Forloren Espresso

A flat white with tulip latte art, seen from directly above in a white cup on a white saucer.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, on Kongensgade, not far from tourist central, the Nyhavn Canal.
  • The view coming the other way, heading for Nyhavn Canal, where you reach the door first.
  • Stepping inside, Forloren is L-shaped. This is the view to the right (bottom of the L)...
  • ... and this is the view looking straight ahead, towards the top of the L.
  • Another view towards the back of the store, which houses the majority of the seating.
  • It starts with these tables against the left-hand walll, just inside the door.
  • Beyond this, there's another seating area...
  • ... consisting of a table on the left and a bench-seat in the window at the back.
  • Another view of the seating area at the back.
  • This area is a mobile- and laptop-free zone.
  • And that's pretty much it. Here's the view back towards to the front of Forloren...
  • ... where you'll find the remaining seating: a 4-seat window-bar and a couple of outside tables.
  • The window bar is opposite the counter, which occupies most of the front of Forloren.
  • Forloren is full of nice touches, such as flowers on the tables.
  • There are also lots of magazines and books.
  • More magazines.
  • More books, this time in the quiet corner at the back.
  • I also found this old poster on the window at the back.
  • Down to business. You actually order here, at the corner of the counter.
  • This is also where Forloren keeps the croissants. Well, it did. I had the last one.
  • A retail section hides by the door, mostly coffee-making kit, but with a few bags of beans.
  • However, if it's beans you want, then there's a wider selection at the end of the counter.
  • The mainstay of Forloren, coffee-wise at least, is Has Bean from Staffordshire.
  • In case you're wondering, it's all single-oriign here.
  • The blackboard, by the way, is above the counter, forming an L-shape, just like Forloren.
  • To the right, there's an English version of the menu...
  • ... while the Danish version, plus the choice of beans, is here, behind the counter.
  • Mind you, other than 'Black' & 'White', the Danish & English versions are remarkably similiar!
  • The second part of the menu has the filter and 'not coffee' choices.
  • A sound philosophy. I wonder who has tried to register 'slow coffee' as a trademark though.
  • The filter part of Forloren occupies the front of the counter...
  • ... which is where the Kalita Wave filters get put into action.
  • This is where I started, with a carafe of the Kenyan, from Danish roasters, La Cabra.
  • It's served with a cup on the side, just how I like it.
  • This is that last croissant I was on about earlier.
  • As well as the menus behind the counter, there are menus on all the tables.
  • This includes the cold drinks menu ('cold coffee' & 'cold not coffee'), plus the snack menu.
  • Talking of which I had the Ostemad, an open sandwich (or, as I call it, bread with stuff on).
  • Since this is Forloren Espresso, I decided to follow it up with something espresso-based.
  • I chose the Finca de Licho from Costa Rica (roasted by Has Bean). Step one, grind.
  • Step two, tamp.
  • Step three, extracct.
  • I love watching espresso extract. Particularly if I'm seeing double!
  • My lovely flat white.
  • I'll leave you with the impressive latte-art. The milk was perfectly steamed...
  • ... and held its pattern to the bottom of the cup.
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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.

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)
Sunday CLOSED Power Yes
Chain No Visits 4th July 2016

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2 thoughts on “Forloren Espresso

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