Like Lisbon’s branch of the Copenhagen Coffee Lab, which I’d visited previously in the day, Fábrica Coffee Roasters is not a home-grown affair, but it feels more Portuguese. Long, thin and very basement-like, it has a lot in common with a Portuguese café bar, although with its comfortable sofas, upcycled furniture, hand-made counter and lights encased in cages, it wouldn’t look out of place in Shoreditch!
At the heart of Fábrica is the coffee roasting operation, which is tucked away beyond the counter at the very back of the store in a space that doubles as a retail area. Here the very shiny 5kg Probatone roasts all of Fábrica’s coffee, which you can also buy to take home. Like the Copenhagen Coffee Lab, Fábrica has an impressive output, with three options on espresso and another three on filter, which can be had as an Aeropress or Kalita for one, while the V60 and Chemex options come either for one or two.
There’s a decent menu, all the food prepared on-site in the kitchen to the left of the counter, plus lots of cake. This being Portugal, it’s not just coffee, of course, with beer and wine also making an appearance.
If you’re looking for a slice of traditional Lisbon café culture with a dose of third-wave coffee attached, Copenhagen Coffee Lab is probably not the place to come. Unlike Porto, where the speciality coffee scene seems to be largely home-grown, led by the likes of Mesa 325, this is a slice of Scandinavian coffee culture transported from Copenhagen to Lisbon. Even the cakes have a distinctly Scandi-feel to them, with not a single nata in sight, rather ruining my pet theory that Portuguese cafés were obliged to sell them by law…
Owned by a pair of Danish twins, the Copenhagen Coffee Lab imports all its coffee from the micro-roastery of the same name in Copenhagen. While it might not be home-grown, the coffee offering is certainly impressive. There’s a pair of single-origins on espresso, tailored to specific drinks, with three more on filter, through V60, Aeropress or cafetiere.
The coffee shop itself occupies a lovely, cool, low-ceilinged spot, ideal for Lisbon’s warm, southern climate. The atmosphere’s relaxed, with plenty of seating options, including in the windows flanking the door, ideal for people-watching. Finally, a small, windowless room right at the back lets you get away from it all if you want.