Oslo Coffee Roasters is a standout destination for a good 'cup of Joe' and is a great alternative to the countless coffee chains sprawled across the city and beyond.
Oslo Coffee Roasters has itself become a chain, albeit a micro one – with just three locations in both Manhattan and Brooklyn. Both the flagship and second store are situated in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In the late summer of 2011, a third establishment opened its doors on the Upper East Side. Each store has its own unique set-up, vibe and clientele. The flagship store on Roebling Street is by far the most relaxed and quiet. It has large communal tables and is a great place to stretch out for some alone time or engage in some chit-chat with friends. The second Brooklyn haunt is situated on the ever-popular Bedford Avenue. It is a much smaller store and the majority of patrons choose takeaway options. However, the benches situated outside the front are very popular on weekends. Meanwhile, the third and final store on the Upper East Side serves 9-5ers much more than tattooed hipsters.
The three locations do however share one rather important similarity – the promise of strong, flavourful and delicious coffee. The regular coffee alone is luscious, as are the milk-based espresso beverages, including lattes and cappuccinos. Oslo uses its own beans and has a range of house blends and rotating seasonal offerings, all of which are roasted on the premises. The standard blends include a houseblend (Thor), a dark roast (Freya), an espresso blend (Odin) as well as decaf options. All of the blends taste great, whether they are served with or without milk, hot or cold. Moreover, all are available for purchase, in order to recreate the Oslo coffee experience at home. French presses, coffee filters, travel mugs and gift certificates are also available for purchase.
The baked goods at Oslo Coffee Roasters are also worthy of applause. The bagels, croissants and cookies are fabulous but the muffins are the real drawcard. The unique flavour combinations are remarkably delectable and include such recipes as banana, walnut and pumpkin as well as zucchini, raspberry and chocolate chip.
It is quite difficult to fault Oslo Coffee Roasters. However, the staff tend to be a bit of a mixed bag and can range from the chatty and pleasant to the downright pretentious and unfriendly. Furthermore, credit cards are not accepted at any of the Oslo cafes, which may displease some patrons. There is also no WiFi. In any case, any qualms one has with Oslo Coffee Roasters are likely to be eradicated by the experience of a truly stellar cup of coffee (and accompanying muffin.)