Welcome back to my project of slowly reviewing all the coffee and cakes in Tallinn with my friend Greta, this week: a hip and modern venue with downright groovy vibes.
Address: Väike-Karja 5, 10140 Tallinn
Date of visit: February 23, 2018
Drinks: Black Coffee (Greta) and Latte (Mab)
Cakes: Banoffee Pie (Mab) and Chocolate Black Bean Cake (Greta)
Review: Despite a tiny mishap of not exactly knowing where we were going when we set out, we managed to stumble our way through Old Town and in to this charming coffee shop. Kohvik August is located on one of the small but centrally located streets in Old Town. Easily reachable from the Viru stop and tucked on a corner behind a lot of clothing stores.
This is probably one of the most inviting spaces that we’ve been in so far. It reminded me very distinctly of Café Moulu in Stuttgart, Germany. It was homey but lightly eclectic with a disco ball and mismatched chairs. There was all the natural light pouring in the large windows and it had tons of window box seating. It was also, despite the extremely cold weather, very populated. At least a dozen people came through in the hour we were there. The barista very kindly brought our food and drinks to the table despite the business.
The barista was probably the most lovely we’ve had in our adventures so far and she even asked if we’d like to sit upstairs, where they’d decorated it to look like a 1970’s living room. All the ornamentation, paintings, and various bobbles matched with the happy-go-lucky mish mash of furniture patterns and styles creating a really fun atmosphere. I do have to say we were sitting in a window box by the door and it got quite chilly so if you’re sensitive to cold you might want to consider sitting at a table or upstairs. They were playing a Lana del Ray album while we were there which was a great soft and dreamy background to our food.
In terms of their cake, there were only four selections in the case and one on menu. They don’t appear to be a vegan or vegetarian cafe by name but a lot of their food selection is incidentally vegetarian at least. The limited choices actually make it easier to make a choice. I can’t say any of the cakes were really good looking, many of them were kind of sagging and looked more homemade than professional but after last weeks adventure in foam texture I was ready for a change.
I immediately selected the Banoffee Pie. The barista apologized that it looked awful and had collapsed. I am not going to lie to you, I was only about 75% sure I knew what this pie was before ordering it. Despite looking like a pile of cream (my favorite), it actually had the correct ingredients: a layer each of bananas, toffee, and graham crust hiding under that cream mountain. It was delightful. I haven’t had a lot of banana pies in my life and I’m not a big fan of toffee but I really enjoyed this cake and it wasn’t very sweet at all which made it easy to eat. The crust was especially perfect – it cracked as cleanly as glass when you cut in to it instead of falling to crumbles. It was so good it made me want to make this pie myself!
Greta’s cake wasn’t in the display case but instead of the menu. A chocolate bean cake with a myriad of toppings. I forgot to read them but I’m pretty sure it was something like vanilla sauce, pomegranate seeds, maybe some crumbled pistachios, and a lake of jam. Despite being made (in part) of black beans, this cake was rich and creamy. If you mixed together a fluffy chocolate cake with a dense, gooey brownie and you would arrive at this cake. The piece seemed small when it came out but all the toppings and the richness of the cake means you can’t really enjoy a lot of it at once anyway so a small piece is probably best.
I can’t tell if my latte was actually really good or if I was just enamored with the barista. Greta ordered a “black coffee” and probably got an Americano as it was watery. They do offer pour overs on their menu, so that might be a better option. I think, realistically, it was perfectly okay coffee. Nothing too special but nothing terrible either. Worth a second try or if you prefer, they offer tea and cocoa also of course.
Overall, I loved this cafe so much! I would go back there tomorrow if I were out and about and wanted lunch or coffee. The lovely service, the cozy space, the casualness of it all lent itself to a really perfect experience. The cake was delicious and Greta had some falafel that she gave a thumbs up too so this is getting added to my list of places to take people when they come to visit so if you’re in Tallinn you should swing by, and if you’re not, I’m waiting for you to book your tickets and help me visit more cafes!
Coffee: out of 5
Cake: out of 5
Just some house stuff: Greta made an amazing banner and also half of the pictures are by her and her ~darling~ Leica camera as well and I’m so grateful that she lets me share her wonderful pictures and art with you all so you should probably follow her on Instagram if you like cake and pictures!