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
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
Student Discount: Yes
Best for: ordinary Swedish coffee (filter) and traditional cakes!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?