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Aksum Coffee House is the temple of Ethiopian coffee in Brussels. It serves some of the best brews in town (together with Or Coffee Roasters, the Cafe du Sablon and Parlor Coffee) and is worshipped by coffee aficionados. Safely hidden in a corner just a stone’s throw from the busy Grand Place, it’s impossible to pass by and not be tempted by the smell of freshly brewed coffee beans. There are actually another two branches, in Galerie du Roi and De Brouckère, but the one close to Grand Place is my favourite.

Ethiopia is the country where coffee was first discovered, grown and took its name from a region called Kaffa. The name Aksum belongs to a town in Northern Ethiopia, which served as the capital of Queen of Sheba’s empire that later became Ethiopia as we know it. The beauty of Aksum Coffee House lies in all the little details: carved wooden tables, a beautifully painted ceiling, traditional ceramic coffee pots (the so-called “jebena”) and warm African sounds in the background. But what keeps bringing me back is the coffee. Organically grown and made from single origin beans, it’s roasted daily on the premises and has a very rich flavor. The coffee selection includes all the usual suspects: espresso (beware, very strong!), capuccino, latte, macchiato – all available to take out as well. Best part? If you wish to enjoy the same good coffee at home, the baristas in Aksum grind the coffee beans of your selection exactly the way you like it, depending on your coffee maker. 

But even if you don’t drink coffee, there’s still a reason to come here. Senegalese herbal teas, soft drinks from Côte d’Ivoire, South African wine and Ethiopian beer are also on offer. And let’s not forget the cake! Aksum’s famous passion fruit tart from Secret Gourmand has become a local’s favorite and is the perfect accompaniment for an afternoon coffee or tea. 

Having said all that, the quality of the coffee is a bit a hit and miss: sometimes they get it right and others not at all. On their good days, Aksum is indeed one of the best coffee shops in Brussels but sadly, I’ve also witnessed those other days when I had to complain because the coffee was rather bad. 

Address: Rue des Chapeliers 17, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Telephone: +32 484 077695
WebsiteFacebook page

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Sandy (@smarksthespots)