What could be a better surprise than to accidentally discover an organic café on a sleepy Wednesday afternoon? Maybe the fact that upon entering through the door, you’ll find yourself in a truly pleasant atmosphere, where you can choose between any of the homemade bakery goods, fresh sandwiches, a self prepared salad according to your own taste, and of course organic coffee or tea.
The place we found is located on the Andrássy Avenue, nearby the Vörösmarty Street’s crossroad. I’m surprised we only discovered it in 2012, especially -as we just got informed- because they have been open since January of 2011.
The interior is rather simple, but natural and nice. Uncoloured wooden furniture, textile cushions on the chairs, and the green plants are making the already bright room even more colourful. We can also find a table for children to play and colour pictures, as well as a donation box for the visually impaired.
What I particularly like, is that they give your coffee in a real mug – opposed to the currently trendy starbucks-style ‘paper cup with plastic lid’ habit. And what kind of coffee! Not only the coffee is organic, but the milk as well – which makes it truly delicious. Of course you could also choose between organic cane sugar and xylitol for your coffee which -though individually prepacked- still comes in recycled packages. Also, if some of you are too busy to spend a few relaxing minutes staring at the Andrássy Avenue’s traffic in this cozy place, you can just grab your drink in a compostable paper cup and take it on the road. You can also take home some goods from here: different kinds of teas, coffees, wines and books.
We’ve talked to the owners as well: ”All our coffees come from certified ecological sources, but only two of them own the double certificate (organic and fair trade). I don’t want our customers to feel mislead, because at the moment not every type of coffee from our selection is fairly traded.”
Apart from drinks, you’ll find sandwiches, sweet treats and freshly prepared salad made with your choice of ingredients by one of the nice staff members. While asking about the food and drinks’ place of origin, we found out that they get their ingredients from local markets, whenever possible. Their home-baked baguettes are produced by Piszkei Öko, and their organic milk , as well as the salad ingredients come from Hungary.
”Our pastries (apart from the gluten-free ones, though they also come from domestic sources) made by a Hungarian confectionery, using only natural ingredients and are free of any kind of colorants, preservatives, additives, etc… , but they are not certified organic products.”– says Judit Polyák, one of the cafe’s owners.
The soy products are imported, and unfortunately a good part of the pastries is coming from Germany, although I have to mention that these products are also certified organic.
”In fact, one of our missions is to show people that a more responsible, ecological way of thinking and acting, is not as difficult, and does not require as much sacrifice as they might think at first. We don’t aim to declare that our way is the only good solution, but we definitely want to show a possible alternative in the sense of hospitality – and in general, a more responsible way of thinking as well.”
We also found that the cafe uses ecologically friendly cleaning products. The toilet paper, hand-towels and napkins are all made of recycled paper. The hand-soap is free of parabens and petrochemical ingredients. The toilet is water efficient, and they do selective waste collection. Unfortunately the composting is still a pending item, so the dear guests should finish off every last bit from their plate – which, we assume, won’t be extremely hard for anyone.
By the way, we like that the cafe’s principles, as well as their ecological activities are available online, and therefore anyone can read about it. We believe that leading by example and sharing best practices are important elements of a sustainable eatery, so we’re happy to see the owners pay attention to this as well. We’ll certainly come back here more often.
Thanks for all your work with the translation, Fox Tania! :)