Looking for the best coffee in Frankfurt? For many, tourists, the airport, the skyline, the stock exchange, the Frankfurt Trade Fair, and the banking district are what Frankfurt is known for. But, a growing, small, specialty coffee scene is evolving and we tried to enjoy as many as possible on our recent trip.
Wacker’s Kaffee is a third generation family-owned and run coffee shop in Frankfurt, Germany, and the first thing we noticed was all the customers lined up outside. Everyone we met in Frankfurt recommended the little establishment, which has been in business since 1914, nearly 100 years.
There are generally two lines, both often stretching out the door; the one on the left is for those who want to order drinks, while the one on the right is for those who want to buy coffee beans or grounds. The shop is very small with limited seating, so when the weather is nice, you will see customers spread out both in front of the shop, and sitting on the stone wall across the street.
What many non-locals may find intimidating is that, when the shop is busy, the cashier will shout out to customers further back in the line, asking them for their order. Luckily, the words for cappuccino, espresso and latte are generally the same in both English and German, so you should feel comfortable simply shouting your order right back.
Three locations run by three ladies. Natalia Konstantinova, Yulia Yanyuk, and Esther Gossmann are the owners of the three Kaffeewerk Espressionist coffee shops. Their newest location, Brühmarkt, opened in Bockenheim—largely a students hangout, since Frankfurt’s Goethe University is located nearby. Brühmarkt is focused on filter coffee, and the menu and several blackboards give an overview of the aroma profiles of each coffee served. They have a huge variety of filter coffee equipment, like Kalita Wave, Chemex, V60, and syphon. The shop showcases coffee beans from around the world, like those roasted by Johannes Bayer of Munich, Quijote of Hamburg, and Tim Wendleboe of Oslo, Norway.
Matthias Hoppenworth and Julian Ploch, founded Hoppenworth & Ploch roastery and café, a little over 7 years ago. Two friends who used to geek out about coffee while sharing a dorm room at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, took up the challenge of opening a café.
This shop was something totally new for Frankfurt’s coffee fans, with its huge wooden table right in the middle of the cafe and the Probat roaster showcased in the back of the shop as well. Roasting once a week, Hoppenworth and Ploch import their beans directly from origin. Some of their carefully roasted coffee have been used by German baristas in several championships, including just recently at the Brewers Cup in Munich last November.
Located in Frankfurt’s booming Ostend district, Aniis is one of the younger specialty coffee shops in Frankfurt. The cafe’s name is lent from a Moroccan phrase for “good friend or companion”. The name resonates with every cup of coffee either filter brewed with V60 and AeroPress or pulled from the La Marzocco Linea PB for milk beverages by the friendly baristas. A Mahlkönig EK 43 and two Anfim grinders prepare the coffee beans from Johannes Bayer and Backyard Coffee. Aniis is not just a good place for specialty coffee, it is the place for delicious homemade food, Moroccan-style mint tea and Prana Chai.
After wandering the main squares of Frankfurt and being a bit dubious of the highly-touristy restaurants and cafes, we headed into the charming street that Holy Cross occupies, full of little galleries and cafes serving more than your typical frites and frankfurters.
The cold-brew coffee is served with a big hunk of ice, which looked more like a glass of bourbon than coffee. The outdoor biergarten-esque tables are an easy place to pull out your laptop and get some work done, or flip through the latest issues of Standart and Drift, stylish magazines that focus on the world of coffee.
The U-shaped bar showcases not only homemade cakes and some sweets, but also a customized Kees van der Westen Spirit and Mahlkönig EK 43 and Mazzer Robur E grinders. Here you can choose from coffee beans roasted by Machhörndl of Nuremberg, Mahlefitz of Munich, Square Mile Coffee Roasters of London, Hoppenworth & Ploch, Backyard Coffee, and The Barn of Berlin. This wide variety can be tried either as espresso-based coffee drinks or brewed with V60, Kalita, and AeroPress.
Wolfram, the owner of Backyard Coffee Roasters, roasts specialty coffee on his orange Giesen and uses the IKAWA Sample Roaster for small batch roasting. He’s a former German Barista Champion, an SCAE Authorized Trainer, and it’s fair to say he applies a scientific approach to getting the best from his coffee.
In order to visit Backyard Coffee Roasters you need to take a 20 minute car ride to the outskirts of Frankfurt. Woldfram placed his roastery and training centre as well as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym into a warehouse in Nieder-Eschbach.