Caffeinated Copenhagen - the home of Scandi style coffee
In the land of good food and wine, coffee completes the gastronomic trinity in Copenhagen.
To understand the Copenhagen coffee scene, you must know a thing or two about the Scandinavian coffee culture as a whole. First off, it’s all about filter coffee. Second, more often than not, most Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland) are to be found on the top 5 of world’s most coffee consuming countries per capita. In 2022 the world top ranking was: Finland, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Netherlands and Sweden (source, coffeeabout.com). To put it short: we love our coffee here in Scandinavia.
It seems redundant by now to mention that Copenhagen is world renowned for its gastronomy. But maybe you didn’t know, that along with the New Nordic Food Manifesto from 2004, which kicked the Danish and Nordic cuisine into a new era, something started happening on the Copenhagen and Scandinavian coffee scene around the same time. Just as New Nordic has become a quality stamp in modern gastronomy, so has Scandi style in the world of coffee.
Scandi style coffee grew out of the third wave- and specialty coffee movement (see descriptions below), and is typically characterized by lighter roasts with a higher acidity, broader complexity of flavours and an immense focus on quality in the coffee beans. However, Scandi style coffee is not only about flavour profiles. It’s just as much about the design of the café spaces, that often lean heavily on Scandinavian minimalism, and the act of being curious about what coffee can be in terms of the way it’s served and consumed. Just as Copenhagen has done it with beer, natural wine and food, we decided to be open and curious in our approach to coffee, welcoming the brighter, sweeter and more funky flavours.
"The more acidic and bright flavour notes of specialty coffee fits the Danish palate well. Acidity is a big thing in Danish cuisine. [...] Copenhageners are also generally keen on embracing new food trends I think.” Interview with Klaus Thomsen , co-founder of Coffe Collective
As specialty coffee has steadily grown into cafés and homes across the globe in the latter years, Copenhagen has made a name for itself on the global coffee scene. With Scandi style trailblazers like Coffee Collective, trend-setting coffee shops like Prolog, numerous Danish world champion baristas behind the bars and an array of talented coffee-expats setting up shop in the streets of Copenhagen, there’s really no reason not to drop by and sample some of our city’s diverse and ever sprawling coffee offerings.
Facts on coffee in Copenhagen
- 4.1 billion cups of coffee consumed in Danish homes annually
- approx. 700 cups of coffee consumed in every Danish home each year
- 3-4 cups of coffee are drunk per day per person
- 86% of men drink coffee daily and for women it's 76%
- 52% of Danes prefer to drink filter coffee
- 17% of people in Northern Jutland prefer milk in their coffees in Copenhagen that number is 54%
- From age 45 to 64 most Danes peak in their daily coffee consumption
- In 2022 Copenhagen was the fourth most coffee-consuming country in the world.
- Danes love their 'aftenkaffe' (evening coffee)
- Denmark have 4 world champions in coffee (Martin Hildebrandt 2001, Fritz Storm 2002, Troels Overdahl Poulsen 2005, Klaus Thomsen 2006) and 1 Cup taster (Casper Engel Rasmussen 2008)
- Coffee Collective was founded in Copenhagen in 2007 kickstarting the third wave coffee movement in Copenhagen
- In 2022 Coffee Collective won the ‘Best Sustainable Café’ at the 13th annual Sprudgie Awards (the most coveted coffee award in the world).
- Copenhagen has 50+ specialty coffee bars
- A Danish Batch Brew Champion is crowned every year at the Coffee Fest.
- Specialty coffee is all coffee scored above 80 points on a 100 point standardized SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) score sheet by a certified quality grader (Q-grader).
- Only around 10% of all coffee produced reaches specialty grade.
- The term, specialty coffee, is commonly used to describe coffee beans as being high quality or gourmet (source: Sprudge and SCA).
- The term third wave is used about coffee bars committing to only brew coffee on specialty beans scored higher than 80 points on the SCA scale.
Notable coffee roasters in Copenhagen
Read more about the Danish coffee roasters, who have contributed to turning Copenhagen into a coffee destination.
Founded in 2007 in Copenhagen and now boasting eight coffee shops in Copenhagen and one in Aarhus. Widely regarded as one of the pioneers behind the Scandinavian style of coffee bar design and roasting with an emphasis on lighter roasts and more acidic coffees.
Founded in 2012 in Aarhus but now roasting in Copenhagen. With their slogan Brightness in Coffee, they focus on extremely high quality beans with bright clean flavour notes. La Cabra has four locations in Denmark (two in Copenhagen, two in Aarhus), two in Thailand and two in New York City.
Founded in 2016 in Kødbyen, Copenhagen, Prolog has gained a cult-like following since opening. Their focus is on sustainability and that extra quality of life good coffee can add to your day. Prolog opened their second location on Østerbro in 2023.
April Coffee Roasters
Founded by native Swede, Patrik Rolf, in 2016 in Copenhagen. After working as a roaster at various top-tier European coffee roasters, Patrik Rolf decided to open April Coffee Roasters in Copenhagen, as the city was his main source of inspiration in terms of food and beverage. April now has two showrooms, one on Østerbro in Copenhagen and one in Seoul, South Korea.
Andersen & Maillard
Founded in 2018 on Nørrebro, Copenhagen. As much an amazing bakery as a specialty coffee roaster with three locations across Copenhagen.
Founded in 2021 by the lakes of Copenhagen. This tiny roastery only imports direct trade specialty beans from two farms in Peru. They roast in-house at their café on Østerbro using small-batch Danish designed coffee roasters. As possibly the only spot in town, they let you order you own custom roast of their coffees.
Founded in 2014 on Islands Brygge in Copenhagen. ROAST is a small-batch coffee roaster focusing on sustainability in quality and especially in the coffee supply-chain, working to secure that the farmers get paid properly for the beans they sell. They have three locations in Copenhagen.