“As long as there is good coffee, I am happy.”
Said my sidekick, happily, after a visit to Turku’s CaféArt.
Last week, me and my sidekick went for our first proper visit to Turku, 15 kilometers away from our new little hometown, Naantali. As my nerdy self, I had done some online research before setting on the journey, and our first pit stop for coffee was going to be the CaféArt: for on a photo online, I had seen fashionable latte art and on their homepage I read an impressive CV on the coffee shop’s baristas’ victories in barista competitions: 7 in total since 2008! But still, my subdued optimism didn’t let my hopes to get too up.
It was a sunny afternoon: river Aura was glittering and slowly gliding towards the sea and almost all the little café tables along it were occupied. This is the old part of Turku, where you can see centuries-old colourful buildings, cobblestone streets and hear the Turku Cathedral’s punctual bells. We stepped into the dim-lit coffee shop and had a hard time deciding on the treat – in the end, cinnamon bun it was but those mud muffins seemed tempting too. I had instructed my sidekick a month before not to wonder about flat whites too loudly in Finnish coffee shops: if they have any, I’ll let him know. Judging from the photo I had seen online, I was hopeful to have a flat white for my Brazilian bean freak as a surprise, but according to the blackboard, we had to settle on a cappuccino after all.
After the friendly cashier (yes! I’ve only encountered friendly customer service in Finland opposite to the common myth of grumpiness) had taken our order we moved to the end of the desk to wait for our cappuccinos.
Please, let there be not too much foam, I prayed.
But then, two tap taps on the counter and a weight on my soul was lifted: this was the familiar sound of the milk pitcher being jammed lightly against the wooden counter for the barista to perform his magic. Me and my sidekick looked at each other: finally a promise of artfully prepared coffee.
Happily we took our seats outdoors and admired the view – and, well, the coffee.
Although marked as a cappuccino on the blackboard, the coffee leaned more towards a flat white as it was only the tinsiest bit foamy making the milk just smooth enough to balance the slight sweetness of the coffee. I was trying to drag some more flavour notes from the silent sidekick, but all he could utter was: “this is the best coffee I’ve had in Finland. Perfect temperature, so smooth, perfect…aaah!” So I left him and his coffee to enjoy their quality time in peace and continued on sipping on my own.
And in the end, that was all I could also think: perfect.
What: Although there are blog posts and reviews of CaféArt, it was difficult to find out more detailed information of the company. For example, when did they open? I don’t know. But I do know that the roastery, Turun Kahvipaahtimo, which operates with the Café (in a separate location) opened in 2008, so maybe this marks the coffee shops birth also? You can pack your bags full of coffee goodies after a visit to the Café, as they also sell a lot of Turun Kahvipaahtimo coffee and other home barista equipment.
Where: CaféArt is located by the river Aura, on Läntinen Rantakatu. This street is a historic passageway in Turku, and many of its buildings date from the 18th and 19th centuries. Close by, you can visit, for example, Trip Advisor’s most popular Turku sight, the city library!
When: CaféArt is open from Mon to Fri between 10 and 19, on Sat between 10 and 17 and on Sundays between 11 and 17.
For more coffee infused travels, read about one of my favourite coffee shops in the whole wide world: Brother Hubbard, Dublin!
P.S. Urgent news! I just got some extra information that you can get flat whites and even café cortados in CaféArt: just be brave and ask at the counter!