I visited Rome in August, and with it came a trip to the city’s oldest coffee shop.
This was meant to be the pinnacle moment of the trip, but instead it was an utter disappointment. The coffee was subpar and I didn’t even finish my gelato (I always finish my gelato!!!). I couldn’t help but wonder what caused this fall from the stars. Once this was the most amazing place. Was it the tourists? Was it the management taking cheap shortcuts? Had the baristas left and not been replaced by qualified staff? It will remain a mystery.
How many times hadn’t I walked that road? Never had it seen it.
Here in Bergen we have a little coffee shop that also has me wondering at its mysteries. One day it was just there. Tucked into a side street, in one of Bergen’s most frequent paths for tourism and locals alike. How many times hadn’t I walked that road? Never had it seen it. But never the less, there it was: Kaf Kafé.
I walked in, like a deer walks to the edge of the forest; uncertain, but curious. A small book case, a La Marzocco coffee machine, and handwritten chalkboards met me. Rustic shelves, copper lamps, little potted succulents on each wooden table, seagreen trays filled with frosted cakes under glass domes and soft pillows. The barista was humming a tune quite passionately behind the bar.
I ordered my go-to; Cappuccino and cake, and sank down in a cornerchair, enveloped in my own silence and wonder, as the barista continued composing his tune to the hissing and steaming Marzocco.
When I was in kindergarden the teachers would often take us to the forest to play. Once, when we arrived at our usual play-spot upon a little tree-clad hill, there was already someone there. An old lady dressed in rags with big black frizzy hair. She laughed as she saw us and waved us closer. We were just in time! “Hurry now! Gather all the moss you can find and I’ll get started on the cooking”, she said. We scampered about the hill, ripping up moss and dirt, chubby legs tripping over by effort and excitement, and placed it in the big bowl in her lap. She mixed and huffed and said magic spell words. “Now close your eyes”, she said, “close them hard and wish for something sweet”. And we all did. I saw blue stars when I opened my eyes, and in front of us, on a bed of moss, laid dimond cut pieces of bright green cake. Moss cake! Never had I tasted something that magical. Until I tried the Macha brownies at Kaf Kafé. Maybe the same magical witch works in their kitchen, as the one we met that day.
The Cappuccino was also great, silky smooth and well balanced. A good Cappuccino should almost taste like a hot chocolate.
I left content. The next time I came back it was gone. Replaced by a wooden door so inconspicuous that I wondered if I had the wrong alleyway. No name on the door, no windows. This was truly the secret garden. Or the path into The Labyrinth.
At the time it wasn’t on any map, but I have found it since. Kaf Kafé is a gem, a pearl, a treasure. Take good care of it Bergen ☔
Final verdict: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐