Sofia, Bulgaria – a short coffee report

So after some months of just looking at mischievous Facebook posts and reading news about interesting new coffee shops being opened in Bulgaria I finally got to visit some. The past weekend I was in Sofia (my birthplace, for those wondering) . I cannot help but compare in my mind the both coffee scenes – in Switzerland and in Bulgaria, but truth is they are on so different levels that it doesn’t make sense to do it. And still, things in Bulgaria are slowly starting to happen! Even though I’m pretty excited I’ll be objective as I can and share my experiences and impressions with you.

Chucky’s Coffee House 

A tiny coffee place open for a few months now with an ambitious concept for a cafè in Bulgaria – a coffee shop and a roastery. You can have an espresso based beverage, you can also have a filter coffee. For my surprise French press  is the best seller among the methods. They’re having blends as well as single origin  The owners Ivan and Alexander who I met are nice people and is good to mention they are also starting now to roast coffee. As I said the place is very small they are roasting on a Gene Café roaster (See the difference in standards? The costs of running a cafè in Bulgaria are quite different from the ones in Switzerland). I believe these guys have a long way to go till they earn they recognition but I’m happy that things are finally happening back there.

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Фабрика Дъга
(pronounced as Fabrika Daga)

The translated name of this place is “Rainbow Workshop” (or Rainbow Factory). Again a relatively new place but here the concept is different. Except the coffee there are some culinary skills involved. Sandwiches, salads, deserts, breakfasts including some typical Bulgarian things like purjeni filiiki – just like french toast, but rolled in beaten egg before being fried; or mekitsi – which is a type of fried flatbread usually served with Bulgarian white cheese and jam. I just couldn’t resist there and had to have them…

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But let’s get back to coffee – they use a 3 group La Marzocco Linea, the volumetric model and beans roasted by Dabov Specialty Coffee. For filter coffee you can get a V60, siphon, french press. They didn’t have much choice for filter coffee when I was there that’s why I’m visiting them again sometime. But nevertheless Kiril – one of the baristi pulled me a very tasty espresso shot, then Vesko poured me a very nice cappuccino…a couple of times. I liked the coffee, I cannot point my finger at one thing and say this was why it was to my liking so I’ll just sum up – it was definitely not Italian style espresso – there weren’t much roast aromas (if not any, I’m not that good yet). It was sweet and fruity. Then the other thing which works as a magnet is that they are very passionate about what they do. All of them. And they love it – you can see it in the attention to detail they have or the way they talk to their customers. I hope they will stay longer on the coffee map 🙂

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