The choicest cafés
Travel blogger and former Cologne resident Angelika is back in her adopted home for the weekend. Cologne offers plenty of cafés for the perfect coffee stop. Here are just some of Angelika’s purely personal favourites.
The door opens and the air is filled with the scent of fresh coffee. A few steps into the cosy interior, a large coffee roaster comes into view that’s just finished roasting a fresh batch. Die Rösterei only uses fairly traded organic beans from moxxa.caffè, a company which maintains a close friendship with lots of its coffee farmers and pays more than the world market price. Sounds like a great idea. My first sip of cappuccino reveals a full, mellow and creamy flavour, just how it should be. Die Rösterei doesn’t only sell excellent coffee, it also offers appetising breakfasts, delicious cakes and a range of business lunches.
Where: Aachener Str. 22, 50674 Cologne
This little gem of a place is like having Italy on your doorstep. If you’ve ever been in a real Italian coffee bar, you’ll know exactly what I mean. I spent many years here indulging in their espressos, cappuccinos and lattes and listening to owner Carmello’s eccentric stories and entertaining banter. Carmello might be Italian, but his heart has long belonged to Cologne. He has what you might call a very tender relationship with his espresso machine. The two are a well-oiled team. Carmello always pours the first couple of espressos away while the machine warms up, and is constantly tweaking at the machinery – depending on the weather – to make sure his loyal customers get the best Italian coffee this side of the Alps every single day. And when the coffee is so good, who cares that the place isn’t ultra modern and trendy inside? This café is about one thing: great coffee. Oh yes, and a chat with the colourful owner.
Where: Zugweg 1, 50678 Cologne
Just a short walk from Chlodwigplatz, entering this charming café feels like stepping back in time thanks to its eclectic collection of period furniture. Classic three-legged tables from the 1950s jostle with lounge chairs and vintage lamps to give this maisonette-style space a unique atmosphere. A narrow spiral staircase takes you up to the top floor. The counter is dominated by a beautiful espresso machine that produces deliciously creamy espressos served in old collector’s cups. If you have a sweet tooth, you should definitely try the scrumptious almond cake. And vegans are catered for, too. The cosy lounge atmosphere is so inviting, it’s tempting to order one of their selection of breakfasts or a bite to eat, grab a newspaper and disappear off upstairs to while away the day. Leuchte Kaffeebar only uses locally sourced, fairly traded organic products and does its bit for the environment by using electricity from 100% renewable sources.
Where: Karolingerring 21, 50678 Cologne
I feel like I’m in California whenever I set foot in Sabor ermoso. This pretty little café in Cologne’s Südstadt district instantly brings back memories of trips abroad. This is exactly what inspired Sandra and Ethem when they took the leap and became the café’s proprietors. Surfboards stand propped against the wall, and the lovingly decorated interior is a dream for Instagram fans. Most importantly, the coffee is brewed with love and attention to detail. Sabor ermoso also offers a selection of large and small savoury dishes and everything is served with a smile. The shop’s façade was designed by the artist Pau whose works are also available in the café to purchase. It’s easy to spend hours in here!
Where: Kurfürstenstr. 1, 50678 Cologne
This colourful café is the perfect place if you like bright hues or have a sweet tooth – or both! It’s difficult to know what to look at first: the vibrant decorations on the right of this large but narrow café, or the long counter on the left, which is filled with a tempting array of multi-coloured tartlets, macaroons, chocolates and cakes. Picking out a favourite from these scrumptious works of patisserie art is tough. TörtchenTörtchen’s gourmet confections have been showered with distinctions, and quite rightly so. They only use hand-picked natural products and no artificial flavourings. And you can taste and see the difference. If their heavenly pastries inspire you to do some baking of your own, TörtchenTörtchen also offers patisserie courses with the master confectioners themselves.
Where: Apostelnstr. 19, 50667 Cologne