Best Coffee in Helsinki


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Here’s my guide for the best coffee in Helsinki. This time I didn’t grade them in any way – they all have great coffee and are worth the visit for other reasons too. One interesting detail that I noticed while writing this was that almost every shops uses AeroPress for brewing coffee by cup. So, go out there and tell me which shop does it best!

For high resolution photos visit my Flickr.

                Good Life Coffee

Lauri, Sam and Corey at Good Life Coffee

Things are happening in Kallio, an up-and-coming district in Helsinki that was previously more of a working class area better known for its dozens of shady bars. The most recent reason to make your way on top of the Rock (as Kallio translates from Finnish) is Good Life Coffee, a coffee bar and a shop.

Impressive shelf of goodness

Card from a regular

 That’s where I am currently writing this article, enjoying a great cup of Johan & Nyström’s new natural processed coffee from Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza in Brazil. The man behind this coffee spot is Lauri Pipinen, Finnish Barista Champion 2011 and a very good friend of mine.

The Good Life Coffee estate

Stepping inside Good Life is like stepping in Pipinen’s living room. I love the welcoming atmosphere and lack of pretentiousness. There’s a second-hand table by one of the grand old men of Finnish Design (Ilmari Tapiovaara), LP-player spinning tunes in the corner and La Marzocco Linea humming and purring while doing what it does best (brewing tasty espresso). No-nonsense would be a fitting description for Good Life Coffee – great coffees from a variety of roasters in Finland and abroad, brewed on AeroPress one cup at a time and served with a smile.

Owner Lauri Pipinen behind the machine

Address: Kolmas Linja 17

Opening hours:

MON 7:45-16:00
TUE – FRI 7:45-18:00
SAT 10:00 – 16:00 SUN CLOSED

                 Johan & Nyström

Filling a beautiful old red brick warehouse right on the waterfront, Johan & Nyström has both the coffee and esthetic sides fixed. In the summer the terrace provides unrivaled views to the sea while cyclists and not-too-big groups of tourists pass by. Not the worst setting to enjoy a cup of coffee brewed on V60.

Johan & Nyström from the outside

Pasi Kokko is a photographer turned barista who now focuses his efforts on instagramming his progress in latte art instead of shooting editorials for fashion magazines. I’m glad it turned this way – otherwise we couldn’t enjoy his cheerful and positive presence behind the bar, running the cafe operations for this Swedish roastery.

Pasi Kokko

Treats and delicacies, some of them produced within the ”raw food” specifications, go well with the few daily changing coffee options. This shop is well worth the little walk or tram ride from the city centre.

Johan & Nyström

Johan & Nyström

Address: Kanavaranta 7

Opening hours:
MON – FRI 9:00 – 18:00
SAT 10:00 – 17:00 SUN 10:00 – 17:00

                Fratello

Fratello

Two years after setting up his first cafe, the very popular La Torrefazione, Jens Hampf opened Fratello in the newly renovated Kluuvi shopping centre in central Helsinki in 2011. The concept is similar: great coffee, Italian-inspired lunch, sandwiches, pastries, wine and beer.

Syphon graffiti in Fratello

Featuring the only syphon bar in Helsinki, Fratello has been in the forefront of bringing tasty, well-brewed filter coffee to the people, showing that black coffee can actually taste fantastic. You can choose from several single estate coffees roasted by Kaffa Roastery and occasionally sample treats from guest roasters, often foreign ones. Lately they’ve been brewing lovely coffee from Koppi in Helsingborg, Sweden.

Viivi Ahtiainen concentrating on my brew

Address: Yliopistonkatu 6, Kluuvi Shopping Centre

Opening hours: 

MON – FRI 7:30 – 20:00,
SAT 10:00 – 18:00 
SUN 12:00 – 18:00

                La Torrefazione

When it opened in September 2009 La Torrefazione was the first and only cafe in Helsinki to serve freshly roasted speciality coffee. I’ve counted having had at least 100 espressos there during the first autumn.

Located on the second floor on the busiest shopping street in Helsinki, La Torrefazione has proved that there is demand for quality coffee in this city. During lunch and after work hours it can be difficult to find a free seat. Serving two different espressos and changing filter coffees roasted by Kaffa Roastery, La Torrefazione also roasts some coffee in house on their Turkish-made Toper roaster (hence the Italian name for ”roastery”).

Address: Aleksanterinkatu 50, 2nd floor

Opening hours: 

MON – FRI 07:30 – 20:00,
SAT 09:00 – 19:00, SUN 10:00 – 18:30

               Kaffa Roastery

Where it's at

In my opinion Kaffa Roastery has been and still is the pioneering quality focused roastery in Finland. Many larger and older establishments have changed their coffee from the bulk stuff to freshly roasted craft coffee. It’s also where I started my coffee career some 3,5 years ago, when the roastery was still in Tuusula 25 kilometres from Helsinki.

Kaffa Roastery

Three years ago Kaffa moved to the trendy Punavuori neighborhood in central Helsinki. Besides the roastery there’s also a coffee bar, serving espresso and filter coffee roasted right behind the glass doors.

AeroPress brewing

Address: Pursimiehenkatu 29 A, behind Moko Market

Opening hours:  

MON – FRI: 7:45 – 18:00
SAT: 10:00 – 16:00
SUN: CLOSED

                 Kahvila Sävy

Kahvila Sävy

Run by Kaisa and Mikko Sarén, a husband and wife team, Kahvila Sävy is cheering up the coffee scene in Helsinki by serving excellent coffees supplied by Turun Kahvipaahtimo. Juhani Haahti, the solo operator of this true micro roastery, browns his beans in Turku, the old capital about 100 km west from Helsinki.

Kahvila Sävy

Last May Sävy moved to a larger space not far from the original one. Filter coffee is available both as batch brewed (fresh and tasty) or through AeroPress. After taking these photos they’ve changed the La Marzocco espresso machine in a lever one.

Kahvila Sävy

Mikko Sarén, co-owner of Kahvila Sävy

Address: Aleksis Kiven katu 12

Opening hours:
MON – THU 7:30 – 18:00
FRI 7:30 – 17:00
SAT 10:00 – 16:00
SUN CLOSED

                Helsinki Coffee Roastery

Helsingin Kahvipaahtimo

Helsingin KahvipaahtimoHelsinki Coffee Roastery, as it translates from Finnish, has a very unique atmosphere. The old garage space hosting both the roastery and cafe has an unrefined, almost raw character. It’s filled with old, second-hand furniture, equipment and details yet everything is effortlessly blending with the new shiny machinery.

Helsingin Kahvipaahtimo

Ulrika labelling coffee bags

Owner Benjamin Andberg is running the roastery with Ulrika Hannula, the grand young lady of coffee in Finland. I knew that coffee was what I wanted to do after attending a half-a-day barista course led by her four years ago. It’s great to see them running this small operation together.

Benjamin Andberg, owner of Helsingin Kahvipaahtimo

Although the cafe is a bit of out the way it’s definitely worth the visit. I’d recommend trying one of the single estate coffees through AeroPress.

Sample roaster

Coffee bags at Helsingin Kahvipaahtimo

Address: Päijänteentie 29

Opening hours:
WED – FRI 7:30 – 17:00
SAT: 10:00 – 16:00
SUN – TUE CLOSED

Uspenski cathedral next to Johan & Nyström

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7 Comments

  1. Posted 24.2.2013 at 23:02 | Permalink

    Great list! There are few I haven’t been to that I am looking forward to trying out. Thanks for sharing this – I’m a big fan of the small coffee shop serving a great cup of java. BR, Ann

  2. Posted 26.2.2013 at 13:50 | Permalink

    These are all great places for coffee in Helsinki but I’m amazed you’ve left Kaffecentralen out without mention. They’ve been making brilliant coffee for Italian prices (1€ espresso, 2,5€ cappuccino) since 2009. And they’ve got three shops.

  3. Paul
    Posted 26.2.2013 at 15:43 | Permalink

    What about Café Regatta?

    http://eat.fi/en/helsinki/cafe-regatta

  4. Sammy
    Posted 28.2.2013 at 04:42 | Permalink

    also the coffe car that’s somewhere in downtown from spring to fall. best coffee you can get from the streets. duh. :)

  5. Tazza
    Posted 1.3.2013 at 18:39 | Permalink

    I wonder what the writer means by referring to Turku as ”the other city in Finland”, as if Helsinki and Turku were the only ones.

  6. Posted 14.3.2013 at 14:49 | Permalink

    I am a British, long term resident of Helsinki who has just got back from 2 years in the US. While over there I really grew to love the boutique coffee culture. Readily available, freshly roasted whole bean coffee of high quality. I also grew to love my Aeropresses.

    Seems there is also a lot of good stuff in Helsinki now too! Thanks to this blog post I may even be able to find it! Much appreciated.

    By the way, since back I have had numerous bad cups of coffee (the Paulig ’Roastery’ Shop in Citykäytävä was particularly disappointing — they still have the usual hours old pot on the hotplate when you ask for brewed coffee –WTF?!?!?), but I also discovered Cafetoria, in Töölö (although I they didn’t brew as well as I had hoped) and actually had a really decent cup at Delicato in Kamp Galleria (or whatever it is called these days).

    Thanks again for this blog post.

  7. Posted 25.6.2013 at 12:13 | Permalink

    Hei, kiitti täst postuksesta! Oon Lontoossa päässy kahvin makuun ja nyt tulin 3v jälkeen ekan kerran Stadiin kesäksi, life saviour!

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