Stockfleths Kaffe og Te

The Great Coffee ChaseNorway

Ask any self-respecting newspaper reporter in Oslo about coffee, and odds are they'll treat you to an anecdote on how the New York Times favourably covered the scene a few years back. And fair enough, I suppose–the coffee scene here is pretty impressive, and the aforementioned story highlights many of its finer qualities.

Now Stockfleths might not be the above-and-beyond example of local excellence, but with its six locations and consistently good coffee, it certainly should have a spot on anyone's shortlist.

Really, for having as many shops as they do (an additional two spots are located outside Oslo), the quality Stockfleths holds is pretty impressive. Having tried anything from their cortado (espresso with a small amount of milk) to their pour-over, I have had many positive experiences here. Not exclusively positive, but rarely have I had anything to complain about.

The pour-over, more than most brews, tends to be a good benchmark for how well a spot does coffee. It's a method that involves both patience and precision–mess it up, and there's really no way to cover up your mistake. Stockfleths's baristi have done well with this, balancing lines of customers with the slow process of brewing the coffee. Impressive, indeed.

Oddly enough, the only really issue I've seen here has not been with the coffee itself, but instead the burnt milk. Burnt milk in a cappuccino pretty much spoils the whole drink, though luckily it's not one of those things that have happened too often.

So, a misstep now and again aside, Stockfelths is a spot–or, I suppose, a chain–that has a safe place in our rotation. It might not have the cachet of Java or the charm of Fuglen, but hell… They've been around since 1895, so they must be doing something right.

Give the chai latte a try, too. It's pretty stellar.