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Industry

November 9, 2011

Stockholm – The Swedish Coffee Experience

Café Culture lost their graphic designer Louise Turner to the travelling bug earlier this year. We know she misses us and the coffee … so much so, that she has reported in on her super Swedish coffee experience in Stockholm.

After travelling for 8 weeks straight around Europe and seeing a touch of London, I have finally found one café worthy of attention and gratification. Before leaving Australia, I had not done my coffee research well, so I knew I would probably find it difficult to locate a decent cup of coffee in Europe. I took for granted how accessible it was to me at home and how pleasurable that had been. I was now off on an adventure and keen to explore and see what would come of it. In Europe I scoured coffee blogs and asked locals everywhere I went: in Barcelona, all over France, Amsterdam and Switzerland, but my search has proven difficult.

Today however, I experienced a moment of true heaven again in Stockholm, Sweden’s trendy capital, with REAL cafés that know what a latte is and serving the most delicious tarts, cakes, pastries and open sandwiches. Being a lover of caffeine, café number three of the day deserves my total blessing. ‘Espressino’, situated in Soldermalm, (Fans of the popular thriller trilogy, which began with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, will recognise the name as the home of fictional crime-fighting journalist Mikael Blomkvist). The café captured my eye on a coffee blog, stating it as the best café in the city. With a huge window looking out onto the busy pedestrian laneway full of wickedly cool, small art galleries, designer shops and fantastic clothing stores to make anyone blow the limit on their credit card, this cosy café certainly had the goods. A 5 group La Marzocco machine that really made me miss making coffee for the past two months of my travels and a cabinet full of delicious lemon tarts, cinnamon pastries and huge open sandwiches – I knew I had hit the jackpot.

I ordered a piccolo latte from the barista, who happened to be a fellow Aussie who had been living in Stockholm for the past 3 and a half months – originating from Melbourne. He told me that ordering an ‘espressino’ is the Swedish version of a piccolo and asked if I wanted a single or double shot. In desperate need of a great caffeine hit, of course I opted for the double. As the portafilter was dosed and the milk steamed, my mouth was watering. Upon chatting with Craig – the Aussie barista, he was telling me about their house blend of coffee, which I had just devoured – the Passagen blend from the roaster ‘De Matteo’, with beans from Brazil (Daterra Monte Christo), India (Baba Budan Girl) and Ethiopian (Liniu). This Swedish roasting company is from Gothenburg, the 2nd largest city in Sweden. To check out their coffee, visit shop.cafeett.com/en/grp/da-matteo-torrefazione.php

I have to congratulate them on producing a fantastic blend. Now, I am no expert on coffee profiles and neither do I proclaim to have the perfect palate that has been trained for years, but this I know – this was a great tasting coffee. I ordered an espresso, unable to resist another strong hit of caffeine. It was light, sweet and aromatic with no heavy bitterness at the end – just the perfect buzz of espresso.

I certainly suggest this café when in Stockholm, and to even make a special trip here. This city is alive and buzzing with energy, quirky shops, endless cafés and beautiful waterways (of which you cross many, as the whole country is made up of over 140 islands and Stockholm itself of 14). This is definitely one of my favourite places of all I have visited so far. I am seriously considering moving here to absorb more of this great place.

This blend of coffee is now their house blend, as it was so popular when they featured it instore.

The brand does do single origins. In the café they feature other brands and blends in their second hopper. It was a great café with a great vibe, both inside and out.

Aus and NZ have been influences lately in the more Bohemian centres (in Europe), and the roasters and cafés are catching onto the café culture of Australia.

Australia is really leading the way with coffee and latte art etc. It is expected that your coffee will come with silky milk and a nice pattern, and in Europe it is only very recent to find places that are starting to do this.

Since writing this article, I have now travelled to Copenhagen in Denmark, and they are even more café cultured than Sweden. I visited ‘Laundromat Café’ and ‘Coffee and Vinyl’ – this had the best coffee I could find in Copenhagen. Very cool cafés – great atmosphere, fantastic food at Laundromat. The prices of coffee in Copenhagen average at around $5 – apparently named the most expensive city for coffee in the world – a small sacrifice, if you ask me, for the the most intriguing places. I am seriously going to look into moving and working here after my UK visa runs out. I love it so much; it’s fantastic!

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