Helsinki Café Guide
Helsinki’s speciality coffee scene has developed a lot during recent years and it has caught up Stockholm’s and Copenhagen’s vibrant coffee cultures. This Helsinki Café guide will help you to find good extractions in the capital of Finland. Note that this guide is focusing mainly on coffee :)
El Fant - ”The prettiest”
- Katariinankatu 3, 00101 Helsinki
El Fant is one of the newest cafés to serve speciality coffee in Helsinki and it is located right next to Senate Square and Helsinki Cathedral. They have created a beautiful place to sit down to one of the oldest buildings in Helsinki. The minimalistic take on interior is something really Nordic and treat for the eye.
They serve coffees roasted by Good Life Coffee and they have always sweet and salty treats to go with coffee. They also offer lunch which is quite often based on vegetable or even vegan ingredients.
Andante - ”The most instagrammable”
- Fredrikinkatu 20, 01200 Helsinki
Andante is a café to go if you want excellent coffee and beautiful pictures. They serve coffees from different roasteries around the world (La Cabra Coffee Roasters, Five Elephant Coffee Roastery, The Barn Coffee Roasters, Koppi Fine Coffee Roasters to name a few) and their extractions are always spot on. To go with the coffee they have also raw cakes and other delicious treats. I’ve named Andante the most instagrammable café in Helsinki not only due its beautiful interior but also because you will always have your latte with stunning latte art.
Andante is located in Punavuori which is full of small shops. If you are coming from the downtown Helsinki, take the tram 3 which will bring you the doorstep of Andante. They have something like ten tables so it might be crowded sometimes.
Good Life Coffee - “The best service”
- Kolmas Linja 17, 00530 Helsinki
Going for a cup to Good Life Coffee is like going to your parents place. You will feel welcomed every time and on a plus side your cup of Joe will most probably taste better than in your parent’s place. This café has it’s own roastery and their selection of coffees change from time to time. That doesn’t change the fact that Good Life Coffee’s cups are always bang on.
“In all honesty, excellent coffee comes down to some nerdy shit. We won’t bother you with the chemistry, but rather just put it in a cup and serve it.” Can you say it better?
Good Life Coffee café is located in Kallio which is the hip neighbourhood of Helsinki. They have only few tables but you will most likely get a seat if you’re willing to wait few minutes.
If you want to read more about Good Life Coffee, check out our article “Coffee Specialist as a lifestyle”.
Kaffa Roastery - ”Largest selection of coffees & methods”
- Pursimiehenkatu 29, 00150 Helsinki
Kaffa Roastery has been roasting in Helsinki’s neighbourhood Punavuori, since 2009 and they serve their awesome coffee at their roastery’s coffee bar. Espresso, v60, Aeropress, Siphon etc. you name a coffee brewing method, they will probably have it. The roastery has glass doors so you will be able to follow the roasting while enjoying your cup. They have concentrated quite strongly on coffee but they also have some small sweet and salty things to offer. Lately they have also been planning to concentrate mixing coffee and coctails but I think we will hear more about that later.
Kaffa Roastery is located in Punavuori in an old factory building. You can take tram 1 from downtown Helsinki which will stop right in front of Kaffa Roastery café.
Johan & Nyström - ”The best interior / the coziest”
- Kanavaranta 7, 00160 Helsinki
Johan & Nyström café is also located in an old factory building with high ceilings and red brick walls right next to Senate Square in a Helsinki’s neighbourhood called Katajannokka. If you’re a fan of red brick buildings like I am, you will most probably like (or even love!) Johan & Nyström. Especially the second level sofas are perfect place enjoy your cup and relax. For larger groups such as work meeting this café offers a larger table where you can have your meeting, accompanied with excellent coffee of course.
They use their own beans from different origins that are roasted in Sweden and usually they’ll have three filter coffee options and two espressos. Methodwise they’ve got you covered as for filter coffee you can choose either v60, Aeropress, Chemex or batch brew.
Kahvila Sävy - ”The roughest, in a good way”
- Aleksis Kiven katu 12, 00500 Helsinki
Kahvila Sävy is located in Helsinki’s Kallio neighbourhood and like its surroundings, it’s charmingly ruff. There are random tables and chairs paired with ceiling and floor which have seen some years. Don’t be mistaken that the service would be anything like the interior. The guys and girls in this café are always welcoming and casual service is here the thing. It’s often quite quiet in Sävy because many people come there with their laptops to work so it’s the perfect spot to have time for yourself and think about happy thoughts.
Kahvila Sävy is serving Good Life Coffee’s beans in regular basis and every once in a while they have some visiting roasteries on the shelf such as Square Mile Coffee Roasters, Heart Coffee Roasters and Five Elephant Coffee Roastery. My coffee experiences have always been extremely pleasant and many experiences I do have as I live right next door. If you become a regular as I am, be sure to get their stamp card because it’s stamped with an old train ticket stamper. How cool!
Fun fact: Kahvila Sävy is often referred as home of champions as in 2017 Finnish Cup Tasting and Brewers Cup champions both work there.
Cafetoria Roastery - "Empanadas!"
- Runeberginkatu 31, 00100 Helsinki
Töölö, the neighbourhood of Cafetoria Roastery, has somehow been lacking speciality coffee cafés. It’s a good thing that Cafetoria Roastery is there to serve the coffee graving citizens. They also sell all kind of gadgets related to coffee and of course their own roastery’s products. I enjoyed their espresso of the day which was in the darker end of roasts. It had strong body and tones of chocolate and some honey-like sweetness which would have worked perfectly as a cappuccino. But not bad as an espresso either.
They are also serving some little sweets and as a nice surprise, empanadas. I guess that is because their owners and employees are partly from Latin America. They are roasting their coffee in Lohja, which is 50km northwest from Helsinki so it might be a little stretch to visit them there. Good thing that they are in Töölö and recently they opened also a second café right next to Kamppi shopping center which I’m still to visit.
La Torrefazione/Fratello Torrefazione - ”The best visiting espressos”
- Aleksanterinkatu 50, 00100 Helsinki
- Kauppakeskus Kamppi, 7th floor, 00100 Helsinki
- Yliopistonkatu 6, 00100 Helsinki
La Torrefazione is the first quality based café that has started to get more places around Finland. In Helsinki they have two La Torrefazione’s cafés and one little brother called Fratello Torrefazione. La Torrefaziones offer of course quality coffees but also they have breakfast, lunch and brunch on weekends. I’ve had lunch at Fratello Torrefazione few times and it is yet to disappoint me.
Coffee wise they have of course espresso based drinks where you can either choose their basic espresso roasted by Kaffa Roastery or then you can have their visiting espresso which is usually something special from some Nordic roastery. As a special thing they offer filter coffee brewed with siphon which is really geeky and funny looking method to brew coffee.
Paulig Kulma - "The most versatile"
- Aleksanterinkatu 9, 00100 Helsinki
Café, roastery and barista institute in the heart of Helsinki. Cuppings, lectures, DJ’s and so on. There is a lot happening in Paulig Kulma. I don’t want to talk about my own place that much but I urge you to see it for yourself. Our roaster Tomi roasts coffee almost every day in the first floor and you’re always more than welcome to chat with him about coffee or life itself. We have always at least four seasonal single estate coffees to offer. Not to forget raw cakes and smoothies prepared by PureHero which are absolutely amazing (and most of them vegan!). Also there is lunch salad buffet every day and on Sundays we offer brunch.
Not to forget the best barista trainers in the second floor. ;)
Artisan Café -”The best conversations about coffee”
- Vuorikatu 8, 00100 Helsinki
Every time that I walk in to Artisan Café, I’m most likely to have 15-20 minute conversation about coffee with the barista on the shift that day. The real passion on coffee really shows here and on the day that writing this, the barista had to make six espressos to get the extraction right. It isn’t because he doesn’t know what he’s doing but he resisted to serve me “an okay tasting espresso”. I love that kind of passion and willingness to serve your customers the best way you can.
Artisan Café is also one of the welcommed newcommers in the Helsinki café scene and it is located right next to University of Helsinki in the heart of Helsinki. They are serving mouth-watering coffees roasted by Tim Wendelboe, Coffee Collective and some of their own roasts. Artisan Café is one of the only (or even only?) café in Helsinki that serves and sells Geisha variety. On the day that I visited them they had their own roast of Ethiopia Chelelektu in the espresso grinder and in the cup it tasted very balanced and sweet.
Maja Coffee Roastery - ”The most minimalistic”
- Lehtisaarentie 1, 00340 Helsinki
Maja Coffee Roastery is the most baffling café in Helsinki for me. Located in totally random neighbourhood of Lehtisaari in the outskirts of Helsinki, lies this Japanese and Nordic design influenced beauty. How can something so trendy be in such location? Don’t get me wrong, it is totally positive sign that the suburbans also get their places to get good coffee.
As their design, their selection is also quite minimalistic as they don’t have an espresso machine. They brew their coffees with Kono pour overs and Maja might be the only place in Finland to use that pour over method. If you’re a caffe latte enthusiast, as my girlfriend, try their café au lait which got strong recommendations from her. As the name states, Maja is a coffee roastery and their roasting machine is right next to their counter so if you’re lucky, you might be able to follow roasting while sipping your cup.
Kahvi Charlotta - ”Cozy like your own livingroom”
- Runeberginkatu 5b, 00100 Helsinki
- Korkeavuorenkatu 47, 00130 Helsinki
Kahvi Charlotta has two cafés in Helsinki, both located quite centrally. Both of them are filled with coffee related decor elements such as painting, coffee sacks and so on. They feel like a place where it is easy to go to and be like in your own living room. Bonus points from the stories from their trip to coffee origin countries which are interesting to read while sipping your cup. They serve their own coffees, though I’m not sure if have their own roastery. Nevertheless, single origins and blends have tasted delicious when I’ve visited them. You can really see that they care about the coffee farmers as their walls are full of stories and facts about the origin countries.
Kaffecentralen - ”The best place to buy coffee equipment to home”
- Fredrikinkatu 59, 00100 Helsinki
- Korkeavuorenkatu 25, 00130 Helsinki
Wanna buy a home espresso machine? Kaffecentralen is then your place to visit in Helsinki. They have the best selection of home espresso machines, grinders, other brewing equipment, coffees from different roasteries and wide selection of teas as well. They also offer espresso based drinks and filter coffee at their cafés which are brewed usually from a bit darker, Italian style roasts. Big thumbs up for their espresso prices as doppio costs something around 2 euros at their places.
Kaffecentralen has always a special place in my heart because back in the days it was one of the first places where I tasted espresso that didn’t taste bitter and shallow.
They have also their own microroastery called ROST & Co which won The Best Filter Coffee award in Helsinki Coffee Festival last year, so some quality stuff coming from them. I’m not sure if you’re able to visit their roastery in Lauttasaari but it never hurts to ask. J
Helsinki Café Guide