Drinking coffee has become a global ritual that unites millions of people. For many, coffee is an inseparable part of the morning routine: the internet is awash with memes and quotes about how hard it is to face a new day without your morning fix of caffeine. Not to mention the immediately endearing and poignant aesthetic of the images depicting coffee drinking: immediately a bell rings, doesn’t it?
Many have noted that the coffee culture in Tallinn has developed rapidly in the last 10-15 years. For a time there were only a couple of coffee chains, when suddenly numerous cool concept coffee shops and stores sprang up all over the city, and choosing the best coffee in town was no longer so simple.
I conducted a survey on social networks in the Facebook group “Expats in Tallinn/Estonia”. Over 200 expats voted for their favorite coffee shops in Tallinn.
I asked some of the expats to explain their choice of favorite coffee shops, as well as share a few more facts about their coffee drinking habit:
Below is the list of the best cafes in Tallinn, according to expats. Enjoy!
Paper Mill Coffee
A fifth of the survey participants voted for the Paper Mill as their favorite place to grab a coffee or buy coffee beans.
Chiara likes to go to Paper Mill Coffee because “the cappuccino there tastes great with oat milk, the roast is very nice and it doesn’t have a sour note.” She also appreciates the atmosphere of the cafe and how friendly the baristas are. Chiara’s favorite drink is cappuccino and she usually drinks two cups of coffee a day.
Mark likes Paper Mill because of its proximity to his place. Mark often stops by his cafe in the Viru Keskus shopping center for coffee. Mark appreciates the good quality of Paper Mill coffee and has fond memories of meeting new people at the cafe. At home, Mark drinks filter coffee up to twice a day.
Mo thinks the Paper Mill team is “nice and talented.” He loves going to the Paper Mill to buy his favorite Batch Brew Ethiopian coffee. Mo also mentioned that Paper Mill also has a coffee card, which gives you a discount after multiple purchases. Mo drinks two cups of black coffee a day.
Victor is a big fan of the Paper Mill Cafe because of “the variety of beans they offer and they always have something different.” Victor’s favorite drink is V60 coffee (the name comes from the shape of the device, the coffee dripper) or iced latte. Victor drinks at least three or four cups of coffee a day.
Artem fell in love with Paper Mill’s roasted coffee and its “commitment to the sustainable coffee industry.” Artem usually prepares coffee in alternative forms such as V60, Kalita or AeroPress, but every day he is mainly dedicated to filter coffee. On average, Artem drinks about four cups a day (some filters and the rest are espresso-based and milk-free, like Americano).
About 13 percent of the votes went to Fika Cafe.
Eugene appreciates the quality of Fika’s coffee. The opening of Fika in her neighborhood was also a very nice development: “It’s much more convenient to go a few blocks for a coffee than to go downtown to Trash near the bus station.” Eugene normally drinks still coffee when he is out and makes chemex coffee at home two or three times a day. (Chemex is a pour-over method of coffee, which means the water passes through a bed of coffee and a filter, usually made of paper.)
Jozo loves Fika because they use Paper Mill coffee beans and they give you a double espresso by default. Jozo’s favorite drink is espresso, but lately he’s been into AeroPress coffee. He usually drinks coffee twice a day.
Connor enjoys the atmosphere at Fika and also has a kind word to say about the friendly staff (and the coffee is very good, of course). Connor likes to drink flat white with oat milk. Connor drinks coffee very rarely, three to four times a week.
Rachel refers to Fika’s coffee as “strong and excellent”. At home, Rachel would drink long blacks or filter coffee from an AeroPress or V60. During her travels, she tends to gravitate towards lattes because they can sometimes be a breakfast substitute with some “extra caloric energy”. At home, Rachel drinks one coffee a day (sometimes she has a double shot).
RØST Café is third in the poll losing a couple of votes to Fika.
Leonardo likes to go to RØST because “the food is very good, they are friendly and it is cheap”. He added: “For me, a good coffee is not just about the coffee, but about the general context, such as the friendliness of the attendees, the quality of the products and, of course, a good coffee. All that makes a coffee an excellent place to enjoy your coffee.” Leonardo loves lattes and drinks coffee three times a day.
Kokomo Coffee Roasters
Kokomo Coffee Roasters received around 8 percent of votes from the expat community in Tallinn.
Melody admitted that she has several favorites among Tallinn coffees: “I prefer the feel of Papermill, but I like the taste of Kokomo roasts in general, so I buy their beans to brew at home.” Melody usually opts for a plain latte and drinks coffee about three times a day (sometimes more, but that’s an exception).
Krystina thinks Kokomo “has the best latte with oat milk. It’s my favorite in Tallinn.” Krystyna found it unfortunate that Kokomo is located “a bit out of control”, far from the city center. At home, Krystina drinks black coffee (one cup a day until 2 pm or it causes trouble sleeping), while in Kokomo she prefers a flat white or an espresso macchiato.
Kadriorg Gourmet Coffee
Gourmet Coffee Kadriorg and Caffeine each received about 5 percent of the expat votes.
Luis appreciates Gourmet Coffee’s focus on quality. He noted that his baristas are well-trained and therefore “the consistency of service and coffee drinks is quite high during all seasons (although summer is a disaster in Estonian restaurants)”.
Yui lives relatively close to the Gourmet Coffee Kadriorg and goes there because it’s a “relatively quiet (place) and not so crowded in the morning on the weekends” (and Yui loves spending time at a quiet cafe on the weekends). Yui normally drinks black coffee, (sometimes with milk but never with sugar) four to five times a day: “When I wake up, I have breakfast, late morning, after lunch, and in the afternoon around 3pm. “.
Teoman likes Caffeine for its “environment to sit and work on a laptop while having your good quality drinks.” Teoman drinks coffee three times a day, but her favorite hot drink is Chai Latte.
Rachael’s favorite is Caffeine’s salted caramel macchiato, as well as the butterfly pea latte. He sometimes he also goes for the cakes from him. Lucy on caffeine: “The coffee there is always good. They also have a great variety of fun drinks throughout the year.” Rachel drinks coffee twice a day.
Omar likes caffeine because “it provides a great place to study, meet and hang out.” Caffeine’s atmosphere has a modern feel that Omar finds appealing. Omar’s favorite coffee drink is a hazelnut latte with white chocolate syrup. He used to drink coffee two or three times a day, but now he tries to limit it for health reasons.
T35 Bakery and Specialty Coffee
T35 Bakery & Specialty Coffee received just over 4 percent of the votes and is ranked 7th in the ranking of the best cafes in Tallinn.
“T35 Bakery & Specialty Coffee” is a cozy place in Kalamaja, away from the busy area of Telliskivi. They have good coffee and don’t charge extra for vegan milk. Plus, they also have great breakfasts and pastries,” Isabella said. Isabella’s favorite coffee drink is a cappuccino with oat milk, and she drinks about two or three coffees a day.
Dario appreciates the great interior design and food at “T35 Bakery & Specialty Coffee,” which includes high-protein vegetarian options like cheese omelet and shakshuka. Dario’s favorite is Americano, and he drinks coffee one to three times a day.
The Brick Coffee Roastery and Karjase Sai
The Brick Coffee Roastery and Karjase Sai share the same number of votes and together they occupy the 8th position.
Göckcen loves the smooth taste and amazing aroma of “The Brick Coffee Roastery” coffee. “My favorite is the Americano and I’m trying to limit (coffee consumption) to one cup a day.”
Mladlen voted for Karjase Sai for “first the quality of the coffee, then the tasty cakes and the atmosphere”. Mladlen’s favorite coffee drink is cappuccino, and his coffee drinking habit consists of having one coffee a day.
Cafe Kiosk nr 1
Café Kiosk nr 1 was very close to The Brick Coffee Roastery and Karjase Sai and is ranked 9th in the expat preference ranking.
Mert is a frequent visitor to Cafe Kiosk nr 1, mainly due to the general positive atmosphere of the cafe. “It’s a super small but very cozy place. During the summer it’s lovely to sit in their garden with friends and relax. The staff are always friendly and polite. They serve very good coffee and I often buy their coffee beans too. Plus, it’s a very dog friendly place. And as a designer, I have to congratulate the fellow designer, who took care of his brand,” Mert shared. Mert goes for V60 filter coffee at home. In the kiosk nr 1, she usually has a coffee with milk. As a rule, Mert drinks no more than two or three cups of coffee a day.
Liz finds Café Kiosk nr 1 “a very welcoming place, especially on rainy days inside, or on nice days outside on the terrace.” Liz prefers cappuccino or latte with non-dairy milk. Now Liz tries to stick to one cup of coffee a day.
Cafe In, Rohe Kohvik, Point
Last but not least: Coffee In, Rohe Kohvik and Dot share the tenth position in the ranking.
Mathys voted for “Coffee In” because they have a pretty impressive menu of coffee drinks, milkshakes and ice cream. She drinks up to two coffees a day at home or at work, but she also goes to “Coffee In” about four times a week. Mathys likes to take road trips around Estonia and on those days she drinks more coffee than usual.
Cienna supports Rohe Kohvik because their “menu is 100% vegan and everything is so colorful and full of flavor.” “His portions are large and the prices are very fair. His atmosphere is very nice and the staff is friendly.” Ciena added. Cienna’s favorite coffee drink is a dirty chai latte (a regular cup of chai latte with a shot of espresso, and she drinks coffee once or twice a day.
Dot is Kim’s favorite cafe because of the “quiet atmosphere” and it’s conveniently located in her neighborhood. Kim also appreciates that Dot’s menu is always displayed in English. Kim’s favorite coffee drink is “a simple Americano”. She drinks coffee in the morning and in the afternoon, about four cups in all.
Tanya voted for Dot Cafe because it is important to her that the place is pet friendly. Tanya also noted that the staff is very nice and “breakfast at Dot is affordable and very good.” Tanya usually drinks filtered coffee for breakfast and lunch.
As you can see, there is more to great coffee than just good coffee.
Other beloved cafes in Tallinn worth mentioning:
- khovik hetk
- epic coffee
- The Boulangerie
- Catherine Kadriorg
- The best coffee in Tallinn
- Viardo Coffee Pyrite
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