Coffee first arrived in Germany in the 17th century, and for centuries its consumption was synonymous with wealth. Fast forward to today and it is the nation’s most popular drink across all sectors of society. Germans now drink more coffee than beer. According to the most recent figures from the Deutscher Kaffeeverband (German Coffee Association) the average resident consumes 165 litres of coffee a year.
Hamburg’s coffee culture is particularly vibrant. The city is one of the most significant trading and distribution points for coffee beans in Europe. Every year, more than a million tons of coffee passes through the city’s port, of which half stays in Germany and the rest is exported to other European countries.
So it is little wonder that Hamburg offers a wealth of options for enjoying coffee from around the world. Here, there are artisanal espresso bars, old-fashioned cafés, independent coffee roasters and even a museum devoted to the bean. One quintessential German experience that shouldn’t be missed is the ritual kaffee und kuchen, which translates as ‘coffee and cake’. As integral as the coffee is to the experience, so too is the cake, and happily Hamburg is amply supplied with venues that excel at both.
The Elbgold mission is simple: to serve the best coffee possible. To this end, the company’s buyers visit the world’s finest coffee plantations to acquire high-quality arabica beans, which are then roasted by hand at Elbgold’s roastery in Hamburg. Customers can sample all the coffees at its café on Mühlenkamp. The drinks are made with fresh country milk or lactose-free and soy alternatives. There are also freshly baked breads and cakes to enjoy, as well as tea, juice or even wine.
Elbgold, Mühlenkamp 6A, 22303 Hamburg, +49 (0)40 2788 2223
Isabelle Guillot-Vignot brings a touch of Paris to Hamburg with her café Le BeauVoisin, which opened in the autumn of 2013. Serving speciality coffees, fine teas and homemade cakes, this is a cosy establishment. Its small terrace is the perfect spot to enjoy a lazy weekend brunch. During the week, there is an ever-changing lunch menu offering light meals such as brie and mushroom quiche or seasonal vegetable soups.
Le BeauVoisin, Ulmenstrasse 2, 22299 Hamburg, +49 (0)40 7308 6474
Stockholm Espresso Club
The passion for coffee is palpable at Stockholm Espresso Club. It’s not just the fact that every cup is weighed and its temperature taken before being served to the customer, it’s the evident pride the team members take in their job. What makes the coffee here different from other options available in the city is that it has a lighter roast – much like the coffee served in Scandinavia. This gives the drink a sweeter, fruitier taste and results in less bitterness.
Stockholm Espresso Club, Peter-Marquard-Strasse 8, 22303 Hamburg, +49 (0)160 4837361
Those with a sweet tooth should seek out the delights of Herr Max café and patisserie. Opened by husband and wife team Matthias and Julia Max, the café remains adorned with blue and white tiles from the days when the building was a dairy shop. Where possible, ingredients are organic, and the coffee served is both organic and fair trade. To cater for customers with special requirements, there is always a small selection of vegan, gluten-free and lactose-free products.
Herr Max, Schulterblatt 12, 20357 Hamburg, +49 (0)40 6921 9951