Ofvandahls – A Fika Institution

Uppsala is a very lovable city, especially for students. It’s a place where many historical events took place and if buildings could talk, most would tell fascinating stories dating back centuries. Cafés too played a key role in fuelling the academic work, a great example of this is Ofvandahls.

The café opened its doors in 1878 as ‘Erik Andersson Konditori og Damkafé’ and changed name to Ofvhandals in 1901. In many nation songbooks you find a song dedicated to it which mentions a series of things you could have ordered at the time (including ‘avec’ such as cognac, punsch etc.) which shows the long lasting love affair between the café and the student community.

A former Uppsala student, class 1968, told me that she and her friends often used to take lunch or fika there and then when the cathedral bells rang they would run up the hill to Universitetshusset to attend lesson. “Many cafes and restaurants come and go but Ofvandahls stays” said the lady who was visiting Uppsala for the day and chose to stop by at her cherished café.

Today the student atmosphere lives on and there still is a dedicated discount on coffee. Many still choose to meet there as opposed to going to more modern cafes in the center, prefering its coziness to free Wi-Fi. Homemade cakes, soups, sandwiches and the selection of teas offer something for everyone’s taste, especially on a cold winter day when something comforting is what you need.

Many things in Uppsala’s society are changing for better or for worse but the fika is a lasting institution in which people meet up, chat for hours and no matter how many cups you drink your bank account doesn’t suffer and drowsiness is not a problem; on the contrary, the more you drink the more you get pepped up, talkative and creative, as the caffeine rush goes through your veins.

This daily ritual lives on strong and so does the temple of traditional fika such as Ofvanhals, with its over 140 year history. It is a guarantee that no matter what happenes in the world, in that corner of Sysslomansgatan the hot drinks keep flowing; providing continuity in service that stands outside the boundaries of time.

  • Location: Sysslomansgatan 5, 753 11 Uppsala – Sweden
  • WiFi: No
  • Student Discount: Yes
  • Best for: ordinary Swedish coffee (filter) and traditional cakes!

‘Kär the Kärlek!’

cappucino

Share the love this winter with Lost in a Cup!

In cold days we all need a bit of love and love is all about coffee.

cappucino

Make the most of this lovely deal in which all existing Lost in a Cup customers get a 15% discount off the next coffee purchase when they introduce a friend to our products.

Friends, on the other hand, will experience good quality, Italian coffee and fall in love at first taste.

If they love it, they will love you too!

How does it work? The new customer registers an account on the website and makes a first purchase then sends an email to alex@lostinacup.com with the name and surname of the friend who tipped them about Lost in a Cup.

Bellissimo!

Kär the Kärlek and EspressøYourself!

#KärTheKärlek #EspressøYourself

The Future of Cafés

These guys in the 1930’s did not order a ‘caramel latte’; it was not on the menu at the time – but might they do that today?

The coffee world is ever changing and in recent years globalisation and big brands have brought the buzz of an expanded selection of coffees and drinks into the mainstream.

If the 80’s and 90’s were all about big chains of burgers and fast food; the first two decades of the new millennium have been all about coffee chains and capsule coffee – what else?

This has been a very exciting process which has seen many parts of the world discover espresso coffee and also American style long milk based coffees entered the high street with added syrups, flavours and whipped cream possibly.

You would not have found this in your local konditori 20 years ago!

This exciting innovation also has a down side, which is the struggle of independently owned cafes that due to difficulties in innovating or lower margins than the big chains often were forced to shut down.

So is it the end of independent cafes?

A typical “Bar” in Italy

I surely hope not! Family-run businesses offer charm and atmosphere that chains can’t! Even if they instruct their staff to write your name on the cup, smile and wish you a nice day it is still not authentic. It’s about history, community and passion.

In my coffee drinking mission I will explore many different kinds of cafes both old and new to see what they are all about!

What works? What doesn’t? What cool ideas are out there? By the end of this I might not be able to write a recipe of ‘how to make the perfect café’ but I hopefully will be able to give a few good pointers!

Follow this series of articles here on Lostinacup and on our social media pages /lostinacup. Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comment section below or by using the hashtags: #TomorrowsCafe #EspressøYourself

60 Years of Cultural Institute – PopUp Café

Text: Alexander Maxia – Photos: Marcus Sätherström

Last November ‘Italienskkulturinstitutet‘ or the ‘Italian Cultural institute in Stockholm’ celebrated their 60th birthday. On this occasion ‘Lost in a Cup‘ was there with our Pop-up Café to contribute by bringing quality Italian coffee to the party.

PopUp Café at the Italian Cultural Institute in Stockholm

The participants to the event included many Italian expats who have made Sweden their home but also many locals that for one reason or another fell in love with Italian culture and took any opportunity to practice their Italian.

Over a hundred guests attended the celebrations

We designed the stand so that the coffee machines were facing the public and not the baristas. Our idea was to teach people to make Italian espresso themselves – for each other! After all, our hashtag is #EspressøYourself so what better way to promote the company ethos than by encouraging people to get a hands-on experience in espresso making and interact with others around them?

Luckily Ismaele Rombi, La Tazza d’Oro’s coffee expert, was on hand to supervise the many amateur baristas who were keen on learning how to make good coffee like in an ‘Italian Bar’. Italian espresso nowadays can be enjoyed across the world as long as the ingredients are of good quality and you have the right tools to make it. For the occasion we collaborated with the Italian household brand ‘DeLonghi’ who lent us their grinder and espresso machines that together with our own ‘Adesso Espresso’ capsule machine delivered fantastic espressos to the many enthusiasts.

Ismaele Rombi (left) sharing his knowledge on good espresso making

A few hours and 200 coffees later, the party ended. It was a great evening and the team at the Institute really did a phenomenal job in organising such a popular event. Driving back to Uppsala we reflected on the many interesting conversations we engaged in, the many stories of people who love ‘il Bel Paese’, the feedback and encouragement many gave us. We felt a sense of satisfaction. On a cold and dark winter evening we brought the taste and atmosphere of a ‘bar della piazza‘ to a location so very far from Italy, yet so strongly connected to it.

The team: Edwin Oldfield, Ismaele Rombi and Alexander Maxia

Thanks to the team at the Italian Cultural Institute, Ismaele Rombi and DeLonghi Nordics for making this PopUp Café such a success. See you next time?

Brown [Coffee] Friday

Last week was Black [Coffee] Friday so this week is brown coffee.

In Sweden many have a common belief that the darker the coffee is the stronger it is and also the better.

Obviously it is a fact of taste but true Italian espresso coffee is not black but is a light shade of brown, at least on the surface.

Why?

Because of the ‘crema’ which comes naturally when the water comes out of an espresso machine at a high pressure.

This ‘crema’ effect does not happen when you make coffee at home with a classic Italian ‘moka pot’ as it is a different coffee making system.

 

Did you know that technically moka made coffee is not called espresso coffee? Even though it is the most common household coffee available in Italy, it is referred to as ‘caffé’ – coffee.

Which do you prefer? Moka coffee or espresso?

 

Event: ‘Espresso Yourself’ – Uppsala

Ever wondered what’s the secret behind a great tasting Italian coffee? Love the barista made cappuccino but at home the froth never comes out right?

This is your chance to find out what makes a good Italian coffee and gain tips from a professional on how to become your own barista.

Join Lost in a Cup and La Tazza d’oro for an evening where all will be revealed about espresso coffees, latte art, Italian coffee tradition and much more.

You will get the chance to see Italian coffee expert and barista trainer Ismaele Rombi working his magic. He came especially from Italy to showcase great coffee so make the most of his tips! Feel free to ask him for advice and find out what it takes to make great tasting coffee, even at home or in the office.

 

There will also be the opportunity of tasting La Tazza d’oro coffee which is roasted in Cagliari, following 80 years of Italian espresso tradition. Discover one of the most renowned coffee brands in Sardinia that is now available on the Swedish market.

The event will be hosted in the beautiful Hamnpaviljongen Restaurant in the centre of Uppsala, just by the river.

Entry is Free of charge but you need to fill in the form and let us know how many will attend. If you no longer can make it, please let us know asap! The number of spots at the event is limited.

Click here to be re-directed to the RSVP form

More Info:

Facebook event

Hamnpaviljongen Restaurant website

Black [Coffee] Friday

Today is “Black Friday“!

Here at Lost in a Cup prices and philanthropist mission stay the same today as everyday of the year, so there will be no discounts on the products sold.

However we do strongly encourage people to celebrate today by having ‘black coffee’. 

We believe that a good cup of black coffee tastes more authentic and is more rewarding than any percentage of discount a retailer can give.

Many put milk or sugar, or both in coffee but it’s good to have a pure, black coffee to really appreciate its taste.

The simplicity of the flavour, appreciated even more if lukewarm, is something rather special. Often our lives are complicated with too many extra things but every so often if we just stripped it down to the basics, the essentials then we would really appreciate what we have.

It is a naked coffee, you appreciate every detail, both good and bad.

However if you do this, you might discover that the coffee you are drinking is not really great tasting in its ‘naked form’.

So then, why not try to fix that?!

 

Happy Black [Coffee] Friday!

 

Men in Boxes – #internationalmensday

If you order coffee from the shop I go to the storage, find the articles, put them in a box, print the label and send you the goods.

Can you also put ‘men’ in clearly defined boxes?  – No.

Recent years have seen post-structuralists look into many of the norms in our societies and question them often shedding light on dogmas that could be changed to improve our conditions of living.

A lot of progress has been made to empower women by giving access to higher education, something not very common 50 years ago and encouraging a stronger position and role in society beyond the household.

What about men? How much has been done to encourage men to take on household duties, look after children, be more emotionally available, say how they feel, open up? – Not much at all.

Last week was ‘remembrance Sunday’ and people marked the sacrifice of many men who died during wars throughout history. Going to war, fighting and dying in battles they barely understood and sacrificing their lives for the glory of their country – or so they told them. The trauma of war scarred people for life but society forbid them from crying or being visibly affected by the horrors they witnessed in the trenches. A proper man is supposed to have a stiff upper lip.

Sweden is world leading in trying to work on this second, often overlooked, side of gender equality by implementing parental leave for both mothers and fathers.

Today is #internationalmensday and it is worth a thought on how confined the role of a man is within most societies. ‘Man up!’ – ‘Don’t be a pussy!‘ are common things to say or hear even today; is this effectively putting men into a box that limits who they can be and what they can do?

If you want to have coffee in a box check out the web shop.

If instead, you want to try to take men out of ‘the box’ contribute your views on the topic of ‘Men’ and the role they have or should have within our society. All stories and comments welcome on #BackStories 

This article is in line with Lost in a Cup‘s ethos and value #EspressøYourself which distinguishes it from your average coffee seller online.

Social Experiment: Pop-Up Café in Studentstaden

Pop-up shops, restaurants and venues have been popping up everywhere like mushrooms after the rain and appear to be the latest hipster trend.

So why not try out this concept with a Café?

That is exactly what we did today here at Lost in a Cup HQ in Studentstaden – Uppsala. The name of the neighbourhood in Swedish means literally ‘the city of students’  and it is the part of the city with the highest concentration of student rooms; Uppsala in general is also known as the most important university city in the country. You can’t get more student-centric than this!

 

The amazing part is that although so many students live in proximity of each other they rarely say hello to each other, let alone engage in conversations with neighbours.

So here came the idea: to attract people with good coffee and create a social space where strangers would actively be encouraged to engage with each other. Truly a social experiment. One of the attendees pointed out how this was ‘so not Swedish’ and chuckled and the fact it was something out of the ordinary attracted her to visit in the first place and would come back to future events.

 

Factors such as the size of the venue, limited to one 13 sq. meters plus a corridor and the authenticity of the Pop-Up Café being in an authentic student corridor made the setting ideal for spontaneous social interactions. Like a student house party but without alcohol and blaring music, just a chilled atmosphere and good conversations.

Only glitch in the project was the out-reach as the idea and development of the Café came around 24 hours before the actual event took place. Many Swedes plan their schedule with at least a week in advance so Italian spontaneity does not work as much as the organiser had hoped so the crowd was fairly small.

However, Sunday the 25th of November it will happen again! This time with more people and maintaining the good coffee and gingerbread biscuits which really went down a treat.

 

Will you join?

Check out the link to the Facebook event with all the details.

 

#PopUpStudentstaden

White [Milky] Friday

Today is ‘White Friday‘ on Lost in a Cup. Today we celebrate white, milky, some say ‘weak’ coffees such as the popular ‘Latte’ or to be correct ‘Latte macchiato‘ you can see depicted below.

Mixing milk with coffee in Italy is usually done in the mornings, for breakfast and there is the unwritten rule of ‘no cappuccinos after midday’. Often touristy destinations offer Cappuccinos on the menu of restaurants and pizzerias but be aware it is just for tourists! Most Italians would not have milk in their coffee after breakfast. The only exception is when they ask to stain their espresso with a splash of milk called a ‘macchiato’, which literally means ‘stained’. Macchiatos can be done with hot steamed milk, ‘a caldo‘ or with cold milk, ‘a freddo’.

 

Spoiler: next week will be “Black [Coffee] Friday”