The search for the best coffee cup continues. I am at home doing experiments these days. After talking to fellow coffee lovers and professional coffee barista's here and there, my better half and me came to a consensus about the next step in our home setup.
The quest had been going on for two years about finding the best value espresso machine for the money. They tend to be pretty expensive for a normal person with a normal paying job like most of us have. After looking at the usual machines in the big electronic stores here and all over the internet, searching for the best of the best (compared to what you pay for the machine), the search was finally put on hold.
My better half suggested a small thingy that has been talked about in our conversations for a while, and actually recommended to me a while back, and again this summer by some of my local coffee barista professionals.
The little thingy is the AeroPress coffee maker. I had big doubts about it because I wanted the heavy espresso robust, rustic flavor of the coffee. I decided to stop looking to spend a lot of money on a machine that needs constant cleaning, needs to be switched on 24/7 and in general terms, simply way to much hassle and work for a home brew that is used once to twice a day.
So I gave in and the desire to try this AeroPress coffee maker people around us have been talking about started to get more clear. So I went to Amazon and ordered one. It came in the mail very quickly and I have been doing fund and exiting research on how to make the best coffee using that small device to make coffee here at home.
The results came to me as a rather big surprise. I really like it. It is so smooth, fresh and the flavor of the coffee bean shines through. Loudly. After using the french press at home for years, and on special days, the Bialetti Moka espresso pot. I was taken aback and had to swallow my own ego and prejudice against this little device for the simple reason that it keeps me entertained while making the coffee, and drinking it.
This small device makes amazing coffee. I am now in the process of finding out ideas and notes from the good people of the internet on how they use it, and practicing to be able to master the perfect cup. A simple device that makes great coffee. Since I got his new toy, I have only touched my small Frech press once.
According to the newspapers here in Iceland, the Costa Cafe chain is planing to open up one or more places in Reykjavik and possibly in other locations in Iceland in the near future. They are currently searching for a spot in downtown Reykjavik. As someone who is interested in the local coffee scene I am not a bit torn about my feelings towards this. This means that Reykjavik is evolving and turning into a rather small, but big city. International coffee chains and fast food restaurants are a part of the Globalisation of our modern times, and the inevitable influx of tourists flocking to Reykjavik in their thousands.
This creates a dilemma for me and others probably. Many people love their Starbucks and Costa Cafe trips. They are a symbol of a grown city and to be seen there means that you are hip and cool in your own mind. We here have our own chains like Te & Kaffi and Kaffi Tár. They tend to be based on Starbucks and Costa cafe, like all commercial chain coffee houses, they tend to look similar, with similar products and vibe. That is just the nature of the business I guess. The dilemma is this; well Icelanders welcome those places or prefer our local coffee house chains. I guess the local places will have to step up their game to make it in the competition with a foreign giant. The tourists will love it most likely.
The impact on the coffee scene can be good, it offers more choice, more familiarity and hopefully a better standards in coffee making.
The local chains and the independent coffee houses are on the increase, but with mass tourism comes a price. The quality goes down. Even my beloved downtown local spot is having trouble keeping the standards up, and their once great coffee is now a thing of the past. The cup is ok, but not great. The tourist only comes once or twice for a decent cup, but the locals come again and again but the great cup is getting more and more difficult to find. Maybe Costa Cafe will inspire the small places to step up their game as well. Those local small coffee houses are the backbone of a great city vibe. We can only hope that the international chain can bring some positive effects on the local coffee scene.
While traveling to Manchester to visit friends, going to a football match, shopping and just being a tourist in my old home of England, I came across a fantastic place called Barbecue Cafe. It is located in an area called Chorlton, outside the Manchester City center. Not far from Manchester United famous Old Trafford football stadium. We walked there on a rainy day (every day in Manchester is rainy :) with my partner and our friend and her 5 month old baby. Was not expecting a thing when my friend said that she knew about a great coffee house close to her house. Walked and saw this modest looking storefront as seen in the pictures.
Walk in and instantly you get the feeling that this is a place that loves coffee. Not as refined and sleek as other places I have seen in England such as Takk in Manchester City center or Laynes Coffee and North Star Cafe in Leeds, all are great places. This is rustic, oozes knowledge and passion for genuine great coffee. Looks slightly clustered, but at the same time, everything there has its place and is very relevant to the business. I felt like I was at peace.
The owners and staff answered all my questions, and showed me around and explained everything about the roasting, the coffee beans, and what they are seeking in their own search for the ultimate coffee cup. I bought three bags of coffee from them that I used when I got home. I do not usually drink much volume of coffee, but in this case it simply vanished in record time. I was very impressed and the guys are amazing, even the roaster himself was not working, but was there for some reason, and he showed me around and explained everything, when he had no obligation to do so. Just a very passionate guy. I really liked the whole setup and the location and the place itself.
We sat and talked about the baby, coffee and everything. I drank way to much coffee but it was totally worth it. I tend to be positive about places I go to, but if there is something I do not like I say so. But this place is my all time favorite I have been to, so far. An absolute gem.
They have a website, Instagram, Twitter and are on Facebook as well.
If you have a chance to go to Manchester then this place is a must see for coffee lovers, who like great coffee, the best espresso I have tasted so far, and a small great looking place with passionate owners and staff. I will be back next time I am in England. That is for sure.
#kaffi #leedscoffee #coffeeiniceland #coffee #independentcoffeeshop #iceland #kaffibrugghúsið #northstarcoffee #laynescoffee #reykjavikroasters @bbqmcr @sonjabjorkgrant
Being an Icelander it is always strange to stumble into a place dedicated to Iceland and Scandinavian culture when abroad. After a quick online search for the best coffee in Manchester this places pops up. And by a strange coincidence we happened to be located 2 minutes from this place at that time, so the choice was obvious. In we went and found a very trendy coffee bar, with a large image of Iceland on the wall. Not much was there else to connect to Iceland, other than the danish they had for sale. Seemed to be from home :)
We sat down at a long table, some thing I have seen in numerous places in the UK, those long tables.
The place is trendy and stylish but has a slight rustic feel to it. I liked it.
The coffee was very good. Not brewed on the spot, but from a local Manchester roasters, not far from there. I liked my double esspresso and the latte was very good as well. After trying Starbucks for the simple reason that we needed to stop and sit down and regroup, this place is miles above in quality of the coffee.
The staff said that the Icelandic connections had diminished a bit, but the website and the name say otherwise. Takk means Thanks in Icelandic.
The place was full of trendy people with trendy computers (everyone had an Apple computer). But not hipsterlike people, more like regular folks. I liked the vibe and the coffee. Nice to see friends and do some online browsing on the laptop. The place is located in the Northern Quarter of Manchester City center.
The website is good and the coffee very good. I will go again next time I am in town.
They are visible on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
To the staff at Takk Coffeehouse... Takk :)
@takkmcr #takkmcr #coffeeiniceland @snorrik #kaffi #coffee #iceland #reykjavik #manchester @rvkroasters @laynesespresso #leedsneedscoffee #laynesespresso
This place was a nice surprise. After walking around the center of town and wandering between places and just being tourists, we stumbled upon this place and just wanted coffee. And it was great. The fantastic bartender Jose (if memory serves me right) on the picture here below made us some very nice coffee.
I was not expecting good coffee from a regular pub in a place like Torremolinos on the Costa Del Sol. Mainly for the simple reason that good coffee in Spain was hard to find. The Spanish want the coffee dark bitter and full of sugar. But Jose explained that this bar had more of a British style coffee than Spanish. My wife loved the latte and the Americano was very good. This place is basically on the main shopping street, on a square next to the main square, about 30 meters from the main pedestrian shopping street. Great place to look at the town buzz and enjoy the sun. They had good orange juice for the kids and basically a hidden coffee gem while not trying to be.
Many places around this one have not so nice coffee, so this was a genuine surprise. We stopped there a few times over the week we stayed in town.
The staff is friendly like in most places in Spain and it is just far enough from the main area but still close enough to be the perfect spot to sit down at, when things get crowded. Mulligans is just a pub. No more no less, but we found good coffee and good spirits there.
I found this place by asking around and then looked for it online once I had heard the name from a few places locally. The reviews on Trip Advisor did not hurt. So we decided to explore this town Nerja with the goal of finding that Good Times Cafe. After our walk around the town center we decided to explore our street, and walked just 6 minutes up the road and there it was. Good Times. It was 30° plus outside and the mood was for a hot drink in the heat. At least for me and my better half. The 7 year old just wanted more Ice lollies. The town of Nerja is a beautiful place and it is so nice to be able to get great coffee in such as place. Specially since my experience with Spanish coffee in general is not that great.
The cup of double espresso was very nice and the latter was great as well, according to my better half. She is the latter expert. My boy had some fresh orange juice that tasted like Spain, fresh orangy and full of flavour. Then he got his ice lolly too.
The Good Times Cafe is slightly more relaxed than many other places I visited in Spain, and had more of a „home“ feel than I was expecting. We went there three times and sat inside and outside. Both very pleasureable. Great artwork from local kids on the walls and no wifi, so we could talk instead of being like the modern family and just look at our phones. The woman who ran the coffee shop was British and very helpful when asking the typical tourist questions and about the coffee itself. The coffee is not the traditional Spanish dark style, but more what I am seeking, fresh, good flavor and tasted great. No sugar had to be added.
We made our way there three times over the week we stayed in Nerja, and it was well worth the trip. Fresh baked goods and the interesting thing is the „no wifi“ policy and the „pay it forward“ thinking that is slowly becoming an accepted notion in the sharing economy of the internet age. Suspendedcoffees.com is something more places should adobt. Great way to give back to society in a very small way.
This place came with some good reviews on Trip Advisor and the location of that place is such that is was in evitable to end up there at one point or the other. I knew about the place when I came to the town of Nerja. And I found it by accident in the downtown area. The location is on the promenade in the main square in Nerja. Once there you really cannot miss it. So as fate would call it, we entered the establishment and had coffee and some lunch. In short, as the Trip Advisor reviews say, the service was very good, the food was fine. Nothing spectacular, but compared to similar places in Spain, it was fine.
We sat there watching the people, resting after long walks and just being a part of the vibrant summer scene in Nerja. The waiters did magic tricks for my seven year old and for me as well. :) They kept taking cookies and chocolate from the kids ears. We all loved it. The coffee itself was better than average compared to Spain in my experience. Great place for kids and for adults alike. Coffee is worth going there at least. The location is brilliant, pure and simple as that.
Here is the Facebook page and the Trip Advisor site.