It has one of the longest and most unusual names of any shop we have visited so far. But Crooked Nose & Coffee Stories (hereinafter CNACS) turned out to be a lot more than a funny name in a quaint little Lithuanian neighborhood.
I had of course done research before traveling to Vilnius, and my search did not leave me with the highest of coffee hopes. I read about one shop that piqued my interest (CNACS), but nothing else really. And that one shop seemed to be a bit out of the way, so we weren’t sure if we would even check it out.
As I wrote previously (here), we had one very pleasant surprise when we almost literally stumbled into Coffee Inn Roasters in downtown Vilnius. So after seeing that it was possible to get good coffee in this town, we decided it might be worth it to make the trek out of the main part of the city and into a smaller neighborhood to explore CNACS.
Stepping into the clean and simple cafe environment, I detected a sense of Scandinavian design. A lot of plants, stark white walls, and simple but functional wooden furnishings.
We were immediately greeted by owner Emanuelis Ryklys. Not in that pushy, hurry-up-and-place-your-order kind of way, but in a manner that made us feel welcome and at home.
And for the next hour, that’s exactly how we felt: like we were sitting in a living room with our new barista friend, hearing his stories and tasting some pretty incredible coffee.
When explaining the cafe’s name, Ryklys first pointed to his own nose and noted its unusual direction (as a fellow crooked nose, I found it to be a fantastic name!). He then went on to tell us that when they first began roasting, each bag had a short story printed on the back.
When speaking of his experience, he talked about how he came from an advertising background but finally decided one day to follow his dream and work with something that had always been a pleasure. He told us of a couple of summers spent in Norway, further fueling his interest in coffee.
When he was preparing our pour-overs, we could all hear the pride as our new barista friend told us about his unique wooden filter basket.
And since I mentioned pour-overs, I should also mention another thing Emanuelis takes pride in: CNACS is a brew-only bar. No milk, nothing fancy on the menu. But with coffee like this, who needs anything else?
And as he finished our coffee and continued sharing the shop’s story – and his own – he explained that everything is roasted small batch. And when you taste the coffee, you taste the difference, the care and the quality.
CNACS recently celebrated its first anniversary. And if Emanuelis and his team continue with the high level of personal service, relaxing environment and excellent coffee, there is no doubt that they’ll continue to increase their following and be around for many years to come.
When in Vilnius, you should definitely take the time to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee at Crooked Nose & Coffee Stories. And be sure to tell Emanuelis that Jenn at Notes from Norge told you to stop by!
For information on their annual Dark Times Coffee Conference, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/534660730050432/