If you couldn’t tell from my Copenhagen trip post, I’m a little bit obsessed with the Danish city. Not only is it completely gorgeous with fantastic museums and good food, the coffee there is top-notch. When planning a trip to most cities, it behoves you to look for some café addresses before you go to ensure that you won’t be served a cup of aromatic soot. With Copenhagen, however, you’ll find a decent cup almost anywhere.
I didn’t take my own advice and sank quite a few hours searching for brilliant coffee in Copey (as my mother has taken to calling the city). Everyone pointed me in the direction of The Coffee Collective. After that, however, the must-visits seemed to be up for grabs. So I grabbed a few of my own.
The first thing I did in Copenhagen, after finding my mother in the hotel, was go out to get coffee. We found Estate Coffee on our way to somewhere else and, hungry for caffeine, stopped in for a cortado, a cappuccino and some bread with a slice of Danish cheese. Both drinks came with squares of valrhona chocolate on the side; always a welcome touch. My cortado was good, nothing to knock you over the head, but solid. My mother liked her cappuccino, but did complain about not being able to taste the coffee enough. For just stumbling onto the café, we agreed that it was a good omen for even better coffee to come once we searched it out.
On Saturday morning we went to Democratic Coffee, near Copenhagen University. We “split” a cortado and a pour-over. While the pour-over was very good, the cortado definitely stole the show. There was the perfect balance between rich, berry-like coffee and sweet, creamy milk. The pour-over was similarly berry-like and sweet. My mother added a bit of milk, which even I have to admit was nice with this coffee. We both loved sitting in the window, watching the people of Copenhagen go about their Saturday routine.
There was no way I could spend our afternoon trip in Malmö without trying some Swedish coffee. We walked across the small city to a gorgeous, bustling café, Solde, and got a cortado and cappuccino from an extremely Swedish-looking barista. These coffees were some of the best ones that I’ve ever had. Perhaps it was the gorgeous Swedish afternoon, the cool but not crafted interior or just really great coffee, but I loved that cup. It was definitely a lighter, brighter coffee than you find in most American cafes and wasn’t muddled by the milk. We also got a lemon/vanilla croissant to split. My mother loved it, while I preferred the crispy ends to the creamy filling.
The first stop on my birthday tour, after brunch at Lyst, was The Coffee Collective. Although we enjoyed sitting outside while drinking our coffee, the café itself has got to be one of the coolest that I’ve ever seen. There was no distinction between bar/behind the bar/seating area. The espresso machine was pushed up against one wall, there was a roaster in the corner and a couple small tables near the windows. The Coffee Collective is a quintessential third-wave café. While I really enjoyed this coffee, it wasn’t quite as spectacular as some of the other ones I had. I can’t really tell you why I didn’t love it. Perhaps it was partly because all of the other ones I had drunk were beyond. It was fantastic, definitely go, but I would recommend getting an espresso or pour over instead of a cortado. You want to taste the coffee here and you just can’t enough in a cortado.
In the afternoon, when both my mother and I were beginning to weary, we stopped at The Coffee Factory. Oh my gosh, I loved this cortado. It was rich, creamy and satisfying. Sometimes I feel like coffee can satisfy like a meal and this was definitely one of those cups. My mother got an Americano, which, although she liked, we both agreed wasn’t quite as earth-shatteringly amazing as the cortado. It was a total surprise to find such good coffee here and I definitely recommend a trip to anyone in Copenhagen. The central location is just a bonus.
On my final day, I decided to head to Riccos Coffee Bar, not because I heard the coffee was supposed to be particularly great, but rather because it seemed to be a quintessential Copenhagen hang out. I’d say I was right. I went to the location near the university, got a cortado and hung out around all the students working on group projects and talking in a mix of Danish and English. The cortado was good, definitely better than what you’d find at a comparable place in New York, like say Think Coffee. It wasn’t the best cup in Copenhagen, but the atmosphere more than made up for it.
I had such a fun time exploring coffee in Copenhagen. Since Scandinavians consume so much coffee, they’re pretty good at making it consistently well. From the ability to be able to find a cortado everywhere, to the flavor profile, I already feel like I left a bit of my coffee heart in Copenhagen. It’s a true must-visit for any coffee fanatic!
Do you have a favorite city in which to find a good cup of coffee?