Third wave coffee. That’s how the current hype (that’s been going on for years now) for flat white’s, filter coffee, chemex, aeropress etc. is being described. Whether this has a rather negative connotation than a positive one is left open, but all I can say is that I am a big friend of a proper, well-prepared and aromatic cup of coffee. Whether flat white, filter coffee or a cold brew for hot days, I am keen to explore and taste new things. As long as the price reflects the quality, I am willing to spend a bit more for a cup of black gold than you would normally do at other cafes. If it is just for the name, though, and a flat white will cost you 6€ just because it is a flat white, I am switching to the critics’ side of the ‘third wave coffee’.
Part of the coffee hype is that nowadays many cafes write the different tastes coffee can have next to the origin and name of the coffee bean. So what you’ve been used to when ordering wine will now happen to you when choosing your morning cup of energy. “Tastes of apricot and floral” or “cherry and notes of dark chocolate” is just a few flavours that your coffee could have. You call bullshit on this one? Well, this certainly can sound slightly pretentious, but if you pay attention to it you’ll be surprised how many different tastes can hide within a single mug of your coffee.
So why Ethiopian coffee? To me Ethiopian coffee can be drunk at many occasions but not always. Maybe it’s just the ones I tried (Sidama – the larger region in Ethiopia – and Yirgacheffe – a small region within Sidama – beans) but they’re been very floral, with taste of citrus fruit, apricot and peaches. They were light in colour and very soft, fruity and light in taste. This means I’d probably not have a cup of Ethiopian coffee with a heavy chocolate brownie, cause you’d lose all the nice taste of the coffee. Rather, I’d have it with a light dessert, some scones (Ethiopian coffee often resembles tea because of its lightness). But don’t get me wrong, Ethiopian coffee works great with milk chocolate or dark chocolate to balance the heavy taste off with the fruitiness of the coffee, but it shouldn’t be anything too heavy!
Aksum meets the price-value criteria. You’ll get a cup of great quality coffee for a fair price, some advice on Ethiopian coffee and you can enjoy it with some sweet treats. It’s not far from Grand Place, but in a more quiet, little hidden street. There’s also one close to Bourse and one at Galerie du Roi. The interior is very cozy with wooden and traditional details, a painted ceiling and ceramic pottery. Aksum roasts their coffees daily, so the moment you enter the place you’ll be surrounded by a cloud of rich and beautiful scents.
More info here