Saying you've had the best cup of coffee is a bit like saying
you've heard the best band or bought the best pair of jeans. It's all
subjective. Over the course of a two and a half week trip through
downtown Europe I had the chance to try a wide variety of coffee and I think
I've made up my mind.
In France and Belgium it's all about tradition. Much like their
cuisine or their old buildings, they don't seem to be all that concerned with
being on the cutting edge. Think short, dark and bitter little cups of espresso
pulled from tired, old beans. They have tradition, and although not to my taste
I respect their stubborn commitment to all that's come before. In Germany
and UK, most of what was on offer seemed like the-ever-faithful 'drip' coffee.
Surely Illy or Lavazza, the coffee is dished up quick and easy for people on
the go. It was in Scandinavia that my coffee life was changed forever.
In Oslo, Tim Wendelboe has started what some might
consider a quiet coffee revolution. A combination roastery, coffee bar and
training centre, this place only really does one thing, and they do it really,
With limited space and only a few chairs, this isn't the type of
coffee shop you bring your laptop to update your LinkedIn profile. It's all
about the coffee here, and unbelievably good espresso is served alongside my
favourite, the 'pour over.' For those not in the know, a 'pour over' is
essentially a fresh, single serving drip coffee. Forget what you think you know
about boring old drip coffee. The beverage served to me was more like an
aromatic juice, light and fruity, with just a whisper of lavender or jasmine.
It's exceptionally clean and fresh tasting and has a truly crisp finish. I know
it sounds like I'm describing a fine wine, but quite honestly, it has more in
common with some of the finer vintages I've tasted than anything served at
I know North America has it's own thriving coffee culture, and
I've found some incredible morning beverages to tickle my palette in San
Francisco, Toronto and Portland but Tim Wendelboe is really in a class by
himself. It's coffee re-defined, with no attitude or pretensions.
That's just my opinion...