If you don’t drink coffee unless it’s a “damn fine cup of coffee” – as agent Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks used to say – you’re lucky to be in Poznań where fine cups of coffee are in plenty. We’re taking a closer look at coffee houses where the heavenly dark liquid is served in a myriad of versions–traditional, experimental, hot, cold, black, gold–and where flavor meets friendly atmosphere. Read on to find out where to find a boost of energy in Poznań!
ul. Strusia 9
Oh, how empty was the Łazarz district without this place! Luckily, the area close to heart of the district is blossoming with new food spots and Vandal Cafe is one of its finest gems. Look for a neon light with the logo and characteristically green chairs in front. Along with its Berlin vibe–off the street, casual and relaxed–the cafe serves classic cappuccinos topped with foam art as well as alternative brews, drip in particular. If you feel like gobbling up iced coffee through a metal straw, you can do it as well. Coffee beans come from Opole-based Hard Beans and from Five Elephant sold by our neighbors west of the border. Since coffee goes perfectly with a piece of cake, treat yourself to some vegan apple pie or light and airy cheesecake. Familiar tastes are the best!
Happa to Mame
ul. Szamarzewskiego 17
If you’re enthusiastic about the alchemy of coffee and minimalist aesthetic, go straight to Happa to Mame in Poznań’s Jeżyce district. This tiny embassy of Japan offers clear brew from a vacuum coffee pot with soothingly percolating water. The whole place is like a laboratory open to the public–you can witness the entire process of coffee making, with Marcin and Shota taking you from one step to another. Coffee, brought from Osaka-based Hyotanyama Roaster, is served both hot and cold. The latter is made using the Dutch coffee method “that gives coffee a stronger and more complex taste if compared to the cold brew technique”. To cut the long story short, Happa to Mame’s iced coffee undergoes a 14-hour maceration process and contains twice as much caffeine as the very same coffee brewed differently. This is fire! And it’s best to drink it while munching on wagashi–Japanese savory sweets.
Piece of cake
ul. Św. Wojciech 27
The best way to describe the Piece of Cake duo? An inseparable match made in heaven. Ania and Kuba have been brewing coffee for as long as I can remember. Having been based on Żydowska street for quite a long time, the duo moved to a new location on Św. Wojciech street. Their current space, welcoming coffee lovers for more than two years now, is a breathtaking plant-filled jungle where you can enjoy a piece of French pastry and a large cup of flat white or drip coffee in a cozy atmosphere. If my palate remembers correctly–the duo was one of the first in the city to introduce and promote alternative brewing methods. I still remember how they used to scold me for trying to add sugar to my drip–don’t do this!
Pączuś i Kawusia
Rynek Łazarski 8
Buongiorno! This doughnut kingdom in Łazarz serves coffee from Italian Gardelli Specialty Coffees. Enjoy a cup of espresso, cappuccino, or AeroPress-, Chemex- and drip-brewed coffee. On a hot summer day, treat yourself to a cold brew or, if you’re a sweet tooth, a cup of affogato–coffee with ice cream. There is one thing we have to admit, though. Italian coffee is gorgeous, that’s true (after all it’s Italian), but its black glory is a bit overshadowed by the dazzling doughnut glaze. Speaking of donuts, you can choose a few unconventional flavors: apple with lemon and mint, rhubarb (with rhubarb glaze), black currant and walnut cream. You can also try savory donuts with a cottage cheese-potato filling or Oscypek cheese. Delicious! No wonder the place is included in the prestigious yellow guide by Gault&Millau.
ul. Ratajczaka 31
With its large window proudly showcasing the wall covered with a mosaic made of empty coffee bags, this coffee house is hard to miss. The place offers the unique experience of sipping black coffee while taking in the view of the beautiful University Library building. People who work here are masters of alternative brewing who have been learning the craft from the owners. The menu on the wall behind the bar offers an impressive selection of coffee: from espresso to latte to vacuum coffee brewing to chemex. As its name suggests, Stragan, a Polish word for the market stall, is lively and sociable, making you feel at ease talking to baristas and people by the table next to yours. If you feel hungry, have a piece of homemade cake or a bagel baked on site. Coffee and gluten are a perfect match, aren’t they?
Kahawa Kawa i Książka
Plac Cyryla Ratajskiego 10
This gem of a coffee house is definitely one of the nicest and most comfortable co-working spaces, featuring a long and broad table with built-in power outlets in an open yet intimate surrounding. Since coffee and work go hand in hand, the former is roasted on site. In case you were wondering, the mysterious machine behind the glass window is nothing but a roaster, the source of the irresistible scent of freshly roasted beans. Kahawa offers a summer alternative to delicious americanos and foamy cappuccinos in the form of green coffee lemonades with basil seeds or refreshing tonic espressos. Kahawa is also a place where coffee invites a variety of initiatives: workshops for adults and kids, meetings devoted to literature, and coffee brewing workshops. We shouldn’t forget about the stunning view of hundreds of books stacked on bookshelves built on top of the wooden steps that are also used as seats. Browse through a meticulously selected collection and choose yourself a read on site or take it home. Remember you can take your own coffee cup and have it filled with delicious coffee to go.
ul. Żydowska 29
It is our pleasure to introduce you to bardzo–a cozy interior with an intimate outdoor space where what matters most is what’s hidden inside beautiful, large cups. Do not worry if names such as Kenya and Ethiopia bring to mind nothing more than the geography of Africa, a team of baristas at bardzo is always more than happy to share their coffee know-how with even the most inquisitive guests. So, if you’re curious about the nuances of taste and smell, don’t resist the brewing urge to ask! If you want a piece of cake with your coffee, there’s plenty to choose from, but the choice varies depending on the day and time of your visit. It’s always good to ask for available options–who knows, maybe you’ll have a chance to try fat yeast rolls with fruit and crumbs, homemade cheesecake with an insane amount of pistachios or generously stuffed blueberry buns. Last but not least, if you feel like you don’t have enough energy after the first coffee, relax or take a nap in a stripy hammock outside. Finally, once you’re well rested, it’s time for coffee no. 2!
ul. Żurawia 13
Located right next to Rynek Jeżycki, this spot couldn’t have wished for a better name. But even though it’s tiny, it’s really warm and has truly A LOT to offer. Some of you may remember the owner, Maks, from when he was working as a barista in Stragan. Now, he’s ruling his kingdom of minimalism where he serves classically and alternatively brewed coffee as well as a variety of iced coffees, including Fritz-espresso-coke–a solid dose of caffeine with lime and ice–well-known and liked cold brew and coffee shots in frozen cups (version with a freshly pressed orange juice also available). Make sure you come back often because apart from permanent highlights such as coffee made from beans from a Warsaw-based independent roastery Czarna Fala, you may end up enjoying one-of-a-kind promos, e.g. a free cookie to every cup of coffee drunk on site.
ul. Prusa 4/2
Uno Espresso decided to drop the coffee element of its name two years ago and has been known as Uno ever since. The place is well-known for its continuous devotion to brewing high-quality coffee and introducing many Poznan-based baristas to the craft. The atmosphere of this friendly space is filled with the aroma of coffee beans; you can try different types of coffee, including beans roasted in Uno’s very own roastery ODIJA. Beans are sold on site in original black bags with an animalistic label, so you can take one home if you like. You should know that the place serves some of the best breakfasts Poznań has to offer. The menu is short, but seasonal and exquisite: different takes on eggs, peanut granola, a sandwich with pork loin and a nourishing shakshouka served with bread made locally in Zakwas. If you fancy experimenting a bit, try coffee in a chocolate waffle or a cold cascara–a drink made of dried skin from cocoa tree seeds.
ul. Św. Marcin 14
One of the youngest spots on our map occupies a surprising yet convenient location–the back part of Święty Marcin where the street slowly begins to descend. Prior to the opening, the owners would give us hints of what was coming by posting photos featuring fragments of interior and its characteristic marble. The simplicity of form–not limited to interior design–is indeed what makes Miel stand out. A to-go bottle of cold brew resembles a piece of art. The place offers other refreshing beverages such as a glass of espresso tonic or iced latte. To satisfy morning hunger, enjoy a light French breakfast with a crispy croissant, sweet or savory.
text: Marika Krystman
photo: courtesy of coffee houses