Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Norway – Oslo (Part 2)

Visited: 08/08/07

This is the continuation from my previous blog from my Oslo visit, so if you haven’t read it yet -
please read it before you read this one …

I already spoke about the best espresso in Oslo and that was Tim Wendelboe's place so refer to this post please.

The second favourite espresso bar in Oslo was from Stockfleth's (Karl Johans Gate 25), their coffee is roasted by Solberg & Hansen, a large coffee roaster supplying for lots of espresso bars in Oslo. The coffee was really good, once again pushing espresso all the way, getting that natural acidity to shine through in the cup. The coffee had more body and was much sweeter than the one at TW. From what I gathered a slightly darker roast (leaning towards medium) and more brazil driven coffee, very nice and I believe would pull great as a ristretto also, if you desire.

These guys are the pioneers of Norwegian espresso tradition so it’s a must on your list! The shop inside has a great display of trophies all over the walls, mind you all the trophies that Tim Wendelboe won are now gone, but still there are tons and tons!

A place Kaffeefuglen (Universitetsgaten 2) didn’t make a good first impression on me, as you walk in you see, a well looked-after FAEMA machine, and an arsenal of paper take-away cups. So I was expecting the barista to serve me my espresso in a paper cup. Some how he sensed that I was a little serious about my coffee so I got a special treat in shot measure glass. The coffee was outstanding, they actually buy the Stockfleth's blend and make a good job out of it.

The reason they only have take-away is due to one of the health regulations in Norway. If you don’t have a toilet or a dishwasher than you can’t have any crockery or cutlery. I think on special request they let you enjoy your coffee out of a measure shot glass, as long as noone finds out its all good so shhhh … don’t tell the chief health inspector, haha.

You are almost guaranteed an excellent cup at a place called Mocca Kaffebar (Ullevålsveien 47), once again an espresso bar with its own rostery in house! It is really fascinating and has lots of feel to it. Nice coffee equipment well knowledgeable staff and the coffee is fantastic. There is a little trick though, this place is really hard to find, windows are not labeled at all and there is absolutely no signs outside, so its really easy to walk past. It’s a really strange philosophy to employ as a shop owner, however this espresso bar rates right at the top of the weekly coffee consumption in Oslo.

Java (Niels Juels gate 70) is a really awesome espresso bar. This shop is owned by the same guys that own Java so once again no signs on the windows, so be very observant looking for this place. I myself walked right past it. As soon as you walk in you see 2 eye catching things. First thing is a custom painted La Marzocco linea which is fantastic to look at and the second things you see is the clover! I was really excited to see the clover as not many people have them in Europe, not to mention using it in an espresso bar. The clover sits far away on the back bench and looks very lonely. Unfortunately for the clover it gets very little use if any. The wall of single origins is great it really is too bad that people in Oslo are not drinking drip coffee.

The coffee is roasted “inhouse” at the java location as the owners are the same, the espresso is also great and staff jump around from place to place, so the skills and quality are there.

One more place definitely worth going to is United Bakeries (Bogstadveien at Majorstua), it’s a brand new store with 2 x four group FB70 and a big inhouse roaster with a spectacular cupping room, with latest and greatest. The shop is more of a museum of new and old coffee machines. On the back wall they have a whole lot of different coffee gadgets and its really interesting. The coffee itself wasn’t as good as the other place I went to but more or less drinkable!

You will notice that 5 out of 6 coffee shops roast their own coffee … that is amazing!!! There must be such a competition going on between micro-rosteries that’s why the coffee standard in Oslo is extremely high. This city was amazing and the people have a great palate for true espresso. I guess you could compare Oslo to Seattle except in Oslo baristi are more focused and professional in a sense that they treat their job more like a privilege, I respect that very much. If you are serious about your coffee you cannot go past Oslo!


Gary said...

HI Kiril,

Enjoying your postings - where are you off to next? Where will you be the third week of October. May have an idea for you - email me please!


Kiril said...


here is my email ... sqrl@internode.on.net
talk soon mate

Tim Wendelboe said...

Hello Kiril.
YOu got the Mocca and Java bar mixed up.
Also Stockfleth's gets their blend roasted at Solberg & Hansen which is the biggest specialty roaster in Norway and supplies almost every coffeeshop in the country it seems.
Kaffefuglen is actually a sister company of Stockfleth's and that is why they are using their coffee. Stockfleth's do not sell their espresso to anyone else than Kaffefuglen and consumers of course. (just to sort things out.)
United bakeries is located in one of the shopping streets called Bogstadveien at Majorstua.

I am glad you enjoyed Oslo.


Kiril said...

thanks for your comment Tim, I have corrected the blog appropriately. Once again thank you for showing me around, hope to catch you soon.

Jaime van Schyndel said...

I have long been intrigued by Kaffa and their approach. I guess I will have to llive vicariously through my friend attending the NBC this year.