During my recent trip to Stockholm I took the opportunity to check out Stockholm´s coffee scene along the way. Wherever I go, I am always on the hunt for the best coffee, so I might as well just share it with you and help you navigate to get the best caffeine fix.
This is my first installment of "Coffee Vibes" and I picked 3 spots I loved and I am sure every Coffee connoisseur will too!
During my research there were a few places that always popped up and caught my attention - Drop Coffee and Johan & Nyström, with shops in Södermalm and also Cafe Pascal, with a shop in Södermalm too. But I decided to check out the one in Vasastan to get the chance to see another part of the city. Also, I needed a few minutes between the coffees to get the caffeine level back to normal.
During my visits at the 3 Cafés I had the chance to talk to Rikke, the manager of Drop Coffee, Tom - the store leader of Johan & Nyström and Viktor, the head barista of Cafe Pascal. I really appreciated their time and the genuine insight they gave me into their craft, as well as Stockholms up and coming coffee scene!
So here it goes:
Right off the bat, let me tell you, I am not a big Espresso person. But my experience at Drop Coffee not only changed that, they also served me the best Espresso I have ever had. No joke.
Located around 5 minutes away from the viewing point of Monteliusvägen, the 2009 founded Café is situated in the heart of Södermalm with a roastery a little outside of the city center.
The first thing that came to my attention once I entered was the smile on everyones faces working there. There was a genuine positive attitude about that place, which really made me feel welcomed and comfortable. Rikke came right around the counter to spent some time and talk to me about the Café and what Drop Coffee is about.
We tried the Mugaya AA from Kenya, a store favorite, and I tasted why. It is all that I look for in a coffe with a taste of gooseberry and blackcurrant. Then we had the Espresso I already talked about. And it was no coincidence, that Drop Coffee had this particular Espresso on roast today, because it was the birthday of Daisy herself, the farmer who grows the "Doña Daisy - Gesha" in Costa Rica. They also dedicated their instastory to her that day.
It was magical and easily the best Espresso I ever had in my life. My Stockholm trip has already been made.
And from there on I saw the connection they have to all their farmers and the fact, they visit all of them every once in a while. Talking about sustainability. Kudos!
They display a little Exhibition of photos on the wall from their visits to the various coffee plantations and you can also see Youtube videos from their visits, like this one, when they talked to Daisy. And besides the incredible job they do roasting, you can see a bunch of beautiful merch they put out, like this bag I was glad to be gifted.
I have nothing but love for Drop Coffee and I am glad to be fully stocked with some of their finest beans for this christmas time!
Thank you Rikke, good luck in the barista championship and shoutout to your wonderful staff!
Just around the corner from Drop lies the original store of Johan & Nyström founded in 2004. By now there are multiple stores around Stockholm and Sweden and they are very big on specialty coffee. Roasting themselves and becoming an institution of good coffee along the way!
They also rely on direct trade with the farmers, while visiting as often as possible.
Once I entered, I was already expected by Tom Wellander, the store leader, who was well prepared and enthusiastic to present me their limited edition Christmas coffee from Nicaragua (the bean orginating from Kenya though) by Luis Alberto Balladerez.
But he did not simply plan to prepare me a pour over. Tom took me on a tour on how to create the perfect coffee experience and get everything out of the bean to experience every flavor it has to offer.
He took a very scientific approach, which really amazed me. From getting the right temperature to measuring the exact extraction with an refractometer.
It was a very teaching experience for me and I am more than thankful to Tom, for taking so much time out of his busy day to teach me and talk to me about coffee culture in Stockholm.
The café itself was very busy and I loved the high ceiling, still offering a cozy atmosphere. A fun fact, Tom shared with me, was the 1 kg roasting machine, which was sitting in the corner, waiting to be repaired and put back in action. It used to work and he has been trying to fix it, so they can start to offer small roasting sessions. I hope I make it back to Stockholm soon, to join one of them!
I had time (and caffeine capacity) for one more coffee stop, and both previous Café´s told me to visit Café Pascal with their very friendly staffers. They were not wrong!
By the time I arrived it was raining, dark, cold and windy. Maybe that played a part why I found the Café to be extremely cozy and warm. But it was probably also because of the brick walls, the luminous lights and the chilled out atmosphere. Even though the place was packed, it did not seem that way for a second. Just like the other two, they put a major focus on high quality, specialty coffee. Yet, they do not roast themselves, but are always on the lookout to have 3-4 different types of coffees on their shelves and rotate on a regular basis.
I tried a Simons (who is actually one of the foundin brothers) cofffee "La Guamera" out of colombia. Was not disappointed again!
Then I had the chance to talk to Viktor, one of their baristas. Very passionate about his craft, he also told me how important it is to him, to put specialty coffee on the map and how he is always open to educate his customers about the coffee they are about to experience. I found this to be a beautiful approach towards customers and others, who might not have the same knowledge or expertise as a barista but are sometimes to afraid to possibly receive and eye-roll. Viktor is a pro-barista and coffee educator and I was happy he shared his views with me!
There is really something brewing up in Stockholm and one sentiment all of them shared with me is, that the coffee community and the appreciation for specialty coffee is growing by the day and has emerged over the last decade.
Concluding I can tell you one thing - you will get amazing coffee in Stockholm! And not only that, it will be served by warm, open minded and expert-baristas! One thing all of them shared, was the passion in their eyes, when talking about their craft, their passion. They absolutely love what they are doing and you were able to taste it in the perfect cup of coffee they prepare. But you could also see it, in how every one of the 3 shops I visited was full with people.
To get an impression, check this out: