Set a few streets back from the bustling harbour in Bergen lies the understated Kaffemisjonen. This coffee shop and eatery certainly lives up to its name, which translates as ‘coffee mission’, turning everyone into coffee aficionados through their craft brewing processes. The baristas are keen to pass on their expertise, with shelves of coffee equipment and coffee beans from around the world on sale.
In need of a spot to recharge our batteries, we found this gem in the quiet sloped backstreets of Bergen. Its modern interiors align with the much-vaunted minimalist Scandinavian décor. The café has a retro edge, with 1960s-style bar stools, tiled floors and booths towards the back. For the best spot in the house, however, grab a seat at the street-facing bar, where you’ll find yourself daydreaming of life on the quaint terraces of the traditional houses opposite. Natural light seeps in through the large glass windows on sunny days while the antique hanging lights come in to use when the clouds make an appearance.
Unlike most coffee shops I frequent, this café was not filled to the brim but rather had people dotted at each seating area. This meant no queuing, fighting for a table or being seated with your hips adjoined to strangers at the table next to you. Instead, Kaffemisjonen has a laid-back vibe, with a flow of customers grabbing takeaway coffees for their day ahead while others use it as a lunch spot. It’s also a great co-working spot, with free wifi and gourmet coffee to tackle that writer’s block. Chilled folksy music accompanies the soothing sound of coffee-grinding, not so loud that it would disturb your thoughts but rather helps to inspire new ones.
Their smörgås (open sandwiches) may appear rather steep in price but it’s all fresh produce and, after all, this is standard for one of the most expensive countries in the world. The Parma and Comté on grilled granary bread was divine, served with cherry tomatoes, chives, cucumber and a sprinkling of pomegranate. While it was heavy on the butter front, Kaffemisjonen’s generosity in the ham and cheese department was much appreciated. The salads are equally enticing, with large chunks of creamy goat’s cheese, sundried tomatoes, discs of pear, chives and pomegranate – accompanied by slices of the aforementioned bread, of course.
While we didn’t have room for dessert on this occasion (a rare occurrence in the life of Spill The Beans – I blame the fatigue from travelling), we headed back to this gem the following day for coffee and cake. We opted for the Gulrotkate (carrot cake) whose rich syrupy-spiced sponge was complemented by the light icing – not the usual cream cheese but rather a more original twist using orange rind. I was also happy that the nuts had been blended into the mix rather than left whole, giving it a moist rather than crunchy texture. While this cake is usually reserved for autumnal months, it was ironically fitting for the rather chilly Nordic weather. Hardly a complaint though, with not one drop of rain from the notoriously wet city during our stay.
Kaffemisjonen was just one of my favourite areas of Bergen so keep an eye on the blog for more upcoming recommendations.