Coffee with the Romans


10€ for a coffee…

In 1763 Australia hadn’t been discovered and England and France ruled the Americas and the Holy Roman Empire was coming to its end. What could a cup of coffee cost then?

Fast forward to 2017 and it feels like the world is about to change again. Donald Trump has taken office and is handing out executive orders like cupcakes and Theresa May is mildly excited about claiming back her country to the ‘good old days’ (were they that good? I seem to forget all the bad bits in my past). 

So how much would a good cuppa cost in 1763? Surely there were 3 Italian chaps sitting in cafe Grecco over a doppio and discussing world events and politics. Today it will set you back €10 – rather steep for a robusta strong Italian coffee in what is an unassuming front and interior decor that has seen little change in the last century. The only hint of the prices are the expensive neighbours: Cartiers, Hermes and Bulgari next door. What’s 10€ if you just spent a fortune on fashion and a bit of bling? 

The coffee won’t rock your world, the soy has strong vanilla flavours but the place throws you back in time to the ‘good old days’. And yet, you wish someone called out the emperors clothes and sent them to a land far away to gain new experiences and make seriously good coffee. 


mikkels – a sweat treasure

Ottensen, Hamburg. A colourful neighbourhood with loads of interesting street performers, street inhabitants currently on the edge of experiencing the transition from an alternative rough neighbourhood to a trendy one which is welcomed in varying degrees of enthusiasm by its inhabitants.

mikkels front

mikkels upfront

In fact it is the only place my husband was once told that he was dressed to nice for the area. They are definitely not shy around here.

Ottensen has a large variety of little coffee shops, restaurants and cafés that vary greatly in price and quality. Amongst all of these places is small hidden gem called ‘mikkels‘.

mikkels interior

mikkels interior, ottensen, hamburg

It’s a fairly new cafe hidden in the Kleine Rainstraße 10 that offers an amazing variety of hand made miniature muffins, little cakes, scons and other delicious sweets with names I have never heard before. My favourites are the Linzer Törtchen and ‘almond nonnettes with raspberry’. Most of which are priced around 1-1,50€.

Lunch options are fairly limited to scones and a few sandwiches, but what about the coffee?

Well, unfortunately it is somewhat short on the pallate and not exactly what I call state of the art – the service is very nice, but the barrista untrained as 95% of all barristas in Hamburg.

But then one of the nice things about mikkels is that the interior shows a lot of love for detail. Interesting typography, local art and gorgeous nick nacks that are out of place and yet make you feel as if you are visiting your grand mothers living room – if only she was as cool and funky…


Go for the sweets and the atmosphere. It’s worth a visit and a great stop on a busy afternoon when all you need is a short quiet escape and something sweet to brighten up your day.