The first place I visited when I arrived in Stockholm, was the Johan & Nyström (J&N) concept store. J&N is the largest roaster in Sweden, which shows in the slick refinement of its flagship store. I showed up expecting to see a siphon demo, but the store was packed so (I assume) it was postponed to address the flow of customers. I began talking with Kalle about the Trifecta and his thoughts about it before ordering a cup of Hacienda La Esmerelda—as always it was sweet, juicy, and superb.
Kalle also prepared an AeroPress of the Kenya Kangunu, which I’d later try as espresso as well. The Kenyan was solid, but it’s incredible how much its flavors were dulled beside the Hacienda. As an espresso though, the Kenyan really shined. It was a bit tart, but still smooth and extremely juicy, like an electrically charged shot of black currant juice.
I decided to grab a couple bags to take home—an Ethiopian Harrar and a bag of natural processed El Salvador that is quite remarkable. As I was about to leave, they let me know they were preparing a cupping and suggested I stick around if I had time. Who could say no to that? The cupping wasn’t anything official, just of a hands-on demo for the public, but they’re always fun to take part in.
The cupping was called “The Coffee Belt” and took us around the world with 9 different origins—Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Jamaica, El Salvador, Brasil, Sumatra, Papa New Guinea, and Malabar. While it may seem a bit overwhelming, it was a great way to really experience the unique taste of each origin.
J&N may be a large company, but the quality of the coffee is still good and the baristas were some of the friendliest I’ve met. The concept store is as much a classroom as it is a coffee shop and they really make you feel welcome. However, when I got home I noticed that my bag of Harrar had two dates on it, “roasted on” and “expires on,” which was 10 months later! I took this as a sad reality of the company’s corporate growth.
Between all the coffee tasting, one must eat—but most people know that good food and good coffee are hard to find under the same roof. However, a couple Antipodeans have done a hell of a job combining the two at Kura Café, near Vasaparken. They specialize in “super salads” and fresh, healthy soups & sandwiches. I ordered a Gibralta, made with da Matteo on a La Marzocco, while I waited for my food. They don’t offer drip coffee here, but they can pull espresso well enough to compliment their fantastic lunches.
The last place I stopped before leaving Stockholm, was suggested by the guys at Kura and it didn’t disappoint. Snickarbacken 7 is a small coffee bar set-up in the front of an art gallery, hidden in an alley. There was a range of offerings from Tim Wendelboe, daMatteo, Love Coffee, and even some Intelligentsia. I didn’t get to stay as long as I’d have liked, but I shared a couple shots and some conversation with one of the partners.
During my stay, I also stopped by Coffice, a coworking space that serves da Matteo, but only looked around out of curiosity. I also planned to visit Cupcake STHLM, which serves Love Coffee, but I couldn’t fit it in this time around. Stockholm has a large scene, but most of the better shops serve da Matteo or J&N, so I focused on visiting the source instead of each shop that uses quality roasters.
View DCILY’s Best Coffee in Stockholm in a larger map