BLOG //
Karin Stenbäck //
Helsinki
// 3.10.2017

Copenhagen is the Food and Drink Capital of Scandinavia

Scandinavia is well known for its massive coffee consumption culture. We Finns have always been number one in the world, around 10kg of roasted coffee drunk per person per year, but Norwegians, Swedes and Danes are quite close behind with 6-8kg per person per year. Also our Scandinavian food culture is expanding to all around the world and Denmark especially is leading the way.

When I decided to have my summer vacation in August this year, I started to think about places abroad where I could have a short trip to, and Copenhagen was basically screaming my name when I saw flights for 88 euros. A vacation to me means travelling somewhere. Since a young age, I’ve always been travelling with my family. Nowadays I think it runs in my blood; the urge to see new places, learn about new cultures and most of all, experience new things. Food and drinks have always been a big part of my travel agenda. I even choose my favourite places in the world according to how good food they have. This time coffee was in for a big part too, because I wanted to get inspiration for my big dream: opening my own café in the future.

I’ve been to Denmark once with my family when I was a kid, but that time I was way more interested in Legoland and ice cream than in cool cafés and coffee. Few of my friends have visited Copenhagen in the recent years and they all have nothing but good things to say about it. So I naturally had quite high expectations about it. And oh boy were my expectations met and even exceeded. Copenhagen is heaven on earth when it comes to café culture and coffee lifestyle! If I could move there and work with coffee, I would do it in a heartbeat.

decor at Coffee Collective

Scandinavian coffee culture

The coffee culture in Scandinavia is quite different than anywhere else in the world. First of all, we’ve always been drinking filter coffee and not until recent years the espresso based drinks have found their way into our cafés and homes too. We are used to brew large quantities of very light roasted coffee. I'd like to think we’ve been ahead of the trends, since it’s super trendy around the world at the moment to shift from dark roasts to lighter roasts. So way to go Scandinavia!

Coffee breaks during working hours are written in the law. Yes, you read it right. In the Finnish law it is stated that everyone is entitled to have a coffee break during a work day. In the best scenario it creates productivity and builds up team spirit, so it’s not just because we love coffee more than life. During a coffee break you can meet up with your colleagues, ease your possible stress and relax.

Coffee is part of Scandinavian life from birth to death. In every possible occasion we serve and drink coffee: when it’s someone’s birthday, christening, confirmation, first date, meeting your spouse’s parents for the first time, engagement party, wedding or funeral. Or as simple as meeting up with your friend or getting invited to someone’s home. I think every single adult in Scandinavia has used the phrase “Wanna grab a coffee?” or “Let’s have coffee” more than once in their lives. It’s just part of who we are, so be prepared if you ever enter the Scandinavian borders. We cannot understand if someone says they don’t drink or like coffee. ;)

Cafes in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is full of excellent coffee and cute, personal and unique cafés. The city itself and the people living there are so beautiful that it makes you jealous. Everything looks so pretty and perfect. I guess in that kind of environment it’s easy to be creative and innovative when it comes to café culture. Here’s a few cafés I visited during my short vacation:

Coffee Collective

coffee in the park

One of the most famous roasteries in Denmark. They have 4 cafés in Copenhagen and in one of them (Godthåbsvej) they have their roastery as well. Their coffee is light roasted and you can find the Direct Trade logo on almost all their coffee bags. Also, every first Friday of the month the roastery invites you to participate in a free guided tour and cupping. Definitely worth keeping in mind! They are mainly focusing on excellent coffee, so don’t expect to get a massive breakfast if you visit them.

Visit their website coffeecollective.dk

Democratic Coffee Bar

take away coffee from Democratic Coffee

When I think of a hipster café, Democratic Coffee Bar is the paragon of that. It is situated inside a library, and the décor is plain and clean. You’ll find people of all ages sitting by the window sipping their coffee and watching the world go by. Customers seemed to be super precise with their orders, and the barista behind the counter absolutely knew what he was doing, so it’s easy to say that good coffee is guaranteed over there. The place is also known for its delicious croissants, from plain to almond and pain au chocolat. Very easy access in the middle of your shopping mania due to its location near the main shopping street in the city center.

You can also bring your order to the library side where you’ll find more seating and all the hipsters working with their computer. The café sells different coffee equipment and books as well.

Visit their  Facebook-page www.facebook.com/Democratic-Coffee

 Stefanos Mad & Kaffe

breakfast plates at Stefanos

If you’re after an awesome breakfast/brunch place, go no further than Stefanos Mad og Kaffe in Nørrebro area. Even though they have a huge terrace outside, prepare yourself to be waiting for a table during weekend mornings. It’s a very popular place especially among young people and very lively. But don’t worry, the Nørrebro area is really nice so why not stroll around the nearby streets while waiting? Even though the café is famous for its food, the coffee is very good too. Though here I would go for espresso based coffees saving the mouthwatering filter coffee experiences for Coffee Collective.

Nothing is better than sitting out on the street when the morning sun is shining, sipping your warm cappuccino, falling in love with the fresh squeezed juice and having a massive breakfast plate in front of you. What more can you ask for?

Visit their Facebook-page www.facebook.com/stefanoscoffee

4. Mirabelle

Mirabelle, cute café in Copenhagen

Mirabelle is a bakery/café/restaurant and in one word just pretty. I went there for breakfast on a sunny morning, and the place looked amazing with the window-wall fully open and the seating spreading outside in a small terrace. That to be said, I’m 100% sure the place is super cozy and warm during autumn and winter too so don’t hesitate to visit if you’re around on those colder times of the year. They make their own delicious sourdough bread and sweet pastry every single day at the bakery which is situated inside the café. If you’re visiting during lunch or dinner time, try their fresh made pasta!

They also have a convenient window for take away shopping. From there it’s easy to get your take away coffee or bread without having to lock your bicycle and coming inside the café. Clever and fast addition to the customer service.

Visit their website mirabelle-bakery.dk/en

There are so many beautiful places in Copenhagen that it would take weeks to visit all of them, so this is just a tiny glimpse of the selection. All these places mentioned above are definitely worth visiting if you like excellent coffee, tasty food and cool environment. Travelling is the best thing you can do with money… and buying good coffee, of course.