Mad & Kaffe

In spite of my last post, I decided to continue to talk a bit about the cafe culture here in Copenhagen. Today, I went to Mad & Kaffe. I’ve been postponing my visit for an almost a year because the place is in Vesterbro (just to Google a bit around now to notice that there is another location in Amagerbro…) which is in another side of the town from where I live. The visit was good, although I had to wait for a nice while outside because the place was jam-packed but luckily I got blanket to keep myself warm before getting a seat. Mad & Kaffe has a nice menu, you choose 3-7 different dishes for a brunch. Besides this you can order beverages, I had a coffee as per usual and 5 different dishes.

I see why it is one of ‘the places’ to get a brunch in Copenhagen. All the dishes are well thought out, they are not too big or small in terms of the size, spices and ingredients are complementary to each other (like I would know that much about food, but aye! at least I’m trying :D) and dishes are served on a wooden platter. I don’t know from where this trend started but it is part of the scene now and I don’t complain, I like it, a girl from the woods likes wood, what a surprise!

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Back to the Mad&Kaffe, the atmosphere within the cafe is warm and welcoming. It could be described as hipster like but I think it goes beyond that, it is more of a good top 10 hit song. There is something for everyone without compromising the concept. Everything runs smoothly as a hit song is supposed to, you get different flavours but they are not too weird for you to understand but at the same time there is that little something that makes it stand out from the crowd. It is a place where you want to go to have a nice set of different tastes made out from good ingredients but if you’re looking for an experience that shakes you to the core, like a song you need to listen 10 times before you get even a grip to understand what is going on, Mad&Kaffe would not be the place.

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However, Mad&Kaffe is definitely one of the best places I’ve visited in Copenhagen for a brunch, coffee was also exceptionally good for a place that is more known for their food. It was right there in quality with cafes solely based in terms of coffee. Should I try to get there again and possibly earlier than a year from now? Definitely.

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CPH & Coffee pt.2

It has been a while since my last post about coffee. I thought it would be a good idea to start this year with another post about the cafes in Copenhagen. You can find my earlier post about coffee from Copenhagen in here (and two previous once from Helsinki in here and here)! And as per usual, if there is a place I should definitely visit, let me know. I’m always hunting ‘a damn fine cup of coffee’.

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I love small places with comfy atmosphere combined with a nice menu and good coffee. At the moment, I must say that one of the nicest experiences from Copenhagen in terms of service, atmosphere, and the food was in the Next Door Cafe. I love coziness, service that is welcoming but not too formal, this is exactly a place where you want to go to have that informal, unique kind of experience. You’re treated like a friend and what I loved about the staff was that they didn’t have a certain uniform or look, everyone was who they are and it just added a little spice into the mix. The place is like a good old rock song, it always gets you going, gives the boost you need and afterward you feel a bit younger. I had pancakes, juice, and coffee for a late breakfast. In terms of coffee, it was good a bit too hot for my taste (there is a high chance that steamed milk which is too hot will give a burn taste and diminish actual taste of the bean…) but in this case, it was nice cup of coffee, not perfect but hey, if the playlist includes classics like Video kill the radio star or The Passenger you can’t help but put that 4 star stamp on it.

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I’ve visited in several cafes from The Coffee Collective in Copenhagen. My latest try was in Bernikow shop, it is a nice place with also a cocktail menu. If we get back to music, Nina Simone’s tunes were playing whole time I was visiting, therefore I can only give credit to having one of my favourite singers supplementing my morning coffee. The place itself is a mix of harbour themed paintings, with wood and green from the plants that are placed all over the shop. I’m trying to find the words to describe the place, it somehow reminded me of an old jazz restaurant, with a hint from botanical gardens and spiced up with a bit of modernity. One could call it sophisticated, but by no means it is stubborn. It is a place, where you have life, but not too much noise, you can sit and relax, drink your coffee and enjoy some jazz melodies at the same time. Coffee is one of the best in town and croissant was delicious.

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Comparing these two cafes is like trying to compare Iggy Pop to Edith Piaf, both of them are great but in such a different way, that it comes more to personal preferences rather than actual differences in quality. If you’re looking for a place to have nice food in a relaxed, informal atmosphere you would choose Next Door Cafe, but if you’re looking for an excellent cup of coffee, you would go and get it from The Coffee Collective. Both of them are superb but on their own terms.

Where to get your coffee in Copenhagen?

If you wonder the same question while visiting Helsinki ❤ check my previous posts pt.1 and pt.2 There are few other places that aren’t mention in these posts in Kallio area but Good Life Coffee and Bergga are definitely places to visit in that neighbourhood.

I think I’ve had enough experience of drinking coffee here in Copenhagen, so I decided it is time to give some feedback and suggestions, where here in the land of bikes you should get coffee. Following cafes are not in particular order, I don’t have yet the ‘place’ in here, in Helsinki without hesitation it is Kaffa:

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Coffee Collective

So, my first introduction to Danish coffee was in Coffee Collectives Torvehallerne shop. In general Torvehallerne is a great place to find food and drinks, it also has inside of its big heart one of my favourite sushi places in town; Sushi Lovers. Therefore, if you don’t fancy coffee as much as I do, for a food lover too Torvehallerne is a great place to visit during Copenhagen adventure. Located in the centre of Norreport it is easy to access with public transportation (buses, metro, S-train, long distance trains). Back to business of coffee, Coffee Collective is a feel good coffee.

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What do I mean with this? First of all, they have clearly thought about their brand and baristas actually know what they are doing. Which means that you’re almost guaranteed to have nice cup of coffee. Their intention is to serve you a nice moment with amazing drink but at the same time; they are a roastery and they clearly communicate their mission and values towards origin of their beans and farmers and people behind them. This is one of the reason why I like small roasteries because they often visit the farms to ensure quality of their product and conditions of workers.

What I miss in Coffee Collective, which Kaffa is doing really well is variation of beans and the fact that I’m most of the time offered to try new roasts. But all in all, Coffee Collective is one of the best place for a coffee in here. They have three different locations and I’ve tried them all 😀 Other two are bigger and especially Frederiksberg location is more relaxed and calmer. See map below to find your way into nearest cup of excellent coffee:

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SOCIAL is located by the lakes in Norrebro side just few steps away from Dronning Louises Bro. This is a perfect location to start your day besides good cup of coffee their breakfast is really nice. There are more than one place by the lakes but this is at the moment my favourite. Nice relaxed atmosphere welcomes you when you enter the place. If you’re lucky you might get seat on the outside on a sunny day. I haven’t been too social (pun intended)  while I’ve visited the place but I’ve enjoyed the day with a Kindle in my hand and coffee on the other one. Besides all this, place stores Frankly juices which are worth to try too. And if I get a swan on my latte I’m always happy (see the pic below) 😀 How to get there?

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Forloren Espresso

If you are in the neighbourhood and need of a nice cup of coffee Forloren Espresso is a good choice. It is a small place and at least for me it felt a bit awkward to stay in, but it could have been the day also, I wasn’t feeling too good about myself. Located near Kongens Nytorvn and therefore nearby Nyhavn, Forloren is a great place to take a break from the sightseeing. Similar to Coffee Collective I felt that baristas know what they are doing and they take the time to prepare your coffee in a way it is supposed to be made.

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As a bonus Democratic Coffee next to Copenhagen main library:

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Any place I should definitely visit in Copenhagen for a coffee? I’m always up for a new adventures and a damn fine cup of coffee 😉

The Coffee Collective – Torvehallerne, Copenhagen

There has been a while since my last post, but to be honest past few weeks has been nice but same time a lot to adjust to. Copenhagen seems like a good place to live and today I finally started my search for the best coffee place in here. I just moved into my room near Nørreport station and I started my search quite naturally from surrounding areas. My first pick was not bad at all, I went to Torvehallerne and find my way to The Coffee Collective. Ordered my usual, meaning Latte & Croissant. I wish I could be that Espresso –person who would understand and appreciate all the tastes and richness of serving a coffee in such a pure way but well I’m not 😀  I like the taste of coffee when it blends with milk, that smoothness but same time, depending on the bean the taste varies. Although too many times you receive a bitter latte (there is something hypnotic of that first sip of the morning coffee, bitterness breaks the spell). I was lucky to have the best coffee so far in Denmark this morning, the spell did not broke! I’m more than sure after this experience I will visit also The Coffee Collective’s two other shops here in Copenhagen.

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Only minus I would give for this morning experience would be that the shop is small and because of its location, it is really busy. Therefore if you are looking for a place to spend time and relax I would not suggest this as the first place to go. Interior design was similar to a lot roasteries back in Finland, so really Nordic alike style, with clean lines. White, black and wood mixed in interior choices. Even though it was busy this morning, shop itself felt cosy and familiar, which was a good thing.  Also, they would deliver for a more demanding coffee drinker (I didn’t check the menu but based on the gear that they have there I would say that they can do pretty much everything coffee related). I think Torvehallerne shop will be a must go take away place when spring and summer hits here with full force. In that case the only minus I could come up with (and that is not necessary a minus, it is more related to the location of the shop) would not matter because there are plenty of places near Nørreport to enjoy the day.

And if someone knows coffee places that I should definitely visit here in Copenhagen let me know in the comments!

Coffee & Helsinki pt.2

So, after having my first V60 on Saturday (of course at Kaffa) I think it is a good time to write more about Cafés in Helsinki. Next three is going to be from city center area and not in any particular order once again. First Johan & Nyström Coffee. Located in idyllic Katajanokka with a sea view and warm welcoming atmosphere topped up with nice coffee, not more you can ask for? I think I mentioned earlier, my usually ‘to go’ –drink is Latte which is served in nice glass mugs and there are some little treats you can choose to go with coffee if you feel like it. Menu for all the coffee possibilities is projected into a wall and there are plenty to choose from. Similarly to Kaffa you can buy all the necessary accessories to make your coffee also at home and staff is helpful if you need assistance. But for me, it is the atmosphere in here which comes from the location and interior design that makes me go back for coffee in here. Often if I’m showing Helsinki to someone I take them here. Below picture from last summer showing that awesome view and cafe heart I got last time when I visited the shop. How to get here? Easiest way is to take a tram to Senate Square and walk from there to the shop.

Second place is the newest addition to coffee places I’ve visited in Helsinki called Mad Possum. Due to the years in China I like my coffee hot (usually other beverages too like warm water, tea…even during summer time), nonetheless temperature outside. But after walking for a whole day I stepped out of my routines and tasted iced latte. And yes, it was a good choice. You know those times you have to choose what are you going to have and you slightly want to try something new but end up disappointed? This time there were no disappointment in the air, my latte had excellent taste. Besides the iced latte I heard nice reviews of Espresso that my friends were having. Place is small, by square meters it is most likely one of the smallest places I’ve visited in Helsinki. In this case that is not a problem, it separates Mad Possum from other places and creates certain feeling to the place. Once again staff is more than helpful and if you feel like chatting for a longer or not at all there is a room for both. Located near Senate Square in Vironkatu in Kruunuhaka, easiest way to get there is by taking a tram to Kaisaniemenpuisto (trams 3, 6, 6T or 9) or Kansallisarkisto (trams 1A or 7B). Because place is small and I have some issues photographing in places where I could accidentally harass someone’s chilling I only have picture from the outside.

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And last is La Torrefazione, this is located in da spot. Meaning that it is always busy and it is next to Stockmann (oldest and biggest department store in Helsinki). I would recommend this place, if you are a bit hungry but same time would feel like having a coffee. La Torrefazione serves really nice menu of Ciabattas and cakes if you feel like something sweet (also vegan choices, yay!). I would say compared to other two option this is more like a café in a traditional sense where you would just order and move to eat what you wanted in a table you choose (or in this case you take a table that is free). Therefore it would not give so much choices in terms of if you want to know more about the coffee you’re drinking or you feel like chatting with the barista (I’ve never been in here and not seeing a queue to the counter). But it is located in a really good spot and compared to other chain cafés it serves quality coffee (using Kaffa’s beans see my first post on Coffee and Helsinki) and nice range of other beverages and things to eat. It is easy to walk from Central Railway station or Kamppi to La Torrefazione, but if you feel like taking public transportation take a tram to Alekstanterinkatu (trams 2, 4, 5 or 7B).

 

As a bonus, El Fante which is a coffe&wine bar, therefore anytime you feel like having some wine or coffee El Fante is a good choice. Serving Good Life Coffee (I will introduce Good Life Coffee in third Coffee & Helsinki post from Cafes in Kallio area) and located just couple steps from Senate Square it is a good place to visit while sight seeing Helsinki. Link to the map: https://goo.gl/maps/e7VcqrZY5kv

Coffee & Helsinki pt. 1

So, where to get your coffee in Helsinki? That would be quite hard questions because there are so many good places in here. What I warmly recommend is to leave Starbucks for the airport and dive nicely and smoothly into world of beans and roasters in Helsinki area. These would not be in particular order but first comes my local coffee place which happens to be (lucky me!) Kaffa. Located in the heart of Helsinki, Punavuori (I might be a bit biased with this opinion but let it be) serving everything from, well they have pretty much all possible variations of coffee so name it, they most likely have it. I happen to be a latte girl, so my order is usually pretty simple! Though at some points I do take latte with oat milk, which is an excellent choice also for someone who could not drink dairy products. But why Kaffa then? Well, they have really nice, helpful and professional baristas who make sure that your coffee is made as it is supposed to be made. All of their beans are locally roasted, which means that you are able to choose from couple different blends and therefore have a say in the taste of your coffee. Relaxed atmosphere with possibility to get those cheese croissants (they are just wonderful) and location. Shop is right next to coast, which is lovely during at least summer and autumn time (I might re-phrase this when winter is here…). How to get there? It is relatively easy to go to Kaffa, during weekdays you just take a tram 1A to Telakkakatu stop and you just land there. There is also bus stop Perämiehenkatu for bus n. 14 only a block away from the shop or just a 15min walk from city centre.

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Mood Coffee in Ullanlinna. Similar to Kaffa it is easy to get in to Mood Coffee, 15min walk from centre or tram 10 to Tarkk’ampujankatu and there it is. Okay, so I had a coffee date with my friend on a sunny summer day, we walked in and I went to the counter and said ‘one latte’ (bear in mind this is considered normal in Finland… no rudeness or anything) to my surprise barista asks ‘Hey, how are you doing?’ ‘I’m like, hmmm … one latte’ I get answer back ‘let’s try again, how are you doing?’ I got into Finnish denial of do I have to answer?! Most likely looking like well shocked. After moments of (for me it felt like minutes most likely it was couple seconds) digesting this question, I got an idea to actually answer and well I was good, sun shining camera on my other hand and good friend in other. There are not much more you can ask for (well coffee!!). When it comes to speaking Finnish I just work such a different way than when speaking English and such a normal question in English makes me freeze in Finnish. But back to Coffee, I’m really disappointed if I don’t have that picture on top of my latte. But as my good friend said once when I was more than disappointed of look of the coffee that this picture here is modern art. And I was like, I’ll try to appreciate it! When it comes to my Latte in Mood… well I got a SWAN! So, besides the fact that I really liked the coffee itself, I must say that this is still one of my favourite pictures of those I have had in my coffees. Atmosphere in Mood is Scandinavian, interior design is really industrial with clear and graphic lines. It is nice place to stop by but if you’re looking for a place to ‘hang out’ or this certain type of cosiness this would not be the first choice. There are more ‘you just entered into a living room’ –places in Helsinki. But it is a bit of a change compared to other places around the area. And yes, below picture of the Swan (singing Swan Lake in her head’).

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Well, I first thought I would make all of these into one post but I really can’t make it without writing a novel. Therefore, I came to conclusion to separate the posts by area. Third but not least is Kokko. Located also in Punavuori, but closer to the center. Place is only 5-10 min walk from Kamppi. Kokko serves a really good raw and vegan cakes, like they’re super good. I will warmly recommend the place even when you would be skeptical of words ‘raw and vegan’, it is definitely worth it. Besides that there is nice coffee, like in all of the places Kokko has nice, professional staff spiced up with great design. Here design is opposite to Mood. They have different looking chairs and tables mixed with traditional rag rugs on floor. Really nice, small place to meet with a friend or work a bit while enjoying some coffee and cake.

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Because I happen to live in Punavuori area, there are more than these three I would like to recommend, so here are also additional tips for places to try:

Brooklyn Coffee, best bagels in town and really good muffins! Located in Viiskulma you can get here by Tram 3 or with buses 14 and 18. Link to the map: https://goo.gl/maps/hKtcXap2Dh12

Cafe Kuppi & Muffini similar to Kokko, but serving cupcakes and sandwiches. Located near Kamppi. Similar cosiness than in Kokko. Link to the map: https://goo.gl/maps/ipW68uFqTf32

Il Birrifico well…. not exactly a coffee place but if you’re in a situation where one person of the group is hungry, another one wants coffee and then there is someone who would like to have a beer. You could not go wrong by choosing to enter Il Birrifico at that point. One of my favourite places in Helsinki, you should add this into a list of ‘where to eat in Helsinki’ also. Located in Fredrikinkatu, tram 3 to Iso Robertinkatu and a 2 minute walk. Link to the map: https://goo.gl/maps/v2cWJrBr5CE2