We check out some of the awesome cafés in this vibrant country for specialty coffee.
BY VASILEIA FANARIOTI
SENIOR ONLINE CORRESPONDENT
Photos courtesy of Vasileia Fanarioti
If you’re a coffee lover or industry pro looking for an exciting coffee scene to visit, Romania should be high on your list. Last May I had the pleasure of attending the Bucharest Coffee Festival, and after a few days of tasting and exploring the best coffee in town, I decided to embark on a five-day road trip around Romania, stopping off at some of the country’s finest coffee shops along the way.
Today I will share with you five of the best places I visited on my journey—so if you’re planning a trip to Romania this summer, or already live there and are looking for great coffee spots, read on!
First up is boteca13 in Bucharest. This cozy spot was the first stop on my journey, and I can highly recommend it for specialty-coffee lovers. The owners, Bogdan and Anca, started the cafe from an idea they had during a trip through Paris: a garden in the urban jungle that serves Parisian pastries and specialty coffee.
The duo works closely with local roasters to bring new flavors and experiences to their customers. The atmosphere is relaxed and truly makes you feel like you are in a quiet garden away from the city’s hustle and bustle, even though the location is very central. During my visit I enjoyed a delicious cortado—the perfect way to kick off my five-day coffee tour.
BOB Coffee Lab
My second stop was BOB Coffee Lab, a café and roastery also in Bucharest. This place is run by co-owners Alexandru Niculae and Paul Ungureanu, who are both very experienced coffee professionals—Alexandru was the 2016 World Coffee Roasting Champion, while Paul earned third place at the 2015 World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship.
BOB Coffee Lab is located in a converted garage, giving it an industrial feel that perfectly suits the roastery. I ordered an Ethiopian on AeroPress and was really impressed by the complexity of flavors they managed to bring out of the roast. I left with a bag of Pink Bourbon coffee from Colombia to enjoy at home. All in all, this was an excellent stop on my trip—definitely worth a visit if you’re ever in Bucharest.
The first town I visited after leaving Bucharest was Sibiu, where I stopped off at Charlie’s—a coffee and brunch spot in the old town. The café has a fine collection of specialty coffees they’re proud of; I was excited to survey the offerings from different origins to decide on my brew for the day.
The food menu also offers plenty of delicious options—I really enjoyed the hummus toast with poached eggs, chorizo, and pickled onion on sourdough bread. As for coffee, I had a summer coffee drink called the Tropical Brewnada—cold brew with pineapple puree, mineral water, lemon, and ice. It was incredibly refreshing and perfect for a hot summer day, plus I found it very imaginative.
CH9 Specialty Coffee
My last stop before heading back to Bucharest was CH9 Specialty Coffee in Brasov. This café is located within a historic building right next to the Black Church, one of the most famous churches in Romania. You can either sit downstairs for some social interaction, upstairs if you prefer a bit more privacy, or outside facing the legendary church.
I had their batch brew, which was made with freshly roasted beans by Spired Roastery; it tasted smooth, sweet, and full of flavor. I could see why this place has become so popular—the mix of old-world charm combined with passionate attention to detail makes it an ideal spot for any coffee lover visiting Romania!
Before catching the flight back home, I made a quick stop at First Coffee in Bucharest. This café, located right beside the Piata Sf. Gheorghe tram station, is a great spot to visit any time you’re in the Old Town. With big windows that draw in plenty of natural light, laptop-friendly seating, wireless phone charging docks, and comfortable sofas, it’s a great place to work, study, or just relax while enjoying your cup of coffee.
Plus, as First Coffee is also a barista school and regularly hosts experts from around the world for cuppings, training sessions, and experimental social events—there’s always something new to discover each time you visit!
Finally there are a few coffee shops that I visited that deserve an honorable mention—Saint Roastery and Coffee & Travel in Bucharest, as well as Longline Coffee in Ploiesti—all of which serve fantastic coffee. One thing is for sure: You will never find yourself short of amazing coffee in Romania!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vasileia Fanarioti (she/her) is a senior online correspondent for Barista Magazine and a freelance copywriter and editor with a primary focus on the coffee niche. She has also been a volunteer copywriter for the I’M NOT A BARISTA NPO, providing content to help educate people about baristas and their work. You can follow her adventures at thewanderingbean.net.
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