Copenhagen has a small, but extremely high-standard speciality coffee scene. One of the relatively old hands is Forloren Espresso, which stands out partly because it doesn’t, like so many others in the Danish capital, roast its own beans. Instead it serves single-origin espresso and pour-overs through the Kalita Wave, using the UK’s Has Bean on espresso and filter, with Denmark’s La Cabra providing some of the filter options. Forloren also brings in an occasional guest roaster.
There are two options on espresso, three on filter. Each bean is priced differently and the options change every week or so. The main espresso option is designed for milk, with the second espresso usually served on its own or in cortados. There’s also a choice of tea, while a small snack menu offers breakfast and lunch options, plus there’s cake and pastries.
Although just a few steps away from Copenhagen’s tourist-central at the top of the Nyhavn Canal, and on the well-trodden route to the magnificent Frederiks Kirke, Forloren Espresso is surprisingly off the beaten track. A good sign that it doesn’t rely on the tourist trade is that it shuts at four o’clock every day and doesn’t open at all on Sundays.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Forloren Espresso is on the busy Kongensgade Street, which probably relegates sitting outside at the two small tables to an appealing choice for either smokers or sun lovers. Inside it’s a cosy, L-shaped space, door on the left, bottom of the L facing the street. Here a wide, floor-to-ceiling window provides plenty of light and is home to a four-person window bar, a better bet for people-watching than the tables outside. This has high, backless stools, under-counter hooks for your coats/bags and is generously-equipped with power outlets.
The only downside is that you sit with your back to the counter, a white-tiled affair which faces the window, brew-bar at the front, espresso machine on the right and menus on the wall behind. There’s also a set of retail shelves down here, tucked between counter and window, selling beans, equipment and coffee books, while another hides behind the door as it opens.
The remaining seating runs up the left-hand wall to the top of the L. There’s a padded bench opposite the counter/window-bar, with three small, square tables. Beyond that, there’s another recessed bench-seat and coffee table, while the window right at the top of the L is home to a final bench-seat. This is directly opposite the door and overlooks an internal courtyard, providing more natural light to an already bright spot. This is the reading/conversation corner and laptop/mobile phone use is discouraged here.
Forloren Espresso is a quiet, relaxed spot, with white-painted walls/ceiling and a wooden floor. Magazines and picture books abound, which you are free to browse. There are menus on the tables, while blackboards hang on the walls with information about the various coffees.
I started with a Karimikui from Kenya, roasted by La Cabra. Forloren has an interesting Kalita Wave technique, where the barista makes a 200ml filter coffee, before topping it up with hot water, a technique to reduce the risk of over-extraction, which, I was told, was used when brewing Kenyans. The service is equally unusual, the barista bringing the coffee to the table in a carafe with a cup on the side, before going on to explain about the coffee and inform you of the tasting notes.
I was told to expect acidity and lemon notes and, in the first mouthful, I definitely got acidity. I was also surprised to find sweet lemon notes. Consider me impressed. Further down the cup, there was more body and, as it cooled, it gained a more rounded complexity, with the second cup having even more lemon sweetness. This was definitely one of the best, most complex coffees I’ve had in a long time. Even when cold, it was still pretty awesome!
I paired this with a croissant, then had an Ostemad from the snack menu. Essentially, this is cheese on bread, but that barely does it justice, the bread being superb and the cheese packed with flavour.
I rounded things off with a flat white using the Finca de Licho from Costa Rica, roasted by Has Bean. This grew on me, the coffee having a complex relationship with the milk, complexity being, it seemed, the order of the day at Forloren. What I particularly liked is that it never felt at odds with the milk, its fruity notes harmonising with the natural sweetness of the milk.
|STORE KONGENSGADE 32 • 1264 COPENHAGEN • DENMARK|
|Monday||08:00 – 16:00||Roaster||Has Bean (espresso + filter), La Cabra (filter)|
|Tuesday||08:00 – 16:00||Seating||Tables, Window Bar, Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||08:00 – 16:00||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Cake|
|Thursday||08:00 – 16:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||08:00 – 16:00||Cards||Mastercard, Visa|
|Saturday||09:00 – 16:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Chain||No||Visits||4th July 2016|
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