Teeleidi, that is The Tea Lady, offers exactly what you would think judging by its name: a tasty cup of tea in elegant surroundings.
Jyväskylä is a charming University town in Central Finland. In the city centre, you’ll find shops, restaurants and lakeside views as well as a few art galleries, second-hand bookshops and craft shops. One of the latest additions to Jyväskylä’s food scene is the 100% plant based coffee shop Beans&More: a fresh breath of European style and modern coffee shop, only a few steps away from the city’s main shopping boulevard.
My first visit to Porvoo, a historic city some 40 minutes drive from Helsinki, proved to be a very successful trip: red wooden houses aligning a slowly gliding river, cafés and restaurants full of cheery looking customers, tourists groups posing and pointing with their cameras, pretty cobblestoned old town with a cosy feel. What else could a traveller ask for from a coastal Finnish city? Well, in the case of Porvoo, there were also amazing chocolate shops as a bonus.
Which was very convenient as a friend of mine, who likes chocolate and Porvoo, had a birthday coming up. For once, I was going to do well with my gift idea!
Morning has kicked off in the trendy Helsinki district of Kallio but the coffee shop stays quiet even though eight of its dozen or so tables are occupied by eleven o’clock. Van Morrison’s soft voice floats somewhere at the background, and on the walls, Eric Dolphy and Gene Taylor have frozen in a black and white, pixelated pose. Occasionally cups clink against the saucers and the grinder and espresso machine whizzes and hisses.
“As long as there is good coffee, I am happy.”
Said my sidekick, happily, after a visit to Turku’s CaféArt.
I have recently moved to what is said to be the most beautiful town in Finland, Naantali, after a year in London, where I started to write a book about London’s coffee scene. Needless to say, in London you find any kind of cup of coffee your soul might desire: you get your regular flat whites, innovative derivatives of flat whites (such as Fernandez & Welles stumpy coffee), you get your quick fixes of espressos from roadside shacks, slick urban spaces, decades old Italians, and industrial warehouses alike. You get your luxurious porcelain cups while porches speed pass, and you get your sophisticated mugs with twittering tweeds around.
But all this is only decorum around the main issues, quality coffee.
Finding the essence of Finland – one coffee cup at a time
All good things come to an end, which was also the fate of my Finnish holiday. Luckily, I was able to bid farewell to my native country with style.
A few weeks ago I woke up at my parent’s summer cottage and the place looked like after an unsuccessful bomb disposal operation.
There had been a wedding celebrations, and I had been the bride.
As my readers know, I just spent a few autumny weeks in Finland, my native country. It was a busy visit, as I not only managed to cover over 2000 km of Finnish and Lappish roads (including a detour in the Swedish Lapland), but I got married as well. Hurrah!