I’m wondering what I can say about Copenhagen that perhaps James didn’t already cover.
It was my first time in a Nordic country and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I think it might be the first time I ever got on a plane and didn’t hear one person speaking english, a little bit of a culture shock if I’m honest. That said, it seems every single person, bar perhaps the taxi drivers, spoke flawless english, which along with the charming architecture, really made Copenhagen an appealing city.
I was staying in Bjorg Brend’s house for the weekend. Bjorg works for Cafe Europa and is one of the main organisers for the Nordic Barista Cup, as well as being just a lovely person. I spent that first evening eating a great dinner of fois gras and duck, chatting with Bjorg and her boyfriend Roni, who thankfully didn’t mind the constant topic of coffee at the table, in fact he ended up asking most of the questions.
Saturday would see the Copenhagen regional comp, with only 4 competitors, so before it got going I arranged to meet up with James for breakfast in Europa Cafe. As it wasn’t open till nine, and I was in town for 8.30, I went for a little stroll to take in the scenery, knowing I probably wouldn’t have much of a chance to do so later on. I knew which way James was coming from so I walked towards him, hoping I’d guessed the right street. I had.
After meeting James we had breakfast and coffee in Europa. I got a really nice cappuccino, with great latte art, although in a cup a bit too big for my understanding of a cappuccino. I had an espresso afterwards which was good too, although I think i was tasting my croissant with jam more at that stage. I’m sorry I didn’t take more pics of the cafe, but they were quiet when we went in and it would have felt a bit rude snapping away. Keep an eye on my cafe page, where I’ll give more details on Cafe Europa as well as Estate.
We tried one other cafe, but it wasn’t great and doesn’t really warrant a mention. The competition area was really well set up, with the competitors having great space to work off on dark wooden surfaces. So often its too small white, which just really annoys me. We watched the competitors then headed off to Estate with Klaus while the judges had lunch and the scores were added and checked.
Estate was a lot smaller than I imagined, and without being beautiful in any design category, still came across very charming. It was very busy when we arrived, so Klaus had to weasel his way behind the bar to brew us a few clovers and one or two espresso. If my memory serves me correctly, we tried their Kenya Kiri AA and their COE Colombian El Pedregal, which were both lovely.
After finding out who got through to the finals, a large bunch of us headed off to Kontra and the Copenhagen Coffee Academy. It was cool to see everything so open to the public and not hidden away and I was able to secure some complimentary coffee thanks to their lovely roaster Morten. After lunch next door, and another cafe stop, (where the machine was down) and finished the day off with a dinner with the judges and a party in Bjorg’s house.
As the party went quite late, I was an hour late for my coffee appointment with James the next morning, but he didn’t seem to mind too much. I’ve said it before, but its one of my favourite things, going to a cafe for breakfast, and knowing you’re going to get a decent coffee. Estate didn’t disappoint.
God this is a boring post. It feels more like a diary entry. But if you’ve read this far, I’ll presume you find my life interesting, so why stop now.
We were soon joined by Klaus and his girlfriend Siggadura (spelling?), and unsuprisingly, the conversation centred around coffee. It was exciting to talk about our hopes for the industry, both on a long term and short term basis.
James has already reported on the finals, and I don’t have much to add only that the standard was very high, and I particularly enjoyed Mikkel Otto’s performance. His singing along with the chessey 80’s music and Soggy Bottom Boys made everyone laugh, and at the end he asked everyone to raise their hand if they loved coffee, which drew many a whooping and cheers from the audience.
As the competition was held in a Women’s Visions conference, we were all treated to an erotic dance presentation while the judges tallied up the scores. This was wonderfully funny, and it took me a while to calm down from the laughing and the accelerated heartbeat rate.
You know now who won, and sadly I didn’t taste her drinks so can’t really offer much. I listened to her presentation and noticed it to be very well paced, relaxed and kind of interesting. Regrettably, I missed it as I was talking with James and the Norwegian Champion Einar, who has convinced me that a trip to Oslo should happen soon.
Still here? Wow. oK, So Copenhagen was lovely. I was surprised that so few high end cafes existed, sure its an issue for nearly every city, but this was the country that spawned 4 World Champions!, Was I wrong to have higher expectations?
Anyway, apologies for the terrifically boring post. I will write again very soon, and hopefully talk about the dalla corte sitting in my Kitchen, the great coffees I got from Hasbean, Kontra and Estate, or the barista jam in Belfast this weekend. Or perhaps I’ll just talk about what my plans are after I finish college in 4 weeks. Handed in my last essay last week, and it struck me that I’ll probably never write an essay again.
6 bloody years of college, nearly done.