Paris has Oberkampf, London has Shoreditch, Oslo has Grünerløkka: it seems no modern liberal city is complete without a recently gentrified, shabby chic, hipster district where Edwardian beards, asymmetrical haircuts and check shirts are the order of the day. A (fortunate) by-product of such areas has been the artisan coffee trend – combine this with the Scandinavian tradition for taking coffee seriously and it’s no surprise that Grünerløkka is home to one of the best coffee shops in the world. Tim Wendelboe, the World Barista Champion 2004, set up his eponymous coffee shop, micro-roastery and coffee school 10 years ago and it’s still going from strength to strength – everything is ethically run, from international sourcing of coffee beans to the transparency of pricing. Walking in, the scent is incredible; the interior design is stripped back and simple, with a massive grinding machine taking pride of place. Despite its location in the heart of Oslo’s hipsterland, I didn’t spy any trustafarians comparing tattoos as they sipped on their lattes – just a couple of New Yorkers who made a special trip (it’s that good).
Wendelboe champions the Aeropress – a gizmo that’s a little like a cafetiere but brews the coffee in a shorter length of time and uses air pressure instead, making espresso-strength coffee that is somehow less acidic.
On my visit I went for the tasting flight of filter coffees, including a Java and Catuai from Honduras via the Caballero cooperative, complete with tasting notes – fun, sublime and wonderful. Perhaps some titbits of food wouldn’t go amiss but the local area has a plentiful selection of bars, cafes and restaurants if you feel peckish after your caffeine hit. For a cultural hit, the Munch museum is a 10 minute walk away. Tim Wendelboe is well worth a visit for anyone curious about coffee and for coffee lovers it’s an essential bucket list item.
For coffee subscriptions, brewing guides and stockist information check out https://www.timwendelboe.no
Grüners Gate 1
by J A Smith