This post is incredibly long overdue given that one of the first people to welcome me to Sweden was Dan Stenqvist, blogger, barista extraordinaire, and roaster for Solde Kaffebar in Malmö. It’s been about nine months since I arrived, and I think I’ve been to Solde more often than any other coffee bar in Malmö. Click below to see why!
When I first moved to Malmö, Dan, Johan, and Jonas of Solde were in the process of setting up their roastery (which you can see in the pictures above), and since then they’ve been continually tweaking their offerings, learning and improving. It’s fun as a specialty coffee consumer because each visit holds something different. We’re not talking about a big, established specialty roaster with multiple layers of staff or fancy equipment, but three guys directly serving you coffee they’ve sourced, roasted, and blended themselves. That’s more than a commodity transaction; that’s an invitation to take part in their adventure, and it’s what makes visiting local, independent, artisan coffee shops so fun.
So far, I’ve been most impressed with their espresso blends, which seem to be getting better and better each time I visit. They also do drip coffee blends, and single-origins occasionally, which are pleasant most of the time, but I think will see some more work before reaching the same level as their espresso roasting and blending. For now, it’s the espresso at Solde that really sets them apart. I can still remember a few of the espresso shots I’ve had there over the past year – from subtly spicy and sweet, with the finish of a nice cigar, that made trudging through the icy Swedish winter a little more enjoyable, to the more recent summery notes of sweet, tangy, sun dried tomato with a strong and lingering chocolate finish. But if you’re not in the mood for espresso, Solde’s got you covered with their very own World Latte Art Champion, Johan Carlström. They also have sandwiches that look nice, but I always forget to try them because they’re hidden below the counter.
Inside, Solde is all high counters and stools, an arrangement that breaks down barriers and makes for a more open, shared social space; something I enjoy, perhaps because it’s uncommon in the US. It’s not a place to park for two hours with a laptop (there are other spots more suitable for that), but definitely a place for a chat, reading a paper, and sparking a conversation (if you can speak the language). When busy, the cafe crowds up with an interesting mix of Malmö’s hipsters, but also young families out for a walk with the baby, and shoppers taking a break from the nearby shopping street. If you can get one of the comfortable corner seats, it makes for entertaining people watching.
Solde recently celebrated its fifth anniversary, and I look forward to seeing where Johan, Jonas, and Dan take it in another five years. I’m expecting great things!
Map and directions below:
View FRSHGRND – Global Cafe Guide in a larger map