Hamburg has been a key region of the coffee industry for centuries. Here are three cafes that demonstrate how the past has shaped the specialty-coffee scene of Hamburg.
BY TANA NANETTI
SENIOR ONLINE CORRESPONDENT
Cover photo taken by Patrick Rosenkranz via Unsplash
Hamburg is among the major Northern German cities. Founded in the 9th century and has been renowned from the Middle Ages for being one of Europe’s largest trading hubs. Hamburg has been associated for a long time with coffee and you can observe this throughout the city’s history and suburbs.
For long periods of time, coffee was transported in, stored, and then roasting here. In 1677, the first cafe was established in the town in just two decades following opening the first café in Europe (which was located in Venice). The Hamburg Coffee Exchange was founded in 1887. It soon became the standard of the world market for coffee and has been for a long time.
2023 will be the centennial anniversary of the establishment of the Burg Coffee Museum which is located in a warehouse built in the 19th century located in the Speicherstadt district. The museum has a large collection of coffee artifacts which provide a historical overview of the history of coffee.
Many things have evolved since the very first coffeehouse was opened. Today, specialty coffee shops are found everywhere and the scent of freshly made coffee can be found in the most surprising places.
Here are three amazing specialty coffee roasters to try in Hamburg.
Nord Coast Coffee Roastery
In a city that has many bridges, waterways and an historic harbor, it’s simple understand why one of the most cool places to open a cafe is right next to the water. Nord Coast Coffee Roastery Nord Coast Coffee Roastery was established in 2015 by Jorn and Paula Gorzolla. Its first location was in Deichstrasse is located on the longest remaining road in Hamburg’s historical old town, Altstadt. Nord Coast is in an alley filled with charming restaurants and boutiques; its back windows offer views of the Nikolaifleet canal.
Nord Coast was born with the idea of providing specialty coffees roasted to the highest standards of quality. They also wanted to focus on the cultivation of sustainable crops and fair trade. Their method of roasting and preparing specialty coffees combines innovation with the historical connection of coffee to Hamburg’s port. Hamburg.
This is the perfect spot to have a coffee or breakfast, including waffles sandwiches, waffles, and healthy choices made from local and regional ingredients. Nord Coast is also the ideal spot for romantic breaks and a romantic dinner. Ask for the table in the back near the window. It’s a great choice!
Manufact Coffee Roasters
Although Manufact Coffee Roasters was born just a few years ago the story of its birth tells an interesting story about the relationship between Hamburg and specialty coffee.
In 2012, Less Political, one of the first specialty coffee shops in Hamburg began operations in the Schanze neighborhood. It’s only a few steps from St.Pauli Hamburg’s red-light area and home to the famous homonymous football team (Hamburger Sport-Verein) and a myriad of restaurants and bars.
The multi-roaster cafe was located in an industrial area which was once the office of the nearby slaughterhouse. They served good coffee in an interesting graffitied area that was creative and completely non-politicized.
Then, in mid-2018 Less Political changed its concept and changed its name to Hermetic Coffee Roasters, starting to roast its own coffee using a an open and curious mind. But the story goes on. In April 2020 amid the pandemic Hermetic changed again, and they sold their old location to new owners. Manufact Coffee Roasters took over the cafe and began their own path. In those uncertain times meant a slow beginning, however those who were Hermetic customers and new customers kept Manufact running. They remained a rebel and served the same top-quality coffee, which was roasted by them as well as by their colleagues at Hermetic Coffee.
In the heart of St. Pauli stands Playground Coffee. The concept was born as a simple counter at a local burger establishment in 2014, the staff at Playground have been doing what they enjoy: roasting coffee with passion and love.
Playground is available for takeout since the start of the epidemic, and has an outside seating area to take advantage of the (few) sunny days in the city. However, they’ve built an ever-growing group of coffee drinkers due to the incredible trio that sits behind the tiny coffee shop.
Veljko is the person who thought up the idea of Playground and was also the one who was crazy enough to see it through by becoming barista and roaster. Matze roasts, and also pulls shots and also manages the back office. Additionally, Haina is the 3rd fantastic barista as well as decorator and designer. These three were able create high-quality coffee but also great branding.
From the comic-book-inspired designs and illustrations of the coffee packaging as well as posters to a tiny but constantly evolving limited fashion label, which includes T-shirts, sweaters, and scarves, Playground is the perfect place to find something unique (and coffee-related).).
A BIT ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tanya Nanetti (she/her) is a barista for specialty coffee who is a traveler as well as a dreamer. When she’s not working behind the machine (or exploring a hidden area of the globe) she’s writing articles for Coffee Insurrection which is a website dedicated to specialty coffee that she’s putting together with her boyfriend.
This article was first published at Barista Magazine, an online magazine dedicated to baristas and coffee professionals.