Coffee Culture: Stockholm

We returned from Stockholm on Saturday, after several days spent enjoying the city. The weather was cooler than it has been here, but we were just glad we didn’t have to deal with rain until we started driving home.
As is standard for any trip for Zack and me, we had to check out a few coffee shops around town. Have you ever heard the Swedish word fika? It’s brilliant – it’s basically a coffee break, and often includes something sweet as well. It can be used as a noun, a verb, and more – Wikipedia says fika is a Swedish social institution. I love it!
We were staying on Södermalm (thanks to friends who offered their apartment while they were out of town!), an island district in central Stockholm. Södermalm is a trendy bohemian-type community – much cooler than we are – and a great place for people watching, shopping, and finding an excellent cup of coffee.
We got recommendations from friends in the area on what they had either heard or personally considered to be the best shops. A few Google searches confirmed what they shared, letting us know we needed to make a trip to two places in particular, both on Södermalm.

Up first was Drop Coffee. Simplistic and unassuming, I would likely have overlooked it had it not been for the tip. Aside from the fact that there are a number of places to sit in the cafe, it really reminded me of Tim Wendelboe in Oslo (good luck finding a seat at Tim’s!). I ordered an Ethiopian roast, while Zack went with the barista’s suggestion and tried the Kenyan. Both were great – a very light-colored beverage, akin to Wendelboe coffee’s tea-like appearance. But we agreed that the Kenyan was definitely best.

Unfortunately, only one photo from Drop Coffee – the boys were with us 🙂
Next up was Johan & Nyström Konceptbutik. This time, we had a bit of time to ourselves (the boys were with friends), so we were able to relax a bit more. J&N definitely has more to offer in the way of atmosphere. At first glance it doesn’t look very large. But once inside, you’ll find additional seating just past the register, as well as in the upstairs loft area. The baristas were knowledgeable and friendly, and as is the norm for us, we ordered two different roasts, both prepared as a pour-over. This time around, I went with Picknick, and Zack tried the coffee from Nicaragua. And once again, Zack won. Both were nice, but the Nicaraguan was far superior.
We tried a couple of other places as well, including Espresso Bar which has locations throughout the city. Zack said it was the best espresso he’s ever had.
All in all, we were very impressed with the coffee options in Stockholm. While the winner for ambiance goes to J&N, the coffee is what  really matters. And though it was a narrow margin, we both liked Drop the best.

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