Reykjavik Roasters, Ásmundarsalur

Detail from the information card that came with our coffee, the I.P., a honey-processed Brazilian single-origin served at Reykjavik Roasters.Monday’s Coffee Spot is Reykjavik Roasters, Ásmundarsalur, the third of (for now) three Reykjavik Roasters in Reykjavik (there’s a newly-opened fourth location just outside the city). In a rare display of doing things in the right order, it’s also the third one that Amanda and I visited after the original (Kárastígur) and the second (Brautarholt). Ásmundarsalur, which opened in 2018, is in the art space of the same name, occupying the ground floor, with some more seating in the garden at the front.

Although we only visited once, near closing time on Sunday afternoon, it was by far the most relaxed of the three. If you’ve been to Reykjavik Roasters before, everything will be familiar, with a concise espresso-based menu, daily batch brew and a choice of single-origins on pour-over, with either an AeroPress for one or Kalita Wave for two. There’s tea, hot chocolate, a small range of cakes and pastries, plus equally concise breakfast and lunch options. Unlike the other two, Ásmundarsalur has a choice of white or red wine (one of each) by the glass or bottle, plus beer, champagne and a handful of coffee cocktails. And, of course, the usual retail selection of coffee.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • I managed not to take any outside photos, but you can have a floorplan (of sorts).
  • It's on the wall which facees you when you enter.
  • To the right is a flight of stairs leading to the upstairs gallery space.
  • Going ahead and to the right, but staying on the ground floor, you pass the counter...
  • ... and, carrying on, will bring you to the second gallery space on the ground floor.
  • Turning left, meanwhile, leads you into the main seating space.
  • A view from the back of the seating area, looking towards the front.
  • The only seating on the right-hand side is this four-person table.
  • The bulk of the seating is on the left-hand side, starting at the front...
  • ... with this three-sided glass porch, occupied by a sofa and matching armchair.
  • Meanwhile, there's a door to the outside seating at the front of the building.
  • Back inside, and the rest of the seating is a row of six two-person tables on the left.
  • A view of the seating area from the porch at the front, looking back towards the door.
  • And a similar view from the front, looking straight back towards the counter.
  • The wall that faces you as you enter has a counterpart which forms this corridor...
  • ... on the other side of which is the water station and retail shelves.
  • The retail offering in more detail. It's just bags of coffee at Ásmundarsalur.
  • As well as being a coffee shop, Reykjavik Roasters is also a gallery. This greets you...
  • ... as you enter, while this is on the other side of the wall.
  • Another of the current exhibition, which runs until 30th August (2021).
  • Obligatory light-fitting shot...
  • ... along with my new favourite view.
  • To business. The counter is embedded in the back wall, alongside the stairs.
  • You order and pay here...
  • ... with the menu on the wall to the left...
  • ... and the espresso machine off to the right. There's also a kitchen at the back.
  • We were there for a late lunch. I had the soup...
  • ... while Amanda had sourdough toast, jam and cheese.
  • We continued our exploration of the single-origin pour-over range with the I.P., a...
  • ... honey-processed coffee from Brazil. There's more information on the back of the card.
  • I'll leave you with a view of our coffee, a Kalita Wave filter for two, seen from above.
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Ásmundarsalur is not very far from the original Reykjavik Roasters on Kárastígur, being a five-minute walk away on the other side of the Hallgrimskirkja. In fact, if you draw a straight line between the two, it pretty much goes straight through the statue of Leif Eiriksson which stands in front of the church. Although Ásmundarsalur’s address is officially on Freyjugata, the building, set within its own grounds, pretty much occupies the southern half of the end of the block between Freyjugata and Eiríksgata, with access from Mímisvegur, the road which runs down the hill from Eiríksgata at the back of the church in the direction of the bus station and city airport.

You’ll have noticed from the gallery that I inexplicably failed to take any pictures of the exterior of Ásmundarsalur (it was raining when we visited and I thought I had some from when we walked by two days earlier; naturally, I was wrong). The white, two-storey building is set back from the street, surrounded by a neatly-manicured lawn housing some sculptures. A small, square, three-sided glass porch extends from the front, giving access to a paved area to the left, where there are three round tables. However, the main entrance is along the right-hand side, a path leading to a door towards the back.

This opens onto an entry lobby of sorts, with stairs to the upstairs gallery space on the right. Reykjavik Roasters is ahead of you, occupying the right-hand side of the ground floor, while the other half of the downstairs is another gallery space (with Reykjavik Roasters is also hosting exhibitions).

It’s an interesting space. Indeed, as you step inside, you’re greeted by a wall with a floorplan of sorts. Turning left takes you into the main seating area, while ahead to the right leads to a corridor-like space which runs past the counter, embedded into the back wall. Carrying on, this takes you to the second gallery space on the other side.

Reykjavik Roasters’ layout is simple, bright and uncluttered. It effectively occupies a single space, with the majority of the seating along the left-hand wall, where a row of six two-person tables lines a padded bench. Right at the front, a sofa and matching armchair occupy the three-sided glass porch, with a door on the left giving access to the outside seating. Back inside, the only other seating is in the middle of the space, where a four-person table with extendable leaves stands in glorious isolation.

We’d come for a late lunch, and while Amanda stuck to her favoured sourdough toast with jam and cheese, I branched out and had the tomato soup which was excellent: rich, thick and filling. We also shared one of the chocolate-topped cakes that we’d had at Brautarholt the day before. Continuing our exploration of Reykjavik Roasters’ single-origin pour-over range, we moved onto the I.P., a honey-processed coffee from Brazil, which we had as a Kalita Wave for two. This one had tasting notes of cake spice and chocolate and was lovely, rich and full-bodied, perfect for a cold, rainy summer’s afternoon in Reykjavik!

FREYJUGATA 41 • 101 REYKJAVIK • ICELAND
https://reykjavikroasters.is +354 835 0644
Monday 08:30 – 17:00 Roaster Reykjavik Roasters (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 08:30 – 17:00 Seating Tables, Sofa, Armchair; Tables (outside)
Wednesday 08:30 – 17:00 Food Breakfast, Lunch, Cake
Thursday 08:30 – 17:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 08:30 – 17:00 Payment Cards + Cash
Saturday 09:00 – 17:00 Wifi Free (with code)
Sunday 10:00 – 17:00 Power Yes
Chain Local Visits 25th July 2021

You can also see what Amanda and I made of the original Reykjavik Roasters on Kárastígur as well as the second Reykjavik Roasters on Brautarholt.


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