The Berlin Beat

Poor but sexy – said the city’s mayor in a speech a few years back when describing Berlin. I don’t know about poor any more, but sexy, vibrant and overgrown. Its like a controlled chaos: bombed down buildings, street art and untended vegetation mixed with clean, modern and orderly. The same goes for the food scene: national street food delicacies like currywurst and Döner kebab from run down kiosks, mixed with sleek bistros, wine bars and even Michelin restaurants. Its like the Bangkok of Europe – where you can, during the same day, eat from a cheap looking food cart , and then continue to a restaurant with white table cloths and fancy pants service. We only had a few days in the city, but here comes a few tips for food, coffee and wine Continue reading “The Berlin Beat”

Coffee Bar Review: Mean Coffee, Stockholm

Mean coffee is a small coffee bar located across from the train station in Stockholm. A rather unlikely spot for a really good coffee place but here it nonetheless is located. He same spot used to house another great coffee bar (V Street) so seems to be something about these premises that are superb for good coffee. Style wise it somehow reminds more of a Southern European coffee bar but luckily they serve good coffee here as opposed to what one can expect in Italy, Spain or France.

The space is fairly small with three lower tables, two high tables and some chairs along the window. In summer time there are some seats outside but as it faces a heavily trafficked road it is not that nice to sit outside. Free wifi and very friendly and knowledgable staff makes this places a favorite of mine. The big minus is the lack of a toilet so not the place to lounge for long.

They serve a lot of excellent simple cafe style dishes (the hot sandwiches are exceptional) and great pastries. Breakfast is also good with an assortment of sandwiches as well as porridge, yogurt and juices and smoothies. The main thing here is however the coffee. There is a rotating selection of roasters offered for hand-brew coffee. There is usually something local such as Koppi, Drop Coffee, Johan&Nyström or Love Coffee as well as some international roasters (lately I have seen the Berlin’s the Barn, London’s Square Mile Coffee, and a variety of Nordic roasters such as Tim Wendelboe and Coffee Collective. Coffee quality is usually excellent and price level is pretty decent as well. The espresso based beverages are also superbly prepared here.

For me it is the top spot for quality coffee in Stockholm. Unfortunately it is only open on weekdays and frequently closed during summer and winter holidays so I do not come here as much as I would have wanted.

So how does it rate:
Coffee quality: 5
Ambiance and service: 3.5 (loses out on the lack of toilet)
Food: 4
Vs local average: 5