Coffee Collective is a world renowned Danish cafe and roastery, part-owned by 2006 World Barista Champion Klaus Thomsen, along with Peter Dupont, Casper Rasmussen, and Linus Törsäter. Their coffee is highly regarded and I’ve seen their bags proudly displayed like trophies behind the bar or in the back rooms of specialty cafes around the world.
When I moved to Sweden, the Coffee Collective was at the top of my list of cafes to visit. Luckily my masters is a joint program partnered with the University of Copenhagen, so several times a month, after a jaunt across the Öresund bridge and several hours of lecture, I get to stop by the collective for a coffee.
Click here to read more and see tons of photos!
On my first visit I was surprised to see the Strada, La Marzocco’s prototype pressure-profiling espresso machine. It has been making the rounds of high-end coffee shops for pre-production feedback and testing (click here to read Coffee Collective’s, or Tim Wendelboe’s thoughts on the machine). The espresso that day was quite nice, very sweet, with a bright, upfront acidity and tart fruity flavor (think cranberries and raspberries), balanced by an equally distinct and lasting finish of chocolate and roast notes.
The Coffee Collective neighborhood in Nørrebro.
Here you can see the La Marzocco Strada in the open bar area.
Since then I’ve been back a number of times. I usually order an espresso, but they do Aeropress cups of their coffee that are pretty good as well. On my last visit I tried some of the coffee from Hacienda La Esmeralda, in Panama. This farm uses the Ethiopian geisha varietal, and produces a crop that is highly regarded in the specialty coffee world.
It’s also rather expensive, its reputation for quality and exquisite taste has resulted in record setting auction prices. Certain lots have bid up to $175/lb. Compare that to the ‘fair trade’ price floor which is not much more than $1/lb and you’ll see just how high that price is.
The tasting notes on the label are spot on, and when the coffee is prepared fresh it’s like earl grey (i.e. bergamot), jasmine, and honey; very light and fruity, though with a bit of a roasty, dark chocolatey finish that seems to be a trademark of their roast style. I bought 250g (~$30) of the Esmeralda for brewing at home and the dry aroma is amazing; the taste in the cup is exceptionally delicate, fruity and sweet.
These muesli and berry bars are awesome.
Espresso made on the Strada. Don’t let the tan stripe fool you, from what I hear, with some pressure profiles you end up getting better results with a shot that runs longer and blonder than you’d typically want.
The old Probat roaster.
The new Probat roaster.
The Coffee Collective bar – preparing Aeropress.
Back to normal, sans Strada.
Coffee Collective is known for their light Scandinavian style roast, so if you visit you should expect lots of fruity acidity and lightly roasted chocolatey notes. Most of the time this is great, and it’s a fine example of a regional coffee style. At times, though, this doesn’t agree with my preferences, and occasionally I’ve had an espresso that was unpleasantly tart, reminding me of the occasional dried apricot you find in the bag that is both sour and bitter, with underdeveloped sweetness.
But, all in all, Coffee Collective is most assuredly deserving of their reputation and I always look forward to visiting. Their little kitchen, which is open to the customer, makes it feel warm and inviting (if a bit awkward when you first realize you’ve walked right into their workspace), and their baked goods – especially the bars you see coming out of the oven in my photos – are a perfect companion to their sweet and fruity coffees.
Right next to Coffee Collective, the Assistens cemetery is non-creepy and a nice walk! Grab a coffee and then pay a visit to Niels Bohr and Soren Kierkegaard.
Here’s a map to The Coffee Collective in Copenhagen, Denmark. There’s not an easy way to get there by the metro, your best bet is to look for a bus route that drops you at one of the nearby intersections. If you do take the subway, the Forum or Frederiksburg stops are about a 15-20 minute walk.
View FRSHGRND – Global Cafe Guide in a larger map