Kaffebrenneriet may be a popular chain found all around the city of Oslo, but it is a really good one. We picked their location in Gronlandsleiret as our second home and went repeatedly – I highly recommend that you do as well. It may be a little bit off the beaten path but it is worth the short trip. This is not just a branch of the popular café but also the headquarters for the company which was started in 1994. Originally from San Francisco, owner Thomas had recently arrived in Oslo and was looking for a good place to have coffee. Having found none he went about creating his own with very little budget. Clearly he wasn’t the only one in need of a decent coffee, as there are now Kaffebrenneriets all over the city. Each feels unique, but this one is the most unique. The one in Gronlandsleiret is an old fire station which still has the original fire trucks and even the pole that the firemen used to slide down (there is also a firestation museum out back if interested).
The staff were always incredibly friendly and the atmosphere is airy and cosy, with lots of high stools and room to move around. In the middle of the space is a very modern coffee roaster and once when we were there they were roasting a batch. The coffee smell filled the air…and extra bonus for the coffee drinkers but not as much for me. They are known for creating and selling a variety of coffee options from bean to cup (which Rich gave his big seal of approval to) and have a great selection of pastries, sandwhiches, quiches and other food items, all delicious. Much to my relief, their hot chocolate was really nice. It was served in a large bowl that you can wrap both hands around, great to warm up on these chilly Oslo mornings. It was rich and creamy, nice and chocolatey, really enjoyable. Really great spot.
After our hot chocolate this morning we walked for about 10 minutes up the hill to the Botanical Gardens. Although early in the morning, there were already a handful of locals walking through the park. In one area they have a Viking display which shows the different herbs, plants, fruits and vegetables the Vikings used to use (they used moss as toilet paper…who knew…). There were also a range of really impressive statues of apples, horses, sheep and other items made from willow sticks by artist Tom Hare. They have over 18000 different plants, a scent garden and you can visit a café or Natural History museums. The whole space is gorgeous and worth a nice stroll through.
Verdict: I’m a big fan of the Botanical Gardens….but am an even bigger fan of Kaffebrenneriet. Kaffebrenneriet Gronlandsleiret 32, Oslo, Norway