Nordic Coffee Shops
After exploring coffee shops in Scotland and England, we continued our journey to Scandinavia, where we met a whole different coffee experience. The Nordic coffee culture integrates coffee as part of the daily life, and values bringing people together over a cup and conversation. There is a high standard for passion, sophistication, and precision over this craft and social art that is obvious throughout the shops and roasters we visited.
Nordic design and decor is modern and contemporary, using clean and crisp lines drawing the eye to architecture and shapes that celebrate the craftsmanship and beauty of the material and space. Although the style is simple and minimal, is is still homey. Not the homey you see in Western shops, but pops of color in plants, and textures in the fur and wood are pulled together for a classy but cozy feel. The use of natural light and elements bring a simplicity that directs most of the attention on the coffee: a crafted artisan light roast that focuses on bringing out the complexity of the natural flavors in the bean. It was a vast difference between the dark (and often bitter) roasts that are popular in America. It tasted like another drink entirely, where a variety of aromatic flavors are cultivated in a way I hadn’t ever tasted before. Here are some must-see coffee shops throughout Copenhagen, Stockholm, and also Iceland that embody the nordic coffee shop design and speciality light roasts.
Nordic Coffee Shops to Visit
1. Coffee Collective
Highly rated and featured on multiple coffee sites and blogs, it’s not hard to see why Coffee Collective is so esteemed by the coffee community. It’s all about the coffee here. It’s collectively owned and run by some of Denmark’s top coffee experts. The art of the bean is their top priority, proven with a shelf of barista championship trophies. The barista’s were knowledgable, passionate and friendly as they explained their dedication and focus on light blends that pull out the aromatic flavors of the bean. Their passion is to set high standards for the coffee industry, and to explore and unfold new coffee experiences that is brought out from the farmer, to the roaster, to the barista. Go on a Friday afternoon to tour their roastery or partake in one of their cuppings for a deeper coffee experience!
2. Kent Kaffe Laboratorium
I quite enjoyed Kent Kaffe and their laid-back style. The atmosphere used traditional nordic design and also felt like a real Scandinavian home. Sectioned off rooms full of bookshelves, variety seating, living room couches and table set-ups, hallways and even a piano make it feel like a contemporary living room, perfect for studying to socializing.
The owner prides himself in being the best in Copenhagen, and knows which shops copied him. His passion and love for coffee is evident through his precise, multiple brewing methods, and famous espresso blend crafted from three Latin American beans. See for yourself and you decide.
3. Drop Coffee Roasters
Drop Coffee is Sweden’s highly rated roaster and coffee bar. Their coffee is light, yet smooth, complex and flavorful, brewed in a variety of precise and accurate methods to maximize the coffee’s flavor. A popular roaster, their store is packed, hip and alive. The divided rooms, with minimal and wooden design are consistent to the nordic style, but express homey touches in their color, plants and decor. Their baristas are professional, passionate, and sophisticated, knowledgable in several artisan brewing methods. Drop sets a high standard for nordic coffee that they also share through roasting, brewing, and latte art classes.
4. Copenhagen Coffee Lab
Here you will find traditional nordic design, yet with a look more “contemporary cozy” than others. The underground shop lets you enjoy an artisan cup roasted light in a warm, laid back atmosphere that feels like a cozy nook, dim and homey in it’s own way. Raw wood and splashes of yellow is truly Scandinavian. They also roast their own coffee, and brew it in a variety of different methods.
A well known roaster setting the stage for artisan coffee in Iceland, their store is packed, popular and lively. Their coffee is medium-light, and tastes delicious, flavorful and is stronger than most light nordic coffees. Not only is their coffee top quality and made with love, the atmosphere is warm and inviting, making it a great place to relax and socialize in the moments where Iceland’s sunny weather suddenly transforms into a five minute blizzard.
Each of these Scandinavian shops stuck out for being set apart for their nordic design, as well as having high standards for light-roasted artisan coffee, served by knowledgable and experienced baristas, and sourced fairly from farmers. Passion and precision were evident in each of these places and are well worth the visit.
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