OGDEN — If you’re looking for a little taste of Danish Hygge this winter without dropping a pretty penny on an international flight, then Cuppa on 25th Street will be just your cup o’ tea ... or coffee, or golden latte.
Pronounced hoo-ga (if you say Hooper like a local, you’re halfway there), hygge is a Danish concept of cozy contentment and togetherness — an atmosphere that Danes actively cultivate. While hygge can exist year-round, it’s particularly valuable in helping people cope with winter.
Cuppa, which bills itself as “a cafe for creatives,” isn’t a Scandinavian cafe and doesn’t market itself using the hygge concept, but it has many of the same interesting contradictions.
Somehow, Scandinavians manage to create clean design and coziness simultaneously. So does Cuppa.
With white tiles on the wall and white tables on the main floor, Cuppa is cool, yet still warm and inviting, both in the demeanor of the staff and the sense that you really can come in and stay a while without feeling rushed.
The second floor amps up the cozy with warmer colors and several couches — two of them blue velvet near a grand piano. A guitar and ukulele sit near the piano, ready for visitors to play. While nearly perfect on its own, the space does seem to beckon for a fireplace.
Near the blue couches are a couple of vintage desks that look a bit like carols in the library, perfect for an aspiring author to set up shop.
Add to this lovely atmosphere that the coffee, tea and food are all very good — and all reasonably priced, at about $10 or less.
The cafe, which opened about two years ago, offers a seasonal menu that is entirely plant based and organic — but meat-eaters and other vegan cheese skeptics need not be afraid.
The menu was “designed with everyone in mind,” said manager Bethany Jensen. The goal was just to make good food, she said.
Barbecue jackfruit makes appearances in several dishes, including street tacos, the buddha bowl and nachos.
Those three dishes included some other similar ingredients, like a tasty cabbage slaw in both the nachos and buddha bowl.
If you had to choose one of the three, go for the nachos.
In addition to barbecue jackfruit, the nachos are made up of corn tortillas, black bean salsa, house salsa, cashew sour cream, cashew cheese, guacamole and nutritional yeast.
The winner of the day, though, was a simple savory toast with tomatoes and cucumber on fresh white bread that is made at the cafe. The tomatoes looked and tasted like they were straight from the garden.
In addition to coffee (which this visitor did not sample extensively), the cafe offers a wide variety of teas — the largest selection of any place Jensen has worked, she said. Samples sit near the register, so you can sniff before you buy.
All of the sauces and syrups are made in house, Jensen said. Two unique syrups are rose and lavender — they’re both made from actual flower petals.
If you like a bit of milk in your warm beverages, you will not go wrong with the happy tea latte made with oat milk.
Garnished with what looked like rose petals, the latte was both floral and sweet — with some other flavors that you can’t quite put a finger on, functioning as a sort of brainteaser that keeps you engaged in the experience.