Bucharest – Origo

I nearly didn’t go to this coffee shop as it’s incredibly well reviewed and most of the comments are that it’s impossible to get a seat because it’s so popular. But, I thought I’d have one go as it seems to be one of the most on-trend coffee shops in Bucharest and I’m trying to get a better understanding of coffee.

When I entered I saw that there was one table free, but I made a little mistake by trying to order at the counter. The staff member gave what I considered the perfect response that he could take the order there, but that there was table service if I wanted to make sure that I could get a table.

It’s not usual to get water brought out before the coffee, but this is a positive touch. The staff member was engaging and spoke perfect English, telling me that I had a choice of three different beans. This is something that’s been happening in a few locations in Bucharest that I’m not used to, but I suspect that it’ll become more common with the next generation of coffee shops. The staff member explained that there were three different beans, I could choose between Burundi, Brazil or Colombia, and she gave an explanation of what the taste was for all of these. The Burundi bean was rich and chocolatey, the Brazilian bean was nutty with a taste of grapes, whilst the Colombian bean was the most complex in terms of the taste, with floral, caramel and strawberry flavours.

I went for the last option, the Colombian bean, as I like complex flavours, but I was entirely sceptical that a cup of coffee could produce all of these tastes. Incidentally, I usually like my coffee in the same way that I like beer, rich with a strong and deep chocolately flavour. Indeed, that’s also how I like my food, but that’s a different matter. I didn’t go for the Brazilian bean solely as the complexity of the Colombian bean seemed something more unique.

And then the coffee arrived. It was as near to coffee perfection as I can imagine getting, I couldn’t get the caramel taste, but there were floral notes, strawberry flavours and quite subtle aftertastes. The coffee didn’t seem that rich, but it was smooth and those flavours were astoundingly good. The coffee was ridiculously priced for Romania at nearly £4, but for this experience, it was definitely worth it.

I normally don’t like signs like this, but I haven’t been taking my laptop out this week anyway. But, in the case of this coffee shop I can understand why they’ve made this decision as it’s a small location and it’s all about the coffee experience, rather than being a cafe where people can get work done on their computer.

The payment process was smooth and professional, just like everything else had been. As an experience, this was impeccable and although this would be difficult to replicate as part of a chain, I wish that some would at least try. I never really visit chain coffee shops (well, bar JD Wetherspoons for their unlimited coffee) but I’ve tried Costa coffee (usually when it’s free from Vodafone Rewards) and it’s routinely bloody awful.