2013-04-01

My guide to good coffee in Tampere, Finland


Some forewords followed by a top 10 list of places to get delicious coffee in Tampere, Finland.
(An update is made to this post with a new map here)

Is is a known fact that Finnish people drink a lot of coffee. From kahvi.net I read some statistics; an average consumption of coffee in Finland is between 9 to 10 kilos per year per person. The most of that the coffee is not dark roasted (according to kahvi.net 94% of coffee consumption is not dark roasted) and unfortunately Finns are very fond of the filter coffee, similar to Americano. Here I write 'unfortunately', because both filter coffee and light roast are not the best coffee for you tummy and mostly it tastes like water, or it has been on the maker for too long and gets very annoying burnt aroma. Exception is the old fashioned way, a metal pot on (wood) stove, but there are not too many places where fresh is available. Grandmothers did that and  this generation is now dying out. The old fashioned way is still used among people who hunt and go regularly to forest and make a fire for coffeemaking even though thermos bottles do exist.

Kaffila promotes.
In this entry I try to inform about my style of coffee in Tampere and some places where you can get it. This is a very subjective approach to this matter, and there are many nice, recommended and visually interesting places for a cup of coffee that is left out, such as Amurin Helmi (50's old style pot coffee), Pyynikki view tower (best doughnuts), Waffle Coffee House (Vohvelikahvila, 2 places in town, wonderful waffles, sweet and salty) and Kahvikeidas on Tammela market place ('a warm tent in front of a trailer', open year round, opens very early, observe local life and inexpensive sweet and salty eats, only cash accepted), because they only serve filter coffee or they do not have an authentic espresso maker...BUT, please, do not avoid those places! The fun is in other things.

My favourite style of coffee is typical in central Europe, like Italy, Spain or France. Espresso, capuccino, latte, cafe con leche and cafe au lait. You get the idea, right? My favourite coffee is dark roasted, strong, tasty, fresh.

The cafes are not in any order, just places I like to visit depending on my mood and direction I am heading to in town. The theme is GOOD COFFEE and I hope this listing also serves for others that are willing to have a good one in Tampere. Oh, and all of these places are independent and not chain cafes and IN RANDOM ORDER.


You can of course have a look at Linkosuo (origin Tampere, Finland, several of these in here, check Kauppahalli) Wayne's Coffee, especially the one in Koskipuisto (orginally from Sweden) or Aschan (originally from Turku, Finland since 1928, check Finlayson) chains with real espresso equipment. There is no Starbucks or Robert's Coffee in Tampere. All of these places accept debit and credit card as well as cash, the valid opening times you can check from the web pages. This list is from March 2013.

Check the current opening hours from the internet. For easier "access", basic Finnish is here included.
Days; Ma (maanantai)/ Monday, Ti (tiistai)/ Tuesday, Ke (keskiviikko)/ Wednesday, To (torstai)/ Thursday, Pe (perjantai)/ Friday, La (lauantai)/ Saturday, Su (sunnuntai)/Sunday. Weekdays translated usually "viikolla", weekends "viikonloppuisin".  Enjoy!

Kahvila Runo
Now this is what I like, I can go there almost at any time, and it is open! I can take my dog inside with me and have my coffee, while the old men are usually entertaining my dog while I am reading the newspaper. Nice coffee, wide selection of tees, wonderful products for your sweet tooth and tasty salty pies and handmade rolls (with add on´s as you wish).  Nice cosy atmosphere and  friendly service. Sometimes full. Also poem books to read, some handmade small accessories, jewelry, cards etc to spend your money on and small art exhibitions that you can enjoy both inside and outside the cafe. Huge windows can cause a bit of a glare problem downstairs, it is also ensured you´ll have the warmest place to enjoy your latte when you take the table outside before the midday in the summer time. Runo serves Mokkamestarit coffee. If there is a minus, they do not have a wifi...but there are always a book to read.

2 Aamurusko
An old favourite that has gathered morning coffee hunters for ages. A bit dated style (-95ish) with glass tables, but the best breakfast in town for 6€, including porrige and eggs. They have a proper coffee machine for special coffees. The salty delights include pies (chicken-feta, ham- blue cheese etc) and sugary some traditional buns as well as doughnuts with crusting- all handmade at the cafe. They serve popular inexpensive lunch and the peculiar jacket potatoes with salad on top are a must! Tables outside for smokers and a warm felt/fur on the bench that you do not get your bottom cold. Free wifi for customers.

Telakka
Might not be the place for take away coffee, but you certainly want to enjoy your coffee on site. (I was once offered a porcelain cup, and asked to bring it back. I was honored that they trusted me.) Started years back as a summer bar with a veranda by some artists and during the years it developed to be a 3 storey culture house with the most popular/crowded/vivid veranda in town during the summertime. The whole interior is build from recycled materials with care and eye on small details. Downstairs a restaurant serving both luch menu and alá carte, when the kitchen is closed the staff can warm you some vegetarian or meat wraps. Bar serves drinks and coffee and they have a cute normal-coffee buffet table behind the main entrance, pay at the counter. No buns to go with your coffee though, but check the dessert menu.  Second floor has and extension to bar/restaurant with art exhibitions and the smallest gallery in town "Kukkuu" next to toilets, a perfect wood heated sauna (check women nights and their turf sauna). 3rd floor hosts a contemporary theater. Free wifi that works also outside, ask the password from the counter.

Hella&Huone Deli
Everyone who travels from Tampere by train and likes good coffee knows this place- located in far end corner of the Tampere railways station, in the corner of the newer tunnel under the railway itself. Cannot be seen from the main entry hall, one needs to continue to the direction of the ticket machines. Wonderful central European like small 'bistro cafe' by the culinary experts in restaurant Hella&Huone. Neither the location (noisy) nor the visual appearance (harsh lighting)  itself  is not the best, but the products melt the heart away. During the busiest hours (morning trains to Helsinki) you can see the long line to the counter, so, if you feel for a take away. you might need some time. Salads, lunch soups, filled baguettes (never been  a disappointment) or muffins and coffee to go or to enjoy there looking at people rushing to the trains. Opens at 6.30, your breakfast to train is served. Definitely better money-quality guarantee than in the other ones at the station. Free open wifi.

5 Ravintola 931
Inside thick brick walls in paintinglike old factory area, entry point to an independent movie theater is an airy bar blessed with big windows to let the sunshine in and your eyes enjoy the view to moving water. 2 brothers came up with an idea to put up a bar. They offer good coffee (of course), salads and toasts, variety of drinks and beers, but also a funky atmosphere with pleasant service. Smooth music, dj´s, wide selection of board games, small art exhibitions and sometimes more, like a local chef making a music-brunch combination. They have a clever idea "to hide" a big tv-screen in a corner, so if you want to enjoy your hockey match, you do not bother someone else who does not. Take away coffee available. Free wifi.

Kaffila
A small and idyllic coffee shop on a perfect spot in the city center with a big outdoor area on the pedestrian zone during the summer. Take a look on the quote-carvings on the street before you enter! Surprisingly diverse selection of customers from body builders to English speaking business men and local students reading to a test. Breakfast buffet, coffee, lunch, sweet and salty delicacies and delicious smoothies from fresh ingredients. Free wifi.

La Famille
Located in front of the Finlayson factory area is a comfy bistro cafe with eye opening glass display for their offerings. Daily changing lunch menu; pastas, soups and salads. The sweet things are maybe (my opinion) the best in town, the selection is breathtaking. The service differs a lot from normal Finnish cafe´s "pay at the counter"-style; you´ll get the bill at the table when you´re ready and they do serve to the tables, no tray needed there!

Cafe Gopal
Vegan and vegetarian delights? All you can eat lunch by weight? Good cappuccino? Prepare to wait until 11 am and then stand in line for one of the greatest vege food there is in Tampere, but remember to be modest when filling the Indian metal plate from the buffet, it might cost you a surprising bit if you fill the plate to the top. All vegetarian and also vegan cakes and coffee also available. Copal has restaurants in 3 places around town, the most central marked on the map because of the coffee option. Indian style decor and taste in food, cakes not so Indian related. Pies and salads also available.

Tampereen Paahtimo
A newborn classic for a coffee enthusiasts is born next to our biggest department store. NOW be prepared, in addition to light interior, tasty eats and convenient location - they roast their own coffee! A big window in the second sitting room allows to see the heart of the whole business, which is the the roasting machine. They sell independently roasted different types of coffee beans as packed products or from containers where you can fill a bag as you wish, and they grind them for you if needed. They also sell coffee for business, shops and other cafes. They select their coffee beans from small farmers and visit at the producers to make sure the product meets their standards, as well as they make sure the farmer gets the suitable profit or the money is used to support their workers, check the list of farmers/producers from their web page. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! My opinion; the best! (in this coffee heaven also breakfasts and lunch soups and showcase some art.)

10 Kahvila Valo
I do not remember if I had been here since my bike was stolen in front of it many years ago, but I simply had missed a great place since. The cafe has had a nice face lift in the interior as well as with servings. A big plus to nice service, quiet inner court from traffic with tables and license to sell alcoholic beverages. They also have an own small roastery at the cafe and you can buy the products to be enjoyed at home, grinding included in the price! Free wifi. Fighting for the gold medal with Tampereen Paahtimo!

Still one place worth mentioning between Hämeensilta (bridge on main street) and Keskustori (central market place where the buses leave) is the new location for the Finnish Ecological Store Ruohonjuuri at Hämeenkatu 15. More space for ecological products than before and Smoothie Studio that also serves coffee. It is a niceand quick lunch to get a super food smoothie to go from the studio.

Note, that sometimes new workers in cafes may not be able to make the perfect treat for you, there are differences between the personnel even though they have good equipment.

2 comments:

Kavita said...

Thank you for your excellent list of coffeeshops in Tampere. I was recently in Tampere for 5 days to attend a conference and I was so appreciative of your suggestions. I tried out 5 of the places you recommended and loved them all! It was so helpful to be able to find espresso based coffees and your descriptions helped me figure out which places to go to for different occasions (breakfast, lunch, etc). Thank you for this great resource.

Miss Mureena said...

Thank you Kavita for your kind words! I am happy to help all coffee lovers. I am just curious; which ones did you choose?