Cafe Reviews, Scene

The best specialty coffee in Tallinn, Estonia

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Like you needed another reason to visit Tallinn, Estonia.

The thing I love most about coffee is how it connects people from all over the world. Sure, the hobby of coffee starts out being about the taste, and about bringing happiness to peoples lives (especially at 7am). But nothing makes me personally more pleased than the idea that people from places as geographically and culturally remote as Estonia, Spain, Ethiopia, Panama, Russia, China, Japan, Syria, Bosnia and Australia can all have something that brings them together to share a moment. This is thus a guide (the first of many) to coffee and people in Tallinn, Estonia, out in the northern reaches of Eastern Europe, which from the looks of it is a place worth visiting for some amazing coffee.

Gourmet Coffee & Gourmet Coffee City

Gourmet Coffee and Gourmet Coffee City are two locations are owned by the same people, Annar Alas and Heili Politanov. Annar is a World Barista Championships certified judge, and has judged world championships  across Europe and Asia, plus many other national championships. So, he knows what goes into making a good cup of coffee. Heili is a Cup of Excellence certified judge, so knows what goes into a good bean. Together, they've created these centers for coffee excellence, where you can get coffees that they've roasted themselves and served any number of ways - as espresso drinks (on Faema machines, classic Italian) and also as hand-poured drinks using AeroPress, Hario V60s, Chemex, siphon, etc. Both spots have lots of seating space, either at communal tables or at smaller individual ones, and have regular cuppings (where you can sample a broad range of coffees).

Gourmet Coffee in action

Gourmet Coffee City - counter

Gourmet Coffee outdoor seating

Gourmet Coffee City - latte art practise

Images courtesy of @gourmet_coffee and @gourmetcoffeecity

Renard Coffee (and Speed) Shop

Renard Coffee Shop is a motorcycle/coffee shop in Talinn, Estonia, specialising in pour-overs of specialty coffee brought from all over Europe (with regular features from Northern Europe and Scandinavia). It originally just started as Renard Speed Shop, a custom motorcycle workshop/store, but added coffee to the mix to help with the 'showroom'-like atmosphere. They brew espresso-style drinks on a black La Marzocco Linea, or also do pour-overs at a dedicated brew bar with coffee in test tubes that just makes it look really serious! It's really spacious and well-lit, with lots of seating room and of course awesome vintage and custom bikes to peruse if you want. They have various classics on display, but don't sit on them. Just ogle. (If you can't find it, look for a train carriage covered with graffiti... the shop is in a limestone building near this train carriage).

Motorcycles and coffee

The brew bar

Espresso tastings

The bar

Images courtesy of @renardcoffeeshop

The Living Room Cafe

Run by student volunteers, The Living Room Cafe is chill cafe with great hanging-out atmosphere. It's a non-profit, actually oriented towards other students with limited budgets and in need of a place to sit, work and drink coffee. So the coffee is affordable and they're cool with you camping out for as long as you like. Coffee is roasted in-house, and brewed using a number of hand-brewed methods (AeroPress, Hario V60 etc.) or as espresso drinks brewed on an Izzo Alex Duetto III Gen5 semi-automatic machine. They source their beans from small batch green traders like Sweet Marias, all the way across in the US, or from UK-based small-batch green bean suppliers.

Regulars at The Living ROom

The ambience - students


Craft coffee menu

Images courtesy of @thelivingroomstudentcafe