After visiting so many coffee shops thought it would be cool to share some of the places I’ve had my double espresso shots in! Check out more Coffee Sessions Here.
Stuck in a bit of back log for my Coffee Session entries this year, however wanted to get one out before the year ends. It’s fitting then that the last one for the year is the last place I visited, Rocket Bean Roastery in Riga, Latvia.
The Baltic’s wedged in between Russia, Poland and Belarus is well and truly thriving in its third wave coffee boom. There is no Starbucks here though but a large number of independent and local chain coffee houses have been providing quality coffee to meet the expectations of coffee lovers in the region.
Once Latvia and Lithuania declared their independence in 1990 from the Soviet Iron Fist, it took time for the region to acquire a taste for coffee as they do now. Local entrepreneurs started out with the aim to educate what quality coffee really is as opposed to Soviet Coffee – which in reality was shipped from India, roasted in Russia and stored for far too long. Certainly against the concept of freshness and variety we are all spoilt with now! The coffee scene was further assisted by these entrepreneurs having a greater vision of serving their coffee on a global scale and not just the Baltic’s population of 6 million. You’ll be hard pressed going to a coffee house and not seeing roasts sourced from all parts of the world.
Rocket Bean Roastery then in Riga, then not only epitomises this passion but successfully stands apart from the rest. With its edgier marketing, trendy open styled lounges, roasting machinery in full view and energetic vibe it very easily gives off. Their flagship lounge is located on Miera Street, arguably THE hipster part of the city, I frequented their other smaller lounge in the Art Nouveau district on Dzirnavu Street as it was closer to my hotel. It became an almost daily visit after work for the very reasons of their uniqueness. Greeted always with a smile of familiarity and coffee brought to your table once ordered. Their house blend is deliciously sweet and has some exotic fruity tones at the same time. As I sat on the large communal table, albeit alone, I looked around and smiled. Everything just felt natural and comfortable. Other patrons you could tell were also fans of coffee too just by the focus of how they sipped and smiled. Glancing over to the shelf porn of goodies, really emphasised their style of marketing. Coffee blends named Magic Pussy and Sweet Dream with splashes of colour on the packaging, gently whispering in your ear; “Yeah, we know we’re cool”. Can’t help but adoringly smile over it.
Fascinated with the story of the coffee in the region, I cannot wait to travel to Lithuania to sample the same there, specifically at Huracan Coffee whose owner arguably single handedly kick started the coffee scene in the region in the early 2000s. For now though I will savour the taste of some Magic Pussy over the holidays, till i’m back at my home away from home at Rocket Bean. Cheers guys! Peace and Love.