Scan Magazine, Issue 132, January 2020

Page 106

Café of the Month, Finland

The perfect brew Local ingredients, global vibes and great coffee summarise the essence of Cafe Roasberg, a Helsinki eatery that has blurred the lines between coffee shop, restaurant and communal space to emerge as a buzzing city centre hangout. Vegan latte, salmon soup or a glass of white? Tick. A comfy sofa spot, a power outlet and a rocking flat white? Another tick. By Jo Iivonen  |  Photos: Roasberg

“We wanted to create a kind of living room,” says Savas Akpirinc, the Finnish-  Turkish founder and chief executive who, together with his brother, founded  Roasberg in 2015. Sharing years of experience in the restaurant business between them, the brothers felt the  Helsinki foodie scene could do with something new. “The kind of place where you can hang out just like you would at home – but with barista coffee, locally sourced food and upcoming art, to boot.” Located at the heart of Helsinki, right next to the central railway station and 106  |  Issue 132  |  January 2020

just steps away from the city’s main sights and shopping streets, Roasberg has emerged as a favourite spot among city dwellers of all sorts. “We get a real mix of people,” Akpirinc says, “which is exactly what we went for. We wanted to become not just a restaurant but a meeting point, a melting pot of sorts.” A quick look around the eclectic space, complete with leather sofas and local art, confirms a case in point. There’s a bunch of 20-somethings hunched over their laptops on latte number three; at the corner table, a few travelling types

with suitcases in tow, curiously sampling the café’s trademark crispbread and hummus – spiked up with Finnish  beetroot; by the window, two wellcoiffed, seemingly theatre-bound ladies in good spirits, gossiping over a glass  of white.

Traditions to savour Where the more traditional Finnish cafe is all about ‘pulla’ and black filter, Roasberg is salmon soup, raw food and craft coffee. The marriage of time-tested  Finnish classics and the eclectic and experimental has proven to be a success. “Our very traditional salmon soup is also one of our all-time best-sellers,” Akpirinc says. “Otherwise, our menu changes daily to reflect what’s in season.” Steaming-hot soups of all sorts feature on the menu regularly, particularly at this time of the year. Warm dishes

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