Based in Bucharest for almost two years, I still feel like a tourist here as I keep discovering new places every time I go for a walk. Meaning that there are many amazing entrepreneurs continuously deciding to open new restaurants, bars, cafés and shops in the Romanian capital.
One of the great examples illustrating what is actually happening here is the specialty coffee market in Bucharest. It's booming! It has been the subject at my talk during ‘Bucharest Made By People #9’ at the end of November last year. Indeed when I arrived in Bucharest on March 2016, 10 places where offering specialty rocket fuel. At the beginning of 2018, I counted 44 places on my list and I am not sure I’m up-to-date. It really shows how this city is changing and how locals work hard to bring high quality products to their community.
I really wanted to share with you a list of my favourite places in town, even if I have to admit that its hard work, as I always hesitate where to order my coffee each time I get out of my building. But I’ll give it a try:
- Where: Lipscani 9
This small café is one of the first places to offer specialty coffee in Bucharest. Origo is not only the name of a café, but also one of the most successful roasteries in Romania. Each time you get there, a selection of two types of coffees will be presented by the baristas, to make sure they’ll prepare the coffee that suits the best for you. Excellence is one of the key words describing Origo. Indeed, the café sees some of their baristas participating to World Coffee championships every year, most of the time bringing good results.
- Where: Calea Dorobanti 56
Located on Calea Dorobanti, Dose Café belongs to two former sailors from Constanta, who fell in love with specialty coffee during their numerous trips all around the world. Open since a year and half, they remain loyal to their coffee provider, Caffenation, a roastery based in Antwerp, another harbor city, to give us a wink. Good coffee for sure, but also great service! Always smiling and willing to help, you will feel home by the time you open the door. The place is small, but very enjoyable for a coffee to drink in.
Artichoke Coffee Shop
- Where: Calea Victoriei 45
First of all, please note that Artichoke is most probably the favorite café among instagramers in Bucharest. The café is located at the end of an archway, near Kretzulescu Church, near a Humanitas Library. Diana Anghel, owner of the place, is passionate about plants, but also modernist architecture. Therefore, Artichoke is a perfect mix between modernist/minimalist exhibitions and decorations, with a lot of green touch. Amazing decor, good coffee, and also brunches for the people willing to have some avocado toasts, a bit of cheese and tomatoes to satisfy their appetite.
Bob Coffee Lab
- Where: Piata Charles de Gaulle 3
A new name is now to add on the list of cafes offering high-quality specialty coffee in this world, and it comes from Bucharest. Bob Coffee Lab is the perfect match between the World Coffee Roasting Champion 2016 and the 3rd in the World Coffee in Good Spirits competition. Alex and Paul, both owners, opened Bob Coffee Lab in late August 2017, and they already export their beans all over the world. They both also decided to hire young local baristas, in order to train them to excellence, and to ensure Romania a bright future in the specialty coffee industry. A unique experience for coffee lovers.
Orygyns Specialty Coffee
- Where: Strada Jules Michelet 12
Near the British Embassy, Orygyns is the perfect place for coffee lovers who don’t necessarily have the time to go all over the world to try coffee from different roasteries. Indeed, Orygyns usually selects one new provider each month, offering specialty coffee for their customers. It guarantees a different experience quite regularly, and it is also a nice way to make people travel, even when they are in their own city.
As I have said earlier, the list can be stretched out, as many providers are offering specialty coffee in town. If you have more time for a coffee trip in Bucharest or wish to know about additional places, I also advise you to go to Narcoffee Roasters, Steam, Two Minutes, T-Zero and Trofic. These places will also help you to understand more the specialty coffee culture in the “Little Paris." Enjoy the tasting!
Words by Luka Zivkovic (@lifeisjovial)
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