elbgold – something to dream about?

elbgold, sternschanze in hamburg

A café built just for me! All serious coffee drinkers dream about it. Friendly, helpful  staff, owners anxious about their coffee choices  and lots of space – well at least that’s what I dream about, whenever I go out for coffee.

But alas, now I live in Hamburg and finding a place that meets my criteria for coffee success is not as easy as you would think.

La Cafetteria in Eppendorf has failed me time and time again on the service front. As my wife blogged about in her last post, Mikkels, as welcoming as it is, just doesn’t have the equipment necessary to prepare the ultimate brew. And coffee close to Jungfernstieg! Don´t talk to me about coffee close to Jungfernstieg! Our web research promised a café with the highest quality coffee but delivered only a subway sandwich shop at the most highly billed location.

hmm... how do you drink that?

But today I am happy, as I sit here in Elbgold, the first Hamburgian café that just may have the chops to compete with the best, perhaps even the best in my beloved hometown Melbourne.

The staff as soon as you enter the door, greet you with a friendly hallo. If you have questions they are willing to guide you through the 15 available single-origin filter roasts, all made from 100 Arabica beans. The choice of espresso however is limited to two elbgold house blends, one made from Latin American Arabica beans, the other a blend of various African Arabica beans.

Today I felt like a strong brew so Julian my waiter recommended the Columbian roast. Unfortunately, as I get more and more ambitious with my ability to speak German, this sometimes translates into confusion about what I actually want. So instead of getting a creamy café latte I ended up with filter coffee.

In any event, the coffee did not disappoint. The filter coffee was adequate though I do not pretend to be as well versed in the nuances of the filtered types as I am in the subtleties of espresso.

a real latte in hamburg...

For my second choice I clarified that I wanted a café latte and would prefer the stronger Africana brew. On previous occasions I had tested the Classico (the Latin American blend). It is creamy, round and light. The African blend is indeed stronger, but still maintains the creaminess and smoothness of the Classico.

Of course, there are also options for lunch and on a warm afternoon I could see myself spending quite a bit of time here in open outdoor space. It’s a nice mix of guests too. Neither laptops, nor mothers, nor the elderly, nor young professionals dominate.  There is space and a place for all.

Potentially one of Hamburg`s finest!


Quality coffee with the potential to compete with the best.  If filter coffee and 100% Arabica beans are your thing than elbgold is definitely for you.   

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.