Tag Archives: V60

Growing our Bean Knowledge

Recently we were talking coffee with friends, and I realized how quickly both our passion and knowledge have grown. Okay, probably Zack more than me. But we are married, so we share everything!

Moving to Norway two and a half years ago, coffee was a nice drink, one that we liked to make a pot of fairly often. We had already come to the point where we drank it black. But our world had not yet opened up to the wonderful world of hand brews, pour overs, and slow coffee.

Terms like V60 and Aeropress were not yet in our vocabularies, and we knew little of the importance of things like water temperature, filter color, blooming, and pouring techniques.

We still have a long way to go. We are learning more about the types of beans and the roasts that were prefer. We are discovering more about roasting methods.
Have you ever had unwashed beans? Quite unique.
We have not begun roasting at home, although I would not be shocked to see Zack go that direction one day.
And to be perfectly honest, I am not sure I will personally ever be at the level where I can identify the specific notes as I sip a cup of freshly brewed coffee.
Perhaps a proper cupping course is in order.
But we really do enjoy coffee. Finding just the right beans. Learning new techniques. Trying new things.
The process of preparing a Hario or Aeropress is a large part of the overall experience. It really has become more than just drinking the coffee. And the gear is cool. And meeting people with a similar passion is fun. Exploring new shops has become a part of every vacation, day trip or business travel.

We really do enjoy the coffee culture.Are you a coffee lover? Do you enjoy a particular drink or a special brewing method?

A 36 hour Stockholm tour

Anna and I had a little more time in Stockholm than we did in Oslo (see One Day in Oslo). I have been to Sweden’s capital twice before, but each visit was with a local. Navigating the trip myself proved a challenge, but we managed to see a lot.We had about 48 hours in Sweden’s capital. We opted for the 72 hour transit pass. They offer a 24 hour pass as well. The 72 hour pass is double the price of the 24, and covers the majority of Stockholm’s public transport. It does not include the Arlanda express train. But if you aren’t in a significant hurry, you can use your pass to get to the city center. Simply buy the passes at the visitor center just before exiting there airport, take the red 583 bus from Arlanda to the Märsta station (a commuter train station). Then take a commuter train to Stockholm Central.

Once we dropped out bags off, our first stop was Gamla Stan, the old town. The winding streets and colorful architecture are quite charming.

A couple of streets are especially geared towards tourists, so it’s easy to find a souvenir or a bite to eat. We enjoyed a meal at Burrito Bar.



We also walked down the river and over to the city hall. There are beautiful views to be seen from there!


After travel and a lot of walking, we were tired. So we headed in for the evening.

We didn’t have perfect weather on our full day in Stockholm, but it was definitely bearable.

Our first stop was, of course, for coffee! We started out at Drop Coffee, my favorite in Stockholm.



Then we made our way to the Wasa museum. If you have time and money for only one museum, this should be the one. (read more here)

We spent a good bit of time exploring the Wasa. Then we headed back into the main part of the city for lunch at Kungshallen. I love this place because it’s kind of like a food court, so everyone can pick what they want to eat. And I love that they have great Indian food (yeah, I might have a bit of an addiction to all things curry…)

After lunch, it was back to Gamla Stan. We found the narrowest street (photo op!),

went in the German Church,

and walked to the palace.


Then we headed for my other favorite coffee spot, Johan och Nyström.


At that point, the rain arrived. We had seen most of things we wanted to see, so it wasn’t the worst timing. But one thing we had not done was explore the underground stations.

Stockholm is known for having interesting stations, very random and artistic. So we made several stops before heading home for the night.












Kaffetur 9 / Coffee Tour # 9: Relaks, Warsaw

Relax. A word, at least in my humble opinion, synonymous with a good cup of coffee.


And maybe a pastry.
Or an incredible sandwich.
Or all of the above.

When we visited colleagues in Poland a few months ago, I did my usual coffee research and read up on several locations. But the one that I found the most info on was Relaks. So of course we had to scope it out.

So as I walked in, I was initially puzzled. Was this the place for which I had read so many enthusiastic reviews? I really wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. The decor was eclectic. At first glance it seemed everything was mismatched. And while that isn’t a new concept for coffee bars, something just felt odd to me.* At first.

That was my initial reaction. But once we had placed our order and settled at a table, my opinion began to change.

It was quickly obvious that this is a place with many regulars. Some were settled in with a friend, and others with a MacBook or some reading material. There were frequent greetings from one patron to the next. And everyone appeared quite comfortable in this hodge-podge of vinyl and upholstered chairs and worn tables. The hodge-podge that was actually beginning to grow on me.

The baristas at Relaks know their stuff. Our experience in Poland was that it was a bit harder to communicate in English than in many European countries we’ve visited. However, we had no communications issues here. Great English, and great service with good equipment and very good coffee – and plenty of help if you aren’t sure what you might want to order!

It seems like coffee selections can vary depending on when you visit (Relaks does not roast their own beans). But what they serve up is top notch. Selection is apparently always different, but they’ve been known to offer roasts from well-respected beaneries like Solde Kaffebar (Sweden), The Barn (Berlin), Koppi (Sweden), Coffee Zone (Poland), and Coffee Company (Amsterdam).

We ordered a Finca Tamana from The Barn, as well as El Porvenir (also from The Barn, and both Columbian). They were prepared using a V60. Each was quite good, but we both preferred the Finca.

And the tapenade baguette on its own was worth the walk from the underground!

Our table reminded me a bit of the backgrounds out of a
Batman comic. Pow! Sploosh! Bang!

The boys were extremely pleased with their hot chocolate. And their table: a nice little platform table at the window – a perfect perch for two antsy pants fellas to do a bit of chatting and people watching.

They were not as enthusiastic about the almond danish they ordered – but Zack and I thought it was incredible!

Good equipment. Quality coffee. Lots of interesting people. A 1960’s vibe. All in all, a pretty cool spot. A bit off the beaten path, but definitely worth checking out if you find yourself in Warsaw!

*I did find out later that most of the furniture at Relaks is purchased used, restored, and available for re-sale. And apparently their poster collection is a rotating exhibition that is also available for purchase. Pretty cool. 

And FYI – even if you aren’t all that into coffee, Relaks offers a wide variety of baked goods and sandwiches, and a number of unusual/novelty sodas as well.

Relaks Kawiarnia
Puławska 48,
00-999 Warszawa

Alternative Coffee

Can I just say how much I love this man of mine? I wrote a little about him last week for our anniversary (that blog post can be found HERE).I think most people that know Zack would agree that he is laid back, easy to talk to, friendly, funny, and passionate. If he likes something, he’s all in. He doesn’t typically do things half way.

Yeah, when Zack has an interest in something, he tries to learn as much as he can about it. And coffee is no different. In the past couple of years, and particularly the last year or so, he has been delving into the world of coffee. He hasn’t made it to the level of roasting at home as some of our friends have, but he has gotten quite enthusiastic learning about non-traditional coffee processes.

This weekend, he had the opportunity to show some of our friends a bit of what he has learned so far. It was fun watching him as he worked with his V60 and AeroPress, and shared a recent batch of cold brewed coffee as well.

If there is one thing that is quite common in Norway, it is an enthusiasm for coffee. So perhaps Zack is living in the right place…

Not sure if you can see it well in the pics, but
he is sporting a really cool coffee shirt we picked
up in Gothenburg last week at Da Mateo.