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The Best Coffee in Europe, According to Cut Copy

The Best Coffee in Europe, According to Cut Copy

04 April 2014, 12:00

TVs being thrown out of windows, drug busts in the tour van – some bands like to live life on the edge whilst on tour. But for Cut Copy, touring is no new prospect, and they’re well accustomed to dealing with the intense highs, and lengthy lows that make up the tour experience.

In this week’s Reference Points, the band talk about their quest to find a decent cup of coffee, where they may be.

Touring around the world playing in a band can be one of the most exhilarating experiences, mainly for the 60 – 90 minutes that fans get to see you onstage plying your craft each night. But the less glamorous part of the touring lifestyle is definitely the arduous days of travel, living amongst the confines of dreary bandrooms and buses and the repetitive routines of sound checks, hangovers and bad catering. As a result you end up looking for things that keep your sanity in check amongst the touring monotony.

For us, one of the things that can restore even the toughest days on tour is finding great coffee. In each city we visit we try to locate the best providers of espresso, and more specifically ‘flat white’ in australian parlance. Thankfully the third wave of coffee culture has spread to most parts of the world, so we do a lot better in our daily quest than we did a few years ago around the UK and Europe.

Ozone (London)

We began our recent tour in London where we came across Ozone. Someone obviously got the memo that we are coffee lovers and mercifully chose it as the location for that day’s interviews. It’s both a roastery and a cafe located centrally in Shoreditch and apparently was set up by New Zealanders. This information is usually taken as a promising sign as far as coffee quality goes, and in this case the rule held true; the coffee was excellent, as was the food. The interior fit out was also pretty visually impressive.

Solde Kaffebar (Malmo, Sweden)

The night before arriving in Malmo we had played a sold out, but highly dramatic show in Stockholm. Mid way through our set the whole of the PA’s speaker stacks cut out and we had to wait while the local engineers had new speakers delivered. And just in case that wasn’t enough, during the encore I was knocked out when Tim (our guitarist) accidentally collected my head while executing an acrobatic guitar move. As a result, with flailing spirits, and aching head, we needed a boost to our spirits on our arrival to Malmo. We’d been there before, but never had much success on the coffee front. Thankfully this time a new place called Solde had opened and delivered just what we needed. Four excellent flat whites briskly came our way, accompanied by Neil Young playing from an old record player.

Companion Coffee (Berlin)

We’d only played in Berlin once before but an ex-pat Australian artist friend had suggested we check out Companion. It was co-run by another Aussie, and was one of the best flat whites we’d had on our whole tour. The cafe was minimal, with a nice wooden bench for the machine and only two tables for customers, but shared its space with a pretty awesome fashion boutique called Voo, and (perhaps propelled by my caffeine hit) I ended up unloading all my remaining euros on a few premium items…that day saw the end of my daily allowance for the whole trip.

Democratic Coffee (Copenhagen)

The last show on our tour was Copenhagen and we made a fairly long journey on foot from the venue to Democratic Coffee which is situated conveniently in the foyer of the public library. Far from being a subdued area for study, it was buzzing with people who (from their attire) looked like they were headed to our show that night. As a surreal touch, they even had New York East Village radio streaming in the background. Ben (our bassist) was agonizing over whether to withdraw money to buy an instrumental Yellow Magic Orchestra record from the used vinyl store around the corner. Our coffees had almost arrived, and he reneged on the idea. Later he spent the long flight back to Australia regretting his decision. Takahashi would not have been pleased.

This excellent round of coffees marked the last stop in Europe this time, but thankfully not the last stop for good coffee. Our daily ritual will continue from this tour to the next!

Cut Copy are set to hit the road again over the course of April – head here for full info about their UK and Europe dates.

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