The third wave of coffee is upon us, and up here in Kiel, we are surfing it all the way to delicious, strong brews.
Over the past few years, so many wonderful little cafes have popped up over the city, offering really good coffee. Not filter/drip coffee, not automat-press-a-button coffee … actual coffee coffee. Us Australians (and Kiwis) are exceedingly, borderline irritatingly precious about our coffee. As such, I make it my business to spend a lot of time creeping around the city and checking out the old stalwarts and the new upstarts.
To whit, my favourites:
Loppokaffeeexpress – Grasweg 9 + Blücherplatz Wochenmarkt + Exerzierplatz Wochenmarkt
My favourite coffee in the city, these guys are possibly as famous for their bike as they are their coffee. The bike is fully rigged out to transport all things needed for a mobile cafe. Four days a week, you can find the bike at Kiel’s fresh food markets – Blücherplatz on Mondays and Thursdays, and Exezierplatz on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The lines are long but move blessedly swiftly. Or, you can visit their Grasweg roastery/cafea, and do various coffee-related courses there. The Loppo team lives and breathes coffee and it shows.
Impuls Kaffeemanufaktur – Küterstraße 7-9
I love these guys. If I am in the Altstadt, or anywhere near it, this is my absolute cafe of choice. The cafe itself is really spacious with plenty of seating options, the food is really lovely, and the staff are always friendly (and can I just say, what a difference that makes). And, of course, the coffee is great. Impuls roast their own coffee and sell it, along with other bits and pieces for coffee lovers.
Tragbar – Holtenauer Straße 174
I’ll always have a soft spot for this one – it was the first ‘really good coffee’ we found after moving back to Kiel and I remember thinking, ‘oh thank God.’ Plus the cafe is attached to a fantastic design shop which you can spend a long time in, sifting through some really wonderful things. And, it is on a beautiful street, which makes sitting outside in the sun an utter pleasure. Sitting inside, cosy as toast, when it’s raining, isn’t too bad either.
Brunswik – Brunswiker Straße 55
Brunswik use Loppokaffeeexpress beans, so they’re already ahead of the game in my book. The coffee is great and although I haven’t yet eaten there, the food looks pretty alright too. In the evening, you can trade your coffee for a wine, which is always a wonderful thing.
Cafe Liebling – Jungfernstieg 22
This is another cafe that uses Loppo’s coffee. As a result, a decent latte is generally guaranteed, although it isn’t super strong. Liebling is really good, though, with different types of milk for those who can’t/don’t do the classic 3.5 or 1.5%. Liebling is also in a beautiful neighbourhood and has done a lovely job with the interior, so just being there is a pleasure.
Cafe Hilda – Jägersburg 5
Klein aber fine, Hilda is cute and cosy, with some great food options and most importantly, really nice coffee. This is where you want to while away the grey and rainy afternoons in winter. Once or twice the service has been a touch … too cool for school? … but otherwise a lovely spot.
Mmhio – Knooperweg 75
Mmhio is a bit of an all rounder. Good coffee (although I have had to ask for a third shot in the past …) and a really great layout which means the (very big) space can house loads of people but not feel crowded. Bonus points for plenty of pram room, ramp access, and a change table. Amazing.
Paul Heyck – Faulstraße 2a
So this is a punch in the face kind of coffee. Really, really strong. Paul Heyck’s has been around forever – it is one of the oldest shops in Kiel, with a vast assortment of specialty tea and coffee. The coffees take a while to make, possibly because the machine is powered by foot or something equally as cool and antiquey, but it is good, strong coffee. And the shop itself is a bit of heaven for tea and coffee drinkers.
Bakeliet – Möllingtraße 11
These guys aren’t in my hood (although they are in a really cool one!) so I don’t get over there too often, but on the occasions I have, the coffee has been really good. The interior of Bakeliet is really quite something and alone, well worth the visit. Like at Loppo, you can also do coffee courses there.
Philine Boulangerie Francaise – Holtenauer Straße 162
One for the Francophiles, Philine started by dolling out delicious pastries and really decent coffee from a renovated bus at the farmer markets. Now she has a bricks and mortar restaurant with the same pastries and the same good coffee.
Mum + Dad – Ziegelteich 14
Good, strong coffee and right around the corner from my favourite Trödel place, which makes it a good one to grab to-go pre Trödel hunting. But the interior is also super cool and there is plenty of place to enjoy a drink inside.
Other Decent Cups
Resonanz – Mittelstraße 23
Owned by the same guys from Bakeliet, Resonanz is pretty much The Cool Spot in Kiel. My only problem with them is the service. Perhaps I struck out, but of the handful of times I have been, I have walked out twice. That aside, Resonanz is known for its excellent food and is worth a visit.
Hoek & Hildebrandt – Knooperweg 42
A really cute spot for Kaffee und Kuchen and afterwards, you can trawl through some fantastic antiques and old treasures.
EmmaPlus – Holtenauer Straße 85 + Knooperweg 39
A gourmet deli + cafe that sells a good brew.
Cafe Restez – Sternstraße 18 + Gerhardstraße
Another one for the Francophiles and anyone who loves good cake and lovely bread. The newer Gerhardstraße cafe has more room to sit, and is on a quieter street, so outdoor seating in the spring and summertime is really pleasant. I generally get a (delicious) hot chocolate at Restez, the coffee isn’t strong enough for me.
Peaberries Cafe – Holtenauer Straße 47
Super klein and pretty fine, Peaberries is a very popular coffee spot. They have great bagels too. The coffee can be a bit milky for my liking, but if you ask for it strong, it is a decent cup. This place is almost always packed, so be prepared.