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The Best Cup of Coffee in Scandinavia

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The Best Cup of Coffee in Scandinavia

Coffee is increasingly becoming a reason we travel. As a content editor for the travel app Stay.com, I know where some of the world’s best cups of coffee are, and yes, I have traveled for a good cup of coffee.

Stay.com’s headquarters just happens to be right here in Oslo, and as the the capital of the Scandinavian coffee scene, it’s filled with charming, independent coffee shops.

The Best Cup of Coffee in Scandinavia

Tim Wendelboe’s is one of those coffee shops. A world champion barista, Wendelboe opened his own roastery in 2007, and the standard of coffee for Norwegians quickly skyrocketed. Even as big, international coffee chains infiltrate the country, independent coffee shops continue to thrive, with new roasteries popping up constantly.

Norwegians love their coffee “as black as the soul,” and Oslo residents are willing to stand in line for it. Small batch roasting has catapulted the country into caffeinated bliss.

The Best Cup of Coffee in ScandinaviaPhoto courtesy of Benjamin A Ward

This is evident on this crisp, cold morning in March. I stand patiently in line at Wendelboe’s Grunerløkka shop, the line winding its way out the door and around the corner. Although espresso-based brews are gaining in popularity, the population at large remains loyal to filter coffee.

In fact, some statistics suggest that Norwegians drink more cups of coffee per capita than any other country. I, like so many of my fellow Scandinavians, cannot get enough.

Anders Valde Cafe

Photo courtesy of Anders Valde

I asked Wendelboe a couple of questions about the culture surrounding the Norwegian coffee trends.

Norwegians (especially) are used to very high quality coffee even from the supermarket level, so that is part of the reason why our coffee shops have a good reputation of buying great quality coffee, too, as the standards are pretty high.

Setting the Bar for Coffee Lovers Everywhere

Wendelboe has certainly set the bar high here in Oslo. Some call him crazy, but no one can deny his boundless talent. Wendelboe has challenged our affinity to dark roasts with lighter ones, encouraging Norwegians to embrace the avant-garde flowery, citrus coffees that for the rest of the world characterizes Scandinavian roasting.

If you plan on standing in line with the rest of us, make sure to set aside about 6 Euros for the perfect made-to-order, personalized brew.

Wendelboe does, however, have a clear message for all of those who expect quality coffee to come cheap:

If we want to continue drinking good coffee, of course the farmer needs to be paid a fair price.” In addition, he makes a good point that “if we want the farmers to produce excellent quality, we have to pay extra for the costs as well.

Great Coffee is Global

The world’s best cup of coffee is anywhere you want it to be, and hopefully, you get that feeling from your local coffee shop. If not, there’s exciting things happening at roasteries all over the globe, including right here in Oslo.

The Best Cup of Coffee in Scandinavia

Even as big, international coffee chains infiltrate the country, independent coffee shops continue to thrive, with new roasteries popping up constantly.

As Wendelboe reveals: “In the roastery we are preparing to get new coffees in as the harvest season in most of the countries we source from is in full swing. We are preparing our summer menu that will be on in a couple of months.

We have some new items on the menu as well as some old ones that are improved, but they are all a secret until launch in May or June.”

Jump on the Plane to Oslo

Now is the time to jump on that plane to Oslo and discover the best cup of coffee in Scandinavia. The sun rises a little bit earlier each day, and by the time these new flavors are revealed, the sun will rise long before the city’s cafes open, bringing with it a new level of coziness.

Where Norwegians soak up the sun and the lilac bushes are in full bloom. Maybe you’ll find me, standing patiently in line.

Leah Plotz

Leah is content editor for Stay.com, a travel app and website featuring city guides curated by local experts.

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