EXQUISITELY CRAFTED COFFEE IN BRUSSELS
From the student city Leuven to one of the hippest parts in Brussels, MOK has had quite a journey in the 4 years of its existence. In 2012 the founder Jens Crabbé scraped all of his savings together to open a specialty coffee bar & micro roastery in Leuven that would soon become an integral part of Belgium's third wave movement. In September 2016 he ventured into the capital to find MOK a second home in Rue Antoine Dansaert. And Jens isn't going to stop here: while constantly striving for excellence his goals are constantly taking on different shapes. While he grew up, so did his ideas. "I want people to line up outside of our Brussels shop for our coffee!" he tells me with a hint of pride and confidence. And proud he can be, the Brussels space is unlike anything I have ever seen in the city!
The credo 'less is more' definitely applies here. as clean design meets clever ideas. The seating area by the big window at the entrance is arranged in a way that dissolves physical boundaries. The same goes for the bar: there isn't a counter in the classical sense and the barista is brewing coffee around a communal space in the middle of the room. This set-up encourages exchange and mingling, something that you don't see everyday in Belgium. For the hungry ones the back room boosts an open kitchen completely in white with plants hanging from the wall.
For now, the roasting is still done in Leuven by Jens himself in the same spirit as before: coffee beans are carefully selected from particular coffee farms and lots, roasts are light and rotate every couple of weeks according to harvesting seasons. Meanwhile, head barista Michiel is perfecting every single brew and has been doing so for over three years. The future is looking bright for MOK, with a roastery planned in Brussels while the little white packages make their way through Europe`s finest coffee shops, with Oslo Kaffeebar in Berlin being one of the latest ones to adopt MOK into their repertoir.
Rue Antoine Dansaert 196
MO - FRI 08:30 - 18:00, SAT - SUN 10:00 - 18:00
Since 2012 Parlor Coffee is at home in uptown Brussels and shortly after the cafe was opened I've started to be a regular customer here. So it was about time I wrote about one of my favourite coffee places in Brussels, conveniently located in the area of Chatelain, St. Gilles and Louise and luckily for me only a 5 minute walk from my house.
Hardly a day passes by that you won't be welcomed by both Bram and Yumi, partners in crime on a mission to bring high quality, freshly roasted coffee to residents and visitors of Brussels alike. The interior is simple, a barefoot walk on wooden floors paired with a subtle industrial feel created by the lighting hanging from the ceiling. The pale walls are decorated with changing photographs. Its the kind of place that you don't mind spending all day at as the tranquil ambiance is perfect for endless chatting, reading or working.
On Tuesday afternoons, Bram gets busy on the Probat roasting machine standing in the back room to roast the latest beans delivered by a Norwegian supplier that works with small and passionate producers who care about their quality, working conditions and environmental aspects.
The coffee at Parlor has proven to be consistently excellent over the past few years as they pay great attention to detail. My latest purchase was a latte made from Brazilian beans with notes of cherry, cane sugar and caramel. Coffee drinks made with the Ethiopian beans have a wonderful fruity flavour.
Chaussée de Charleroi 203
MO - FRI 8:00-18:00
SAT - SUN 09:30-18:00
My Little Cup
If you are looking for that comfy place where you can unwind with a cup of fine coffee you should pay My Little Cup a visit. I love this cafe for its mellow and simple design, welcoming, communal flair and the great coffee of course. It is a tiny corner shop that opened March 2014 in a quiet area of Brussels, not far from the center and around the corner of Parc Royal. The shop front marries clear branding with hints of characteristic Bruxelloise art nouveau architecture and the floor-to-ceiling windows make for a beautiful light.
After experimenting with a number of roasters, also local ones, My Little Cup decided to go with Belleville micro roastery from Paris. I´ve tried espresso based drinks with both the Guatemalan and the Ethiopian beans and I personally preferred the fruity and slightly spicy flavour of the Ethiopian over the chocolately, caramel notes of the Guatemalan - but that is of course a matter of preference.
The co-owner Laurent was very laid back and kindly let me practice my coffee photography. I was amazed how well the coffee shop blends into the neighbourhood, with regulars popping in for a quick chat throughout the day.
53 rue de la croix de fer
MO - FRI 7:30-16:00
Last time I went to My Little Cup Laurent was interviewed for Belgian National TV. Check the Video with this link:
It is in French, and you'll see me sipping coffee in the background ;)