UPDATE: Sadly Luis has sold his shop, but I’m pretty sure we haven’t heard the last from him! Keep an eye out for future updates.

When I heard from Oscar that Luis from Cafe 14 was competing in next week’s Swedish Barista Cup (the winner goes on to the World Barista Championship), I had to pay him a visit and move him to the front of my long line of backlogged posts.

Cafe 14 has been open for just around 10 months, offering soups, sandwiches, desserts, and coffee by well regarded roaster Love Coffee, based in Lund, Sweden. Is this just a cozy place to grab a bite to eat for lunch, or is it a serious coffee shop?

When I first visited Cafe 14 last year to try the coffee, I thought my espresso was above average, but I was more impressed by Luis’ openness and obvious passion for his business. A one man operation, visiting Cafe 14 is like dropping by Luis’s kitchen, and he seems to enjoy making you feel at home in the intimate space he’s decorated with candles and vintage furniture.

What’s clear to me now is that he’s serious about his coffee as well, and it shows in how much it’s improved in such a short time. I won’t divulge much about the details of his competition coffee, except to say that it’s a single origin and the first shot I tried tasted very good and nicely balanced, though I think he’s still tweaking the extraction variables to find what works best. After that I had a cappuccino that was very well crafted, perhaps one of the better tasting that I’ve had in recent memory (I think both the particular coffee he’s using and proper milk temperature had a lot to do with it).

So, here’s wishing Luis good luck in the competition, where he’ll have to get up to speed on the Strada espresso machine in very little time, and adjust to different water and other variables, not to mention the stress of competing. But honestly, I think the attempt itself is a win for him and his business, as it is for anyone that competes. Whatever happens, keep up the good work, it got my attention, and I think it’ll pay off!

You can see a map for directions below:

View FRSHGRND – Global Cafe Guide in a larger map