We went to Milch for my Flat White Guide Hamburg. Luckily we did, because we would have missed out otherwise. Milch is especial down there by Landungsbrücken, in between Portuguese cafés by the harbor. Thus they have fresh salmon sandwich rolls and there isn’t any competition for a great coffee, let alone options to satisfy my chocolate devotion. With the look of an open-spaced retro kitchen, Milch is unpretentious, relaxed and has a better mix of customers than many specialty coffee shops. Their backgrounds are also granted a great sense of humour 🙃. You might be sued for this painted canvas in some other spots of the world, don’t you think?
Before my existence began it had been a mom-and-pop shop (or in German, a Tante Emma Laden). But the blue tiles originate from the milk store it was back in the 50ies. So they only have happy cows’ milk delivered directly from the Reitbrook farm just outside of Hamburg (or soy milk). That, incorporated with their self roasted coffee, creates highly approved flat whites. In comparison to many other third wave’s flat whites:
“Very good, but not quite as good Milch!” – My coffee tæster says.
Their home-roasts are light, medium or dark with corresponding recommendations in what way to use them (like for an Espresso or automatic machines). There’s varying guest coffees as well, but if you’re not up for that bean then go for the cocoa! Either as a one-of-a-kind hot chocolate or the chocolate tart. Usually those are two completely different things, only akin by the Theobroma. But the full-bodied Italian hot chocolate and Milch’s tart were like brother and sister. The latter is a bit denser, to be eaten with a fork, and the drink more in the direction of a too liquid pudding, to sip or spoon out of the cup. It reminded me of Mexican Champurrado, but even creamier. Luckily the portion is cappuccino size, so that’s not overwhelming. Alas! I want them now, they were too awesome! And I was so hyped up that I forgot to take a picture of the tarte . . . I’ll have to come again soon!
But what else makes Milch so cool, other than their kindred chocolates? Well they have gray tables instead of wooden ones (finally adding variety to the picture background 😉). No seriously, Nico Ueckermann made them himself. He’s a modest expert of his craft and whilst watching him swirling the milk and making latte arts, I learned a lot of new things about this coffee culture. For example, the
“original cappuccino is much smaller”
than what most people (even coffee experts) expect. That’s why he makes his cappuccino in two sizes, the Italian “small” size or the nowadays “normal” size. Ueckermann’s full-time job is this café: as a barista, owner and dog photographer. He’s a dog’s best friend, which you might notice by the dog-pictures on the counter-top iPad (or here at #milchdogs). “It’s hard to have dogs in a big town like Hamburg, but other people’s dogs suffice – for photo shootings against the light blue tiles of this old milk store.”
We also savoured the freshly prepared lox sandwich. The mustard dressing was delicious on this nicely chewy but delicate German bread roll. And then we got around to our work-work. The atmosphere was really pleasant and you didn’t feel watched by anyone – so I did the observing: a french group of friends, Asian and German girl friends, an older couple and unassuming Hamburgers in their 20-30s. In the tourist season it’s a bit more vibrant with different accents, throughout the week the working crowd need their Monday through Friday coffee, but the weekend’s clientele is more varied.
So if you’re not in the area then you should make an excuse to get down there. Count the stairs to the top of the Michel (and decide if you like the Elbphilharmonic or not) shop in some individual shops around Großneumarkt (those you can all find on the Findeling app), check out the harbor, see what the Portuguese took up in this district – and make a specialty coffee stop at Milch!
Where? Ditmar-Koel-Straße 22 (Portugiesenviertel, near station Landungsbrücken: U3, S1, S2, S3) (MAP BELOW)
When? Tu-Fr: 8:30-18:00, Sa-Su: 10-18:00 (closed on Mondays)
How much? flat white 3,30€, single espresso 2€, Italian hot chocolate 3,20€
sometimes functioning wi-fi, a cute B&W tiled bathroom