Having spent a lovely afternoon in Helsingborg I was on my way to Malmö which is way south of Sweden. It is roughly 40 minutes away from Copenhagen and the train is connected via a long bridge. Mr Dan Stenqvist was expecting my visit and had already planed out our espresso run for the evening. We went to all worthy espresso bars around town and finished off with a little coffee jam at Solde kaffebar where Dan works. So here is my take on Malmö.
Solde Kaffebar (Regementsgatan 2) was my favourite out of the bunch, we went there last. They employ a very fun, casual approach. Inside there is plenty of space to move around however they keep seating limited, a real traditional corner bar design with high stools. This café changes their house blend once a month. In a way that is a great way to keep regular customers coming back and giving them the opportunity to try different espresso blends and educate their palate. They are very open towards different coffee and do occasionally get traditional Italian blends with robusta portions. The coffee still needs to pass the owners quality examination, so they don’t end up serving complete rubbish for a whole month. I think that this system takes a lot away from the overall consistency of the shop throughout the year, but I will let you make your own mind up. At the end of they year the customers get to vote on which coffee they liked best. Last year David Haugaards blend was the winner, I think they even sent him a trophy.
Right now they are using J&N FTO espresso blend, I am very much familiar with this blend as I got to play around with it few times in Stockholm. I must saw that shots in Malmö tasted completely different; nowhere as good as Stockholm. They are aware of this fact and blame the water I think they need to look into few different filtration systems, perhaps “Water + More” filter would work well.
At the end of the day we had some time to have a little coffee jam and pull some shots, we tried the KOPPI espresso blend that I brought along from Helsingborg. Once again the shots were vastly different. The complex acidity that was very distinct in Helsingbord was hardly noticeable. Again, water is an easy target to blame here.
Lilla Kafferosteriet (Baltzarsgatan 24a) – a very interesting concept espresso bar with a micro-rostery. They are the only espresso bar with a 3 group synesso machine in the whole of Sweden. They also have a very dirty probat roaster, you could see that the cooling trey isn’t cleaned properly as well as various other unclean elements. I want to give theses guys credit for doing what they do as they offer a nice selection of premium single origins and 2 espresso blends. The shots that Dan and I got were extremely hot and burnt my tongue. That machine needs proper temperature tuning! There is absolutely no point having a synesso running at such high temperature. The shots were too hot so that might have been one of the main factors that took away from the overall taste. I found the espresso blend very boring without any striking features.
Te & kaffehuset ( Fersens väg 16) is a domestic equipment shop with a large selection of different coffees. Their primary market is in selling packed coffee. They also have a GB 5 machine that they use for their café part. A very experimental shop using different extraction methods with different coffee beans. Well worth visiting and having a chat with Mattias Sjöbäck , very enthusiastic and knowledgeable owner.
Nesta (Södergatan 22) – a very well designed espresso bar in a stellar location. This place has a very nice vibe about it. They have the best coffee equipment, however the coffee is very much lacking in just about everything. It has a very heavy dose of robusta. The coffee is imported from Italy so freshness could be an issue also. This is the kinda place where you go with your friends to just sit down and chill, not for the coffee unfortunately.
Malmö is a very interesting town with plenty of quality espresso bars that are very capable of pulling good coffee however at the end of the day espresso part of things didn’t really strike me. The main issue here would have to be the water, I think they have to start looking into water science a little further. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dan for his kind hospitality … thanks man!