Mocca Kaffebar, Oslo
If you were to visit Mocca Kaffe ten years ago,
you can be sure there was no six-dollar handbrigg, or hand brew, let alone any house blend for anything over a couple of krones.
But there is one thing you could be sure of.
There was this guy.
I imagine him then still swift on his feet as he is now, effortlessly alternating between practically joining his regulars at their tables for their Saturday cup of Joe and meticulously tidying up behind the bar.
"We have regulars that have been coming here for as long as this place has been open.
"During the weekdays, there's probably about 70% of regulars," he says. "And that's why I've been here for over ten years."
Norwegian he may be, but talk to this guy and you'd find his accent barely traceable. I couldn't help but ask how his English was so close to perfect.
"I've actually heard that before. I think it's because of television," he laughed. "Well, I'm from the North and maybe it's because there's not too much to do during the winter, but I watched a lot of Friends."
And although he didn't know it, we instantly became best friends. I then went on to make an awful joke in a Chandler-esque manner.
(After some pity laughs) "Actually as a kid, Chandler was kind of my idol. When I would later visit the states, I'd be able to use humor and tell jokes like that to really connect with Americans."
The place now is minimalistic, as is most cafes, but look closely and you will find reminiscents of its former self.
Underneath the high table, wires and a pipe protrude from the floor. That is where their roaster once was installed.
And if you take a close look at the shelving, you'll find large holes where dispensers were lined up to dump whole coffee beans. But today third wave coffee product lines the walls with V60's and hario kettles galore.
So, when did this transition occur? From the standard local coffee shop with endless, flowing, dark roast batch brew (those simple days will be missed) to sleek, hand brewed coffees?
If he were to say, it was around the year of 2009 after he took a trip to Chicago and hung out with the gang most of the specialty coffee drinking world knows as Intelligentsia.
It was after that trip they were inspired to do more filter coffees.
Fast-forward nearly 8 years later and Mokka Kaffee still stands and really, thrives. It's survived the transition coffee has gone through and has kept a uniquely tight-knit community.
The coffee here is offered in espresso or hand brews, like most specialty cafes.
On the menu, they offered three origins: Kenya, Ethiopia, Colombia. I went with the Colombian, mainly because it was cheapest on the menu and because -- Oslo ain't cheap.
The coffee was served to me in its carafe, like the very first picture in this post, and a little white ceramic cup. It was a tasty Colombian with notes of stone fruit, almond butter and with a syrupy body. I enjoyed every last drop.
As I watched the barista make the hand brew via a Woodneck I was impressed with how efficient she looked. Her posture was erect, her white shirt gleamed from behind the black apron, and she continued to glance at her wristwatch to time the brew. But as I snapped a photo she would break a smile and even a laugh.
That was a little essence of Mocca Kaffe - they were elegant in their coffee but warm and familiar in person.
Pastries & Savory Sandwiches: Yes
Dogs: Not allowed
Overall Atmosphere: Relaxing