recommended me this place. A gem!
Original Coffee is a place I had not planned to visit nor had not heard about before I came accross that shop, in need of a cup of filter after a long walk along the windy sea-front. They roast their own coffee and had three origins of beans available for v60 (I went for a Brazilian that was very nutty), served in a small shop by a friendly barista. Worth a visit! Not far from the center and the picturesque must-see Nyvahn harbour and its multicoloured houses.
Coffee Collective is THE name that comes to our minds when thinking of Denmark. I had tried their coffee in London a couple of times but nothing beats a trip to the source. CC have 3 sites: the roastery out of the center (quickly reachable by bike or bus and worth the trip), their first shop and former micro-roastery in trendy Norrebro where outside seats by a pedestrian street are a must-be on weekends, and their busy and central site in the excellent fine food market, Torvehallerne (think about La Boqueria or Borough market, with extra seats to enjoy your food). Each site has its own personality and is very different! I loved the premises at the roastery where it is possible to overlook all the process through a massive glassed-wall. A Chemex coffee tasting was taking place when I was there, but one can just seat and have a coffee (espresso-based as well) in the spacious venue. Last but not least their biggest shop (between a stall and a bar) was where I ended up everyday (thanks to its extended opening hours, including on Sunday) and had a fantastic Kenyan batch brew – among others. Although very busy the quality and welcoming feel is here and the seats by the glass-walled venue are quickly taken. That reminded me of Taylor Street in London, where coffee remains superb thanks to the barista skills, and training at working well in a fast pace.
Democratic Coffee is a pedestrian streets right in the Center, next to the University and must-visit Cathedral. Coffee is taken very seriously here with batch brew and hand-brew available as well as espresso. Go for breakfast and sit down at the bar facing the street to enjoy one their yummy home-made pain au chocolat. I loved that, as in French bakery, we can see the baker at work by a huge bread oven. I am not a milky coffee drinker but had a fantastic cortado, the equivalent of a British-style flat white (no “flatties” in Copenhagen cafe menus, they use the name cortado – one funny thing in common with Spain!). Bonus: they have a second space just beside where their premises are shared with a library-bookshop, offering the possibility to enjoy your Kalita wave in a unique environment, surrounded by books and design furniture. Such a great place!
Forloren Espresso was recommended by a barista friend who lives in London and visited this site a few months ago…What a great find! A small cafe perfect for “hygge”: a key part of Danish culture, that we could sum up by getting cozy around a drink (often hot) in a comfy and (often candle-lit) room. The owner is deeply passionate about his craft and although he was busy making pour-overs he took the time to give details about his various beans. I had a very interesting espresso roasted by Danish roaster La Cabra, with a high acidity and apricot tastes notes, yet sweet and super smooth!