Seeking out terrific coffee shops in beer-soaked Bavaria was a tall order, but we rose to the challenge… even on honeymoon.
Spidey-senses alone won’t find you a top-notch coffee in this part of the world. In Germany, “third wave”, artisan coffee is largely in its infancy outside of Berlin, perhaps nowhere more so than in beautiful Bavaria.
I was in this expansive region in the south of the country with the new Mrs Cosy. Coffee wasn’t top of the agenda but, on a day trip to Nuremberg – known locally as Nürnberg – we fancied a good brew. Intensive Googling (mostly in German) eventually suggested that Kaffeemanufaktur Machhörndl might be worth a try.
It’s in a business and residential area about 20 minutes’ walk from the centre. As we approached the address, our hearts sank; there didn’t seem to be a café. The door was shut and there was no sign on the outside. Maybe it was just a closed roastery.
However, after smudging our heads against the windows we noticed a bar and a coffee machine, so we opened the door to reveal a brilliant coffee shop.
The owner is Armin Machhörndl. We didn’t chat, as he was rather busy preparing for the 2012 World Brewers Cup, taking place the next day in Vienna. (Armin came a respectable 17th.)
Other accolades include 1st place in the 2012 German Latte Art Championships for Luizia Taschler, one or Armin’s colleagues, who was absent during our visit. Also, 1st place for Armin in the 2012 German Brewers Cup.
The coffee pedigree was reflected in our drinks, which were delicious. There were five single origin coffees on offer; the barista explained the options (in English, as our German was a bit rusty). We had a black coffee, made with an Aeropress, which these days is the method of choice for a brewed coffee. Also, a latte (there was no flat white on the menu).
Perhaps an indication that artisan coffee is fairly new to this part of the world, the barista explained that she hadn’t added syrups or sugar… the coffees tasted that good naturally.
Kaffeemanufaktur Machhörndl is also a roastery, or, in fact, primarily a roastery. The front door simply says “Rosterei”.
But, thank goodness, it’s also very much a place to go to drink coffee. Seating options are limited but there are a few stools, plus tables in a small, colourful courtyard.
There are also opportunities to buy beans and coffee paraphernalia.
This is not a touristy coffee shop. It’s an independent, hidden gem, run by passionate but friendly coffee-heads intent on bringing brilliant artisan coffee to Bavaria and beyond.
Finding amazing, out-of-the-way coffee shops like this, and meeting new people, are the best parts of my coffee shop search.
If you’re in – or near – Nuremberg, drop by. You’ll find quite possibly the best coffee in Bavaria.
Obere Kieselbergstr 13a
We visited on 13 June 2012.