Hamburg has an intriguing relationship with coffee unknown to many, including myself until a recent visit to the Northern German city. The port of Hamburg is Europe’s primary destination for coffee shipments all over the world from countries like Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia
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Coffee culture in Hamburg
The beginnings of Germany’s caffeinated city started with its first coffee house in the 17th century. It was the launch of the coffee stock exchange in 1887 which instigated their coffee world player status. During this period small eating houses opened for the workers likeVolkskaffeehalle (people’s coffee hall) and Kaffeeklappe (coffee hatch), a simple hatch in a wall to receive food and coffee.
Today Germany is the largest importer of green coffee beans with approximately 700,000 tons each year, making the city one of the world’s biggest coffee traders.
Hamburg is also booming with its third wave coffee, a phrase I heard a lot but a concept I was unfamiliar with. It’s basically a shift from the big coffee chains to treating coffee beans as an artisanal ingredient and appreciating the finest coffee the world has to offer. Some of the establishments championing the third wave I visited incorporate the whole bean-to-cup approach with onsite roasteries.
When you’re in need of a caffeine fix during a busy day touring Hamburg be sure to check out these places:
Best Coffee Shops in Hamburg
Elbgold has been selling speciality coffee since 2004 and is the most well know third wave coffee house in Hamburg. The flagship store can be found in a former meat-packing house near the cool streets of hip Sternschanze. There are now six in total but the original has an onsite roastery.
With more than just coffee beans on the menu, the bakery is quite enticing too with breakfast bagels, home-baked pastries and cheesecake on offer.
Elbgold Röstkaffee | Lagerstraße 34c | 20357 Hamburg | Germany
Enter the minimalist world of Linus Köster at Törnqvist. Named after his grandmother, the very modern coffee shop began in 2013 from a beige VW van.
The focus is on the detail here from the filtration of his own water to sourcing single-origin beans from Scandinavian producers to a drink list you can count on one hand. Don’t go in expecting any newfangled sugar syrup laced coffees, it’s either a flat white, hand brew or espresso shot.
It’s stark black and white interior is trimmed by sleek and clear-cut edges, enticing passersby to investigate what the place is about. Be sure to drop in if you’re nearby.
Törnqvist | Neuer Pferdemarkt 12 | 20359 Hamburg | Germany
Fancy a tour with your cup of coffee? All possible at the Kaffeemuseum Burg (Museum Cafe). It’s the perfect place for a stop when touring the Speicherstadt district, the home of coffee storage and processing.
The cafe and roastery were founded in 1923 and today it’s not just a place to enjoy a hot beverage. Book yourself on a tour and learn interesting facts about the cultivation, trade and processing of the coffee beans.
Kaffeemuseum Burg | St. Annenufer 2 | 20457 Hamburg | Germany
In guter Gesellschaft
This cosy cafe in Schanze holds a great USP of being a zero waste cafe by avoiding waste as far as possible. Everything is served without packaging. Reusable containers and recycling are mandatory and food waste is processed into fertiliser.
Expect to consume a guilt free menu of coffee, sandwiches, cakes, pies and salads. All fresh and sourced locally using organic quality ingredients.
In Guter Gesellschaft | Sternstraße 25 | 20357 Hamburg | Germany
For more information on Hamburg head to Hamburg Tourismus website
Are you a coffee addict? What kick starts your day? Let me know in the comments box below.
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