Indulge in Fine Coffee and Chocolate this Christmas
Forget the mulled wine and candy canes for a while – this Christmas, you must not miss to experience the great craftsmanship around coffee and chocolate in Uppsala. Shopping, or attending a tasting, at one of the city’s coffee and chocolate spots is a real treat. In addition to taking home gifts that will enhance the holiday dinners, you will undoubtedly learn something new from the passionate staff.
Arrenius & Company – Relaxed, Knowledgeable, and Delicious
If you crave a truly good cup of coffee in Uppsala, head straight to the small but well-stocked coffee shop Arrenius & Company. With its 17 square meters, it boasts some of the world’s best coffee beans, teas, chocolates, and confectionery.
"This place is at least as important for Uppsala as the cathedral."
“This place is at least as important for Uppsala as the cathedral,” says the regular customer Klein, all the while expertly balancing an espresso cup in one hand. He’s here almost every day.
The owner Anders Arrenius has been running the combined coffee bar and shop for almost ten years now – and his reception is as warm as the coffee. He is happy to share his knowledge around beans and blends, so if you want to buy coffee as a gift, you’ve come to the right place. Just let the staff know what the recipient likes – and even if it has nothing to do with coffee, you’ll walk out with the perfect bag of beans.
Instead of buying spiced Christmas coffee, Anders suggests focusing on quality and letting coffee take center stage during the holiday dinners.
“Invest in something really aromatic; there is coffee that can be compared to fine rum… Hang on!”
He reaches for one of the higher shelves in the store and pulls out a couple of real treasures of beans, which are then ground and brewed with practiced movements. The finished specialty coffee is poured into curved glasses. It tastes like peach, vanilla sauce – and absolutely heavenly. Who wouldn’t be delighted with such a Christmas gift?
Chocolat – Sweet, Luxurious, and the Home of Uppsalapralinen
Coffee and chocolate – a love story if we ever knew one, right? And if you’re looking to buy some fine chocolate in Uppsala, make sure to include Chocolaton your itinerary. The family-owned business has been around in Uppsala since 2006. The founder, chocolate and cigar enthusiast Sarkis Panossian, handed over the business to his son and daughters in 2014.
The store in Svavagallerian in central Uppsala feels luxurious and cozy; dark wood, red carpet, and, of course, the main reason to visit – exquisite pralines stacked in pyramids. The shelves are filled with specialty chocolate from all corners of the world.
When asked if she ever gets tired of chocolate, Sara Svantesson, the buyer, looks almost incredulous.
“Never! And I specially enjoy it when customers ask a lot of questions. I think it’s perfect to stop by here and put together a specially tailored chocolate box for the parties and dinners of the holidays.”
Among all the handmade praline variations in the display, there’s one with a extra local connection. It’s called Uppsalapralinen and consists of dark chocolate balanced by a filling with a light mousse of white chocolate and freshly ground coffee, topped with a coffee bean. The coffee comes from the local coffee company Uppsala Kafferosteri.
Uppsalapralinen and the coffee blends are also included in a coffee and chocolate tasting kit available for purchase. A fun gift that also includes information about the different flavor combinations, and tools to giving points during the tasting. And if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll get to be there when the recipient opens the kit?
Uppsala Kafferosteri – Local, Hip, and Dark Roasted Coffee
So, Uppsalapralinen is flavored with coffee from local roastery Uppsala Kafferosteri. Who’s the man behind the locally produced coffee then? It’s David Fichtel, and he is quite the coffee nerd – but he doesn’t think that enjoying a good cup of java should be complicated. His somewhat cheeky motto is: “Shut up and enjoy!”
But if you want to delve into origins, roasting techniques, and brewing methods, David is happy to share his knowledge. In the stylishly decorated, small-scale coffee roastery just outside Uppsala’s city center, he hosts both courses and tastings.
When he’s not roasting coffee, that is.
“This one is probably from former Yugoslavia; it’s hard to find much information about it…”
David points at the roasting machine, which undoubtedly has some patina. Here, he roasts all the coffee himself, with equal parts precision and feeling. In the land of “lagom” (a Swedish word and concept for something being just enough), light and medium roasts often dominate the coffee shelves in the stores, but not here. All products from Uppsala Kafferosteri consist of dark-roasted, specialty coffee.
There’s also a unique story behind each coffee, often personal. “Äntligen” (meaning “Finally”) is a coffee David developed after his father (also a coffee nerd) was diagnosed with a severe form of cancer. When his father noted with sadness that no coffee tasted good anymore, during and after his cancer treatment, David took action. “Äntligen” celebrates his father’s recovery and honors those working in cancer care.
Other coffee varieties have lighter Uppsala connections. Like Valborg, for example, a tribute to the unique annual celebrations of the arrival of spring in Sweden where Uppsala is a central part of the festivities. David also do unique collaborations with artists, breweries, and other local businesses in Uppsala.
“Sometimes I feel that nothing and everything I do has to do with coffee,” he says laughing.
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