The Baku Roasting Company, 12 Alaskar Alakbarov, Baku
Tel.: +994 12 510 98 76 www.bakuroasting.com
Back in the grey mists of time, I went to university in Hamburg where I studied art history, archaeology and German Literature to MA level. I hated archaeology, did ok in art history but really loved German Lit, especially Buechner and Brecht. So I spent my days trying to look achingly intellectual and avant-garde and my nights getting drunk on cheap red fizzy Lambrusco and playing chess till 3 am. Looking back, it seems that I spent most of my four years at uni in the Café de la Paix opposite the university building rather than in the lecture halls but somehow I slid through my course and gained my degree. Fat load of good that did me, frankly. With the clear vision of hindsight, I reckon I’d have been better off doing an apprenticeship with a plumber, an electrician or a thatcher. It certainly would have been more lucrative but I suppose, considering my clumsiness, sooner or later I’d have gassed or electrocuted myself or fallen off some roof to my death, so perhaps becoming a café aficionado was the healthier alternative in my case. I certainly like somewhere snug and warm where they serve a good strong coffee and ideally my favourite cake, cheesecake, and where I can sit in good company or by myself, nose buried in a book. Lo and behold, there is just such a place in Baku! The Baku Roasting Company was set up by two American university lecturers quite a few years ago now, close to several of the universities in an area called Elmlar, not far from from the Azerbaijan Technichal University, to offer students a ‘coffee refuge’. And that it surely is! Properly studenty looking, a little battered but very cosy, casual and comfortable, they offer a small menu of rather delicious looking breakfast fare as well as some apparently very tasty freshly prepared and homemade sandwiches, salads and soups, sweet treats and cakes. You choose, order and pay at the counter and then take your food or drink to your table. There’s a gentle buzz about the place, furniture is plain, black and well used with some tables to eat at and sofas to lounge about on, there are a couple of wooden high chairs and a bookshelf with a good selection of childrens’ books to keep littlies entertained too.
I had an Americano coffee and a very generous piece of their lengendary cheesecake and both were absolutely superb! I won’t forget that cheesecake in a hurry, it really was outstanding with a lovely gingery biscuit base and a great creamy Philadelphia type filling. The whole café is steeped in the wonderful smell of freshly roasted coffee. As the name suggests, the Baku Roasting Company roast and grind their own broad selection of coffees which are also available to purchase, the BRC even deliver. Prices are on their website. I am told that their teas are excellent too. This café is non smoking, has WiFi and is open from 9am to 9pm with occasional live music in the evenings. A large mug of Americano coffee costs AZN3.60, sandwiches start at AZN5.50 and a generous slice of cheesecake is AZN5.