Dreaming of smooth espressos, quality roasts and the perfect flat white? Caffeine addicts, right this way. With coffee now a booming business in the capital you need never subject yourself to one of the under-caffeinated, overpriced chains again — we won’t name names. Here’s where you can find us for our morning fix, the 4 p.m. slump and late night inspiration brew.
An alternative brew
Cooperative Cherny moved around the city quite a bit before finding a permanent home at a craft beer bar on Pokrovka. One of the pioneers of speciality coffee, Cooperative first served only coffee brewed by alternative methods—for the tech geeks among you that’s things like V60, Chemex and AeroPress. Now they serve a full range of espresso-based drinks as well. Cooperative was also one of the first coffee shops in Moscow to serve cold brew—coffee brewed in cold water for twelve hours. Try it, you might even like it.
31 Ulitsa pokrovka. Metro Kurskaya. facebook.com/chernyicooperative
Your pit stop in the museum district
West 4, located at Ulitsa Ostozhenka, offers up impeccable espresso-based drinks and several alternative brewing methods, including Chemex and AeroPress. Their flat white is as good as any you’ll find in London. A short walk away from three major museums and several galleries, it’s the perfect spot to relax between admiring Picasso paintings at the Pushkin Museum and checking out some new art at Kultproekt. West 4 also occasionally organizes exhibitions and live concerts.
+7 (495) 695 2729. 3/14 Ulitsa Ostozhenka. Metro Kropotkinskaya. facebook.com/west4coffee
Strong and beautifully bitter
On the success of its main venue tucked behind Rozhdestvensky monastery LES recently opened three new outposts in places with a lot of foot traffic — at the Muzeon park embankment, in the courtyard of the Museum of Moscow and on Pokrovka Ulitsa. The menu is focused on simple espresso-based drinks, but they are made to perfection and really strong — a true blessing in a city that loves to serve up lattes heavy on the milk and sugar. AeroPress and lesser-known alternative methods are available, as well as some teas including the traditional Russian herbal Ivan tea and desserts.
+7 (986) 177 5113. 10/7 Rozhdestvensky Bulvar. Metro Trubnaya. facebook.com/pvles
A dash of Scandinavian style
Kaffebrod in Swedish means a bun that comes with a coffee. In Moscow it’s a moderately priced coffee shop, with the main outpost on the Moscow river embankment behind the Central House of Artists, where it provides a considerably cheaper alternative to LES. There’s also a stall at Rybny Rynok (Fish Market) on Novokuznetskaya with cappuccinos that start from 100 rubles. Apart from sandwiches and desserts, you can try havredrikke—a traditional Scandinavian drink based on oatmeal and milk.
+7 (916) 097 4270. 2 Krymskaya Naberezhnaya. Metro Park Kultury. facebook.com/cheandpa
A speciality caffeine fix
KOF stands for Knowledge of Coffee, which is certainly something this company has. KOF has been quietly been making a name through selling their own speciality coffee blend online, running barista workshops and appearing at food fairs. A few months ago they firmly entered the real world with a small coffee counter in the Danilovsky business center. It’s absolutely tiny, but perfect for grabbing something to go on the way to browse the food markets in the area.
+7 (985) 786 6087. 7/1 Varshavskoye Shosse. Metro Tulskaya. facebook.com/knowledgeofcoffee
Surf already has several outlets across Russia and its latest outlet on Myasnitskaya Ulitsa is a trendy newcomer to the landlocked capital. Surf’s coffee is sourced from the surfing paradise of Central America (70 percent Costa Rican beans, 30 percent Guatemalan), providing a rich yet smooth taste. The small interior is filled with beach-babe wannabes and decorated with bamboo and surf boards. Surf likes to think of itself as a lifestyle brand rather than a simple coffee shop—as such you can order yourself t-shirts and sweatshirts from their website so that you match your coffee cup.
16 Ulitsa Myasnitskaya. Metro Lubyanka. surfcoffee.ru
Roast & Crosby
Coffee from a latte art pro
Roast & Crosby is a small counter in a business center on Strastnoi Bulvar. It might not look like much but the venture was spearheaded by Polina Notik, winner of the 2014 Russian Latte Art Championship, so you can bank on your coffee being tasty and beautifully presented to boot. The brand is recognizable by the signature bee logo. This summer they have a delicious “house” mint latte for sale which provides the perfect pick-me-up for your wanders around the city.
+7 (965) 183 9958. 9 Strastnoi Bulvar. Metro Chekhovskaya. facebook.com/CoffeeCrosby
Chelovek i Parokhod
Great value, great flat white
Chelovek i Parokhod (The man and the steamship) is a phrase penned by Russian avant-garde poet Vladimir Mayakovsky. It also happens to be the name of a coffee shop at the trendy Danilovsky market. They serve a nearly perfect espresso and one of the cheapest flat whites in the city (150 rubles). Coffee is brewed from the beans Chelovek i Parokhod roast themselves. This summer they introduced their own brand of cold brew. You can also get a dessert by Injir from them—a popular stall at street food markets.
+7 (919) 770 3268 74. Mytnaya Ulitsa. Metro Tulskaya. facebook.com/cheandpa