I’m in Chelsea, 18:00 on a Saturday and I’m craving a coffee. Turn to Google for some guidance, as expected most of the speciality coffee shops are closed or closing so there’s nowhere to grab a brew and kick back.
Wait, what’s this? Hagen Espresso Bar, open till 21:00, serving both coffee and cocktails all wrapped up in the Danish-inspired Hygge, Sold!
I find Hagen on the King’s Road opposite the Curzon Cinema and next to the very popular L’ETO.
The entrance is narrow, long and leads me right up to the marble-topped bar. The candlelight, leather-clad stools and brass fixtures give the place a prohibition speakeasy vibe rather than Hygge.
Hygge (hu-ge) is like a state of mind, a sense of wellbeing or taking a moment to enjoy the little things. That said ,Hygge has a strong association with warmth, candlelight, comfy chairs, calm, thick jumpers and general cosiness.
Gangsta rap, busy white tiles and the lack of low comfy seating didn’t give me the inviting sense of warmth and calm I was expecting.
My flat white was smooth and nutty, the Bokasso beans were supplied by the Ethiopian Coffee Company. There were no tasting notes on the packaging so questioning the barista I was surprised to learn that they weren’t sure either, ” I drink it black so I’m not sure” was the response.
The team at Hagen asked if I would like to try a selection of their espresso martinis to gauge my opinion, I was all too happy to oblige 🙂
The espresso martinis are made from 2 shots of fresh espresso, rather than a bottled syrup. The Espresso is extracted right out of their beautiful Spirit Duette coffee machine.
The Earl Grey martini was sublime, fresh, zesty and subtle and the Macchiato martini was smooth, sweet and strong. Check out the chilli infused expresso martini, great if you’re looking for some heat and a little burn.
Hygge, Espresso and Cocktails all at once, I think Hagen is suffering from an identity crisis. Considering how busy all the pubs were on the King’s Road, Hagen remained empty, there’s obviously something wrong with the formula.
Hagen is a cocktail bar camouflaged as an espresso bar. I was there for almost 3 hours chatting with the staff, Saturday night and I was the only customer. There were no snacks considering they serve alcohol. Coffee was good, the cocktails were better.
Whatever you do, don’t look at their website thehagenproject.com, no information on pricing, menu or opening times, it’s simply lazy, c’mon Hagen, sort it out!
Hagen does have the vibe of a great bar, not an espresso bar but a cocktail bar. I would happily bring a date here to enjoy an espresso martini before heading out to dinner or a movie.
Hagen needs to pull their socks up! Sort out the details and get the word out, it would be a shame to see it go.
Overall Cult Rating: Coffee 3 out of 5. Cocktails 5 out of 5
Opening times: Mon , Tue, Weds , Fri: 07.00 – 18.00 | Thurs: Sat 08:30 – 21:00 | Sun 08:30 – 21:00
Flat white cost: TBC
Roasters: Ethiopian Coffee Company
Milk Options: Whole milk non-homogenised, oat and soy.
Toilets: Yes, unisex.
Power points: No