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Downtown, Cairo, Egypt.
Kunst Gallery and Café: Quiet Downtown Spot
We all know the difficulties of finding a quiet café in Cairo without the unnecessary frills and gimmicks. When all you're looking for is a cup of coffee and a space to work in, we've found a little café on Downtown's Sherif Basha Street that might just fit the bill.
Not so cleverly named Kunst (meaning art in German), the gallery/café is located in a tree-lined alleyway near Borsa Café. Kunst prides itself on being a place made for artistic and cultural exchange, creating room for discussion and creativity. The café's gallery also occasionally hosts events such as film screenings and various exhibitions, though not regularly.
The two-story space is simple with bare, white walls, tables and chairs as well as hand-blown, ceramic ashtrays. If you're looking for Wi-Fi internet; this is your place. Internet is free at Kunst Café with plenty of electrical plugs to go around.
Head to the counter near the back wall to place your order and make sure to take a moment to appreciate the fish in water-filled bowls on the countertop. There's something about the minimalist espresso machine set-up that left us feeling curious as to what we were going to receive; but one espresso later, we were satisfied.
The menu options are few, including lattés (12LE to 15LE) and cappuccinos, while our single espresso shot cost 8LE. Served with a small tin of sugar cubes, the espresso was rich and made to our liking, with a little dollop of foam gracing the top. Seeing as the cafe uses only Lavazza coffee; you're guaranteed to get a good cup. Unfortunately, no food options are available at Kunst Café.
Aside from the coffee, the café sells prints by a local artist as well as jewellery sets of carved boxes. There isn’t enough art present in the café space to justify its name, which may make art lovers feel a little cheated when they come here.
Kunst isn't anything spectacular; but it is a great little hideout when all you need is a little peace, quiet and a delicious cup of coffee.
Coffee, Java, Joe – no matter what you call it, we can all agree that a cup of it can make or break your day. Coffee houses like Starbucks and Costa have been on the top of the coffee game with a branch on almost every corner, and people have been flocking there for their coffee every time; but now there’s a new player in town.
Turkey-based coffee house, Espresso Lab, has arrived to Egypt, at Point 90 Mall New Cairo to be exact, offering you the unique opportunity to play mad scientist in creating the ideal coffee for you.
With a rustic, industrial aesthetic, Espresso Lab offers a relaxing and inviting environment with mostly wooden seats besides giving off a friendly vibe, it’s a great place for studying, working, or just lounging around drinking your cup of Joe.
The venue is of the self-service variety, where there are two bars each with their own set of features; the first has your typical large espresso machine, with an assortment of both savoury and sweet items and some cold drinks, while the other is where the ‘lab’ part comes in.
We picked up one of their signature cold brew coffee (30LE) from the main bar, which came in a small glass bottle reminiscent of a glass whiskey flask; the coffee itself was pure concentrated coffee devoid of any additions which had a strong flavour and a slightly acidic aftertaste.
For something from the other side of the spectrum, we had some hazelnut hot chocolate (32LE), which had a sweet, rich texture with a good amount of foam on top, and hazelnut providing a nutty aftertaste.
Looking into their assortment of sandwiches, we opted for the roast beef (35LE). Heated in a toaster oven, it had warm crunchy bread that contrasted with the melted gooey cheese in the middle perfectly, which in turn complemented the earthy roast beef slices and the addition of the tangy pickles and mayonnaise.
To satisfy our sweet tooth, we ordered the chocolate (40LE) and raspberry (40LE) cheesecakes; despite the rather small slices, they both had a rich heavy texture, which made them well worth the price. The chocolate had a creamy, smooth taste, while the raspberry had a slightly tangy aftertaste that complimented the coffee flavoured crust on both of them.
We then moved to the espresso bar, where you can choose one of six different coffee beans – to be made in one of six different ways, including everything from French press and Chemex, to Aeropress and cold brew. The options allow you to adjust everything from the sweetness to the acidity of your coffee and we went for the Syphon (27LE).
With a smooth texture without the strong aftertaste, the coffee had a nice sweetness to it without being too watered down; we opted for some Irish syrup as well as some steamed milk to turn it into a latte which only enhanced the beverage even more.
Espresso Lab provides one of the most unique customisable coffee experiences you can find in the capital; as well as being great place for to grab a quick coffee and bite to eat, it’s also place where coffee snobbery is more than welcome!