Street style, bicycles, design, and happiness metrics are not the only things Denmark is crushing. The Nordic nation is home to a killer coffee culture, too. In Copenhagen, a young but passionate coffee community rivals that of New York or London.
As little as 15 years ago, the coffee scene in Copenhagen was relatively small. It began gaining momentum, however, when a Dane, Troels Overdal Poulsen, placed first in the World Barista Championship in 2005. He was succeeded by countryman Klaus Thomsen, formerly of Estate Coffee and now of The Coffee Collective, who placed first 2006. Fellow Dane Casper E. Rasmussen won the World Cup Tasters Championship in 2008.
These highly visible achievements helped spark national enthusiasm for high-quality coffee, and respect for its brewing and roasting. It also thrust the city and country’s coffee cultures onto the global stage, much in the way that Ferran Adria’s award-winning elBulli generated worldwide interest in the molecular gastronomic movement across Catalonia.
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Today there are cafes crammed with coffee lovers and small micro-roasters dotting Copenhagen. Here are five must-visit coffee purveyors with multiple destinations across the city.
Risteriet, which means “roaster” in Danish, opened the doors to its first location in 2004. It was one of the first coffee roasters in the center of Copenhagen and one of the original pioneers of fresh, locally roasted beans.
“Classics like lattes, cappuccinos, and cortados are still very popular,” Lars Mørch, Risteriet co-founder, says, “But we have seen a large trend for black coffee over the last couple of years.” Risteriet brews such as Hario and Aeropress, and its classic drip coffee, are extremely popular.
“We also sell lots of equipment and beans for households as they are very inexpensive and easy to brew,” Mørch adds. Beans include both roasted and green varieties, for those who are ambitious enough to roast their coffee beans themselves.
Champion baristas Klaus Thomsen and Casper E. Rasmussen launched The Coffee Collective with two others in 2007. Their collective now spans a micro-roastery, three cafes, and a coffee school, which focuses on developing sustainable production. The Jægersborggade location is beautifully whitewashed with blue accents and gold lighting fixtures, while the Bernikow shop has seven different taps with cold coffee, coffee kombucha, coffee beers, and coffee cocktails. The third cafe is within the Torvehallerne food market in Norreport.
Expect Parisian cafe vibes at Sonny, a cafe where coffee is respected and paired with food. Owner David Andersen is a trained sommelier and barista who worked in cafes in the City of Light. And Sonny, like its name, is warm and welcoming and offers a health-forward menu filled with chia bowls, seasonal salads, and avocado toasts on locally baked rye bread. With its striped pillows, marble-topped round tables, and generously sunlit space filled with plants, it’s also an Insta-worthy destination.
The cool sister restaurant to the world-famous Noma, 108, has an even cooler coffee shop. The Corner 108 uses beans roasted by Tim Wendelboe in Oslo, which are sour yet delicate. Its freshly baked Danish pastries sell out quickly, so arrive on the early side if you want a bite of its tart, sticky, and sweet blackcurrant pastry. If not, you can still snag a homemade sourdough bun with butter and cheese, which is also as delectable with your coffee.
Statement Coffee in Vesterport serves seasonally sourced coffee alongside a kitchen led by Michelin-starred chef Jakob Hirsch, formerly of Søllerød Kro. The popular brunch menu includes hearty grain bowls, homemade croissants, and porridge. The modern yet super-cool office-like space is sprinkled with succulents and greenery, wooden bars, and gorgeous stone tables.