Tim Wendelboe- best coffee in Oslo?

On a quiet corner of Grünerløkka, a green tinged urban neighbourhood in Oslo’s east is Tim Wendelboe. This eponymous micro roastery and espresso bar belongs to the winner of the 2004 World Barista Championships.

It’s a modern space, set on the corner of a wide street. The outside is slate grey, the inside Scandi restrained – all pale wood and white walls.

Most of the main room is dominated by the roaster; a proud beast near the entrance gently filtering out scents of dark toast and bitter caramel.

While there are some scant stools outside on the foot path and a few scattered chairs inside, this is not a place designed for customers to nurse a coffee while redrafting a novel. It’s also not a natural home for brunch, or large group gatherings.

What it is is a spectacular place to come and get a caffeine fix.

Last Sunday morning found us there as soon as the doors swung open at 11 am. Two female baristas were preparing the store. There’s muted power ballads humming in the background and the blends of the day were written up in pen on brown paper behind the bar. Tim buys his coffee according to harvest season- so what’s on offer changes frequently.

Out of the milk based coffees the cappucino proved the highlight; espresso with notes of caramel and hazelnut, swirled artfully with organic Norwegian milk. To me it had the downy texture of a burying down into a winter duvet.

The featured single origin blend from Brazil was a revelation- it’s startlingly bright with a berry zing to it- it’s unlike any other espresso I’ve tasted in recent months. It’s a great jumping off point for those wanting a  swift demonstration of the light roast style of Norwegian coffee lauded and reported by the NY Times back in 2011.

Here at Tim Wendelboe there’s also a tasting room on site and ground beans and coffee paraphernalia to purchase. This is one of the few occasions we’ve kicked ourselves for leaving our beloved ECM Giotto in the custody of  caring hands back in Sydney. I can think of many mornings in London that would be improved by crafting one of those espressos from a bag of freshly ground beans.

This is a smart spot in a great city. If you make it to Oslo and are a fan of places like Coffee Collective in Copenhagen and Prufrock in London, make sure a visit is part of your itinerary.

Nb, Tim Wendelboe also sells coffee to around 50 cafes and restaurants around Norway and a few cafes around the world. Stockists here.

Tim Wendelboe

Grunersgate 1, on the corner of Fossveien at Grünerløkka in Oslo.
Weekdays: 08:30 – 18:00
Saturday: 11:00 – 17:00
Sunday: 11:00 – 17:00

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