21 September 2015

Copenhagen Coffee Guide

With only three and a bit days in Copenhagen, I had to prepare my plan of coffee attack very carefully, especially as good coffee shops are quite scarce in the area in which I stayed — the central station end of Vesterbro. But I did manage to visit five different coffee bars and spotted a few more that looked promising.

The Coffee Collective — @coffeecollectif
At the top of my Copenhagen coffee to-do list was The Coffee Collective, a coffee roastery with three central shops and great beans sourced from small farms from around the world. Any coffee tour of the city should include a visit to at least one of the branches.

I first visited the branch in Torvehallerne, the gourmet food market near Nørreport station. Although the market itself doesn't open until 11 am on Sundays, The Coffee Collective was already buzzing by 9 am. There are a dozen or so seats at the window and an impressive brew bar. After failing to acquire a hand-brewed filter coffee the previous day, I was very keen for a pourover. There were three different coffees on offer, but I opted for a Guatemalan variety from Finca Vista Hermosa (38 krone, or about £3.80). The coffee was brewed with a Kalita Wave dripper and it tasted great: chocolatey and smooth but with a little citrusy aftertaste. Vendersgade 6D, Nørreport, Copenhagen.

On my last day in Copenhagen, I visited the original Coffee Collective café and roastery in Nørrebro, which is located on the lovely Jægersborggade. There are a few tables on the pavement, a couple of seats in the window and a several small tables in the back room. The main room, which houses the roaster, is a little cramped, especially when there is a queue, but the lack of counter between the baristas and customers means that there is an intimate atmosphere.

I really wanted an Aeropress brew, but I also wanted to try Coffee Collective's espresso-based drinks, so I ordered a cortado (33 krone), which I enjoyed in the back room. The coffee was expertly crafted and had impeccable latte art. I also bought a bag of the Finca Vista Hermosa beans to take home (97 krone). Jægersborggade 10, Nørrebro, Copenhagen.

The final Coffee Collective location is in Fredriksberg, but sadly, I didn't have time to visit this trip. Godthåbsvej 34B, Fredriksberg.

Copenhagen Coffee Lab
Located just south of Strøget and just across the canal from Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen Coffee Lab occupies the lower-ground floor of a building on the pretty Boldhusgade. There are a few tables outside and others, of various sizes, inside the cosy café. There are big tables suitable for the MacBook crowd, armchairs with reindeer pelts and smaller tables for more intimate conversations.

I arrived around 12.30 on a Saturday and the queue was extremely long, with only one hard-working barista trying to take care of everyone. Unfortunately, this meant that even though Copenhagen Coffee Lab is one of the few places in the city that serve hand-brewed filter coffee (which was one of the main reasons I went there), I had to stick to an espresso-based drink. As I left, I looked on enviously as the barista made another customer a pourover; I guess I'll just have to come back another (quieter) time.

The cortado (30 krone) was, however, excellent and the café itself is beautiful and stylish with its copper grinder (and matching pouring kettles) and mid-century furniture. I'm sure it's a particularly lovely place to retreat to in the midst of the brutal Danish winters. Oh, and they also have a mobile location in LisbonBoldhusgade 6, Copenhagen (city centre).

Kent Kaffe Laboratorium
Just around the corner from Torvehallerne market, Kent Kaffe Laboratorium is another player in Copenhagen's cosy, lower-ground-floor café game. They have a roaster of their own and an extensive range of hand-brewed coffee options, including V60, Aeropress, Chemex and siphon, and two coffee varieties. I selected an El Salvadorian Las Nubes coffee, brewed with an Aeropress (35 krone).

I stood at the long brew bar to watch while the barista prepared my coffee and then I carried my drink over to one of the window seats, which let you peek out onto the street. The coffee was quite full-bodied but had a citrusy acidity to it — just what I needed to cut through the day's grey drizzle. Kent Kaffe is pretty spacious, with two rooms that have a variety of seating options. Once again, wooden mid-century furniture abounds! Nørre Farimagsgade 70, Nørreport, Copenhagen.

Risteriet — @risteriet
I visited Risteriet, a café and roastery located within the grid of shopping streets just north of Strøget called Pisserenden, just before heading back to the airport at the end of my trip. I had hoped they would serve pourovers, but alas, they only do espresso-based drinks. The café itself is bright and cheery — perhaps a little less cool than some of the other coffee spots I visited — and houses its roaster in the back room, along with a large selection of coffee beans and coffee-making equipment.

My cortado cost 30 krone and it was pretty good, although was a little on the hot side and also a little longer than I usually prefer. I would still recommend it as a good place to head for coffee and/or a rest when you are shopping in the Strøget area. Studiestræde 3, Copenhagen (city centre).

Kafferiet — @kafferiet
Located on leafy Esplanden, Kafferiet is a good place to stop for coffee before or after visiting Kastellet and the Little Mermaid. The petite café occupies the ground floor of a pale turquoise building that faces Churchillparken. When doing my coffee research for this trip I had obviously read somewhere that there are 15 types of coffee available at Kafferiet. I couldn't find any evidence of this, however, so I just ordered a macchiato (30 krone) and took a seat at the window — next to a small model of the outside of the building.

The coffee lacked latte art but it was good and had a rich, smooth taste. The staff were very friendly and the café itself is decked out with various Japanese design touches — the owner, apparently, is a big fan of Japan. Esplanaden 44, Copenhagen (city centre).

Other possibilities
  • Rist. This small café, just across the road from Granola, looked good and I have heard good things about the quality of the coffee. Værnedamsvej 4B, Vesterbro, Copenhagen.
  • La Esquina. A café with a Spanish influence, which is said to be beautiful and to serve great coffee. Ryesgade 76, Østerbro, Copenhagen.
  • Parterre. A good spot for canal-side Christianshavn caffeination. Overgaden Oven Vandet 90, Christianshavn, Copenhagen.
  • Riccos. There are branches of this coffee shop all over the city centre. They looked like a good bet, although I didn't have time to try the coffee.


  1. You should have tried Democratic Coffee, which is also in the city centre at Krystalgade 15. They do a good pourover and the best croissants in Copenhagen.

    1. Thank you! It was on my list but I didn't have time on this trip. I will make sure I go on my next visit.