There are people in world who say they love coffee. They say, “Oh, I can’t function without it,” then they go to Starbucks. They don’t like coffee. They like convenience and being brainwashed by horrible corporate coffee.
For those of us who treat coffee as an almost an enlightened experience — a fetishistic pursuit — I give you the Coffee Collective. With three locations in Copenhagen, the Coffee Collective take a scientific and artful approach to drip coffee, espresso-based drinks and roasting. You can drop their name to even the most hipster of all baristas and sound like a boss. “Yeah, this is good, but it’s no Coffee Collective.” Then watch the tattooed beardo cry.
I visited all three in my visit in 2012, and it’s good to see that they’ve remained humble and kept it to three locations since. They have different designs, but keep the quality consistent.
The original location on Jægersborggade feels like your stepping into somebody’s apartment. There’s a handful of seats against the wall, a few tables in the backroom, no counter and the small roaster is in the tiny main room. It’s a personal experience where the barista talks to you in detail about your coffee.
The big, main location and roaster is on Godthåbsvej. This is where get the full experience with a space that exudes minimalist Danish/Nordic design. You’ll fine wood countertops, white walls, large windows that allows for plenty of natural lighting, raw floors and a touch of leather in the seatings.
Like the original Jægersborggade location, the open counter at the the main location allows for the barista to treat you like a guest without anything separating you from the brewing experience. If you get a drip coffee, it will brewed right in front of you. Then you can see your espresso being made in full view. The Kees Van Der Westen espresso machine probably costs more than my MINI Cooper.
At the main location, you can also see the high tech roasting experience where temperatures are closely monitored. The workers and baristas have a long list of awards in the World Barista Championships.
The third location is the most accessible and thus busier at the Torvehallerne Food Hall. Also a great example of modern Nordic design, the food hall is a one stop shop for foodies and the like. The Coffee Collective counter is your more traditional set-up with a counter, to-go cups and pastries. It’s a good place to sample and grab a few bags of beans to go.
I got five bags when I visited the locations. When I was done with the beans, I even kept the bags. Coffee beans are great to buy when traveling because they are easy to pack and make your luggage smell nice.
So how’s the coffee? It’s like tasting your first cup of coffee. It is a religious experience where you’re tasting the flavor notes. Drinking coffee there is like experiencing the best that Mother Earth has to offer. Granted, Italy still has the best coffee and cafes, but damn if Coffee Collective isn’t the best coffee in Europe outside of Italy, then I don’t know what is.