Kaffitár, Reykjavik

Kaffitár, Reykjavik

By Chris Kolbu

Established in 1990, Kaffitár has grown to become the dominant force in Icelandic specialty coffee. With a roastery and 8 coffee shops, they are a big presence in Reykjavik. Almost everyone in the Icelandic coffee industry has worked, or works at Kaffitár.

The company is owned and operated by Adalheidur Hedinsdottir and her family. Adalheidur is also the green buyer for Kaffitár, and travels around the world every year to purchase coffee. An astounding 75% of the coffee at Kaffitár is Direct Trade — bought directly from the farmer. The coffees are predominantly of American origin, in particular Brazil, Nicaragua and Guatemala.

While Kaffitár has become a large chain by Icelandic standards, their baristas are all very passionate and focused; the level of service is very good. Kaffitár also operates two coffee shops at the airport, where the service and quality of drinks is every bit as good as in town.

The interior of the shop on Bankastræti is a pleasant departure from the cool, Nordic interiors one normally finds in coffee shops: the facade is magenta, and the interior is a mix of warm hues of blue, red and yellow. The shop evokes a feeling of being in far warmer climes.

Black coffee at Kaffitár is filter brewed. At least two different coffees are available at any given time. It is normal on Iceland to offer the black coffee from thermoses placed a short distance from the bar. Refills are normally free.

Kaffitár’s focus on direct trade, sustainability and quality all reflect an integral part of Nordic Coffee Culture.

Visit Kaffitár at www.kaffitar.is

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