Category Archives: Coffee Tour / Kaffetur

Come along with us and check out a variety of coffee shops in Europe and North America

Kaffetur 1 / Coffee Tour #1: Ministerstwo Kawy / Warsaw

While every morning deserves a little coffee to get things started, I think Mondays typically require even more!

So what better day than Monday to share some of the coffee
shops we’ve visited in recent years…

On our first edition of Kaffetur, I’m highlighting Ministerstwo Kawy (the ministry of coffee) in Warsaw, Poland. (Website here)

When we visited Poland we discovered a number of noteworthy coffee shops. This particular cafe offered excellent hand brews, and delicious baked goods as well.

William has promised to build one of these for us!

The decor was simple and modern, with a bit of a Scandinavian feel to it.

Both of the ladies working behind the counter at Ministerstwo seemed to be quite knowledgeable about coffee – and spoke excellent English as well.

Did I mention that they sell amazing sweets? Zack and I enjoyed sharing a slice of this unusual yet delicious cake.

We ordered a Chemex with a very freshly-roasted African coffee.

The coffee was delicious – some of the best we had on this particular trip.

The location is close to a large roundabout, and a short walk to a Metro station. We highly recommend Ministerstwo in Warsaw!

 

Kaffetur / Coffee Tour: a new series

I’m working on a new series, highlighting one of our favorite things: coffee.Okay, actually two of our favorite things: coffee and cool coffee shops/cafés.

I’ll highlight some great – and maybe even a few not-as-great – spots that we’ve visited in various countries over the past few years.

And since he is even more into coffee than I am, hopefully I can get Zack to share a bit from time to time as well.

Stay tuned – coming soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Confessions of a Coffee Addict

We love coffee. We enjoy trying different roasts and checking out different ways of preparing. Zack loves all the gadgets and experimenting with various brewing methods.

A cute wall quote we picked up
at a local shop this week
(‘Life is too short for bad coffee’)

We live in what I consider a coffee culture. Coffee is good here. Like, really good. It’s strong. Flavorful. And in abundance. Coffee and conversation: it’s a big part of our lives here. Coffee is something we like to enjoy together, and something we share with others often.

So when our anniversary was approaching, we decided we’d really like to buy a new coffee machine (aka coffee maker, kaffetrakter) as our gift to each other. For the past 14 months we’ve been using the one that was left in our apartment. It was probably the cheapest model on the market and most of the time the coffee tasted scorched. We often use our french press, espresso pot, pour over, or aeropress when we have extra time and just want a cup or two. But we really like to have a machine for the mornings, so we can make a full pot.

We started doing some research and discovered MoccaMaster. They are handmade in the Netherlands and are reported to be the best. However, while they are super nice, the price wasn’t exactly in our budget. But thanks to an unexpected gift card from our power company, we were able to get the machine we really wanted for a REALLY good price!

I didn’t think it would make that big of a difference, but this machine rocks. A complete brew in six minutes, two heat settings for the burner so the coffee in the pot doesn’t get too hot, and the water is kept at optimal temperature throughout the brewing process. I love our new toy, and look forward to many happy years with it!

Paris: Coffee

We’ll start with something Zack and I always love to try in new places. That ever important drink: coffee.

We both enjoy good coffee. I wouldn’t call us coffee snobs. But we are a bit particular and have our opinions! We prefer a quality cup of black coffee, not altered by sugar, cream or anything else.
So what is the verdict on our French coffee experience? I’ll put it this way: more often than not, we ordered a cafe au lait or latte. It wasn’t the strength that bothered us, because we like STRONG coffee. We just weren’t overly impressed with any of it.
I think our favorite cup came from Paul on Champs Elysees. Paul is a chain of shops that is supposedly a favorite of the locals. We liked their cafe au lait, and their pastries were delicious! The boys really liked the pastry filled with chocolate and cream.