Welcome to Abessa, Kerstin Kriese’s chocolate manufactory at Fleischhauerstrasse 54. I have been planning for a while to take the time to talk to the owner of Abessa for Lübecker ZWISCHENZEILEN, and now it has finally happened. I’ve been a fan of the “blonde chocolate with coffee” for a long time (no, it’s not because I’m blonde!) and I’m curious to meet the person who makes my favourite chocolate.
Where Taste meets Creativity
Born in Lübeck, Kerstin Kriese studied graphic design. After graduating, she almost left Lübeck to gain professional experience away from the beaten tracks of her home town. Fortunately, she decided to stay in the Hanseatic city for love and to follow her heart professionally. In fact, it was the role of hostess that struck her.
In 2009, the mother of two set up her own business as a coffee roaster, then trained as a pastry chef and passed her master’s examination in 2015. That same year, she opened her first shop in Fleischhauerstrasse. Everything here revolves around fine chocolates, pralines and pastries. Right from the start, Kerstin Kriese has been selling rum truffles and a – as the chocolatière says – “very filling” Breton chocolate tart. Under no circumstances can she take these two products off the shelves. Her regular customers would be very disappointed.
She has gradually expanded the range, always keeping an eye on the quality of the products. Every step of the production process is carried out with the utmost care to ensure that the chocolates, pralines, pastries and macarons meet the highest standards. In fact, Abessa is famous in the city for its exquisite handmade macarons.
Macarons – the divas with the little feet
Abessa is closed to customers every Monday. But the bakery is not idle. Mondays are macaron baking days. When she started out, the chocolatier made three varieties, but now she has 20 irresistible flavours to choose from. Whether filled with pistachio, blackcurrant or walnut-raspberry, macarons are real divas who can be quite whimsical. Their production is time-consuming and requires expert knowledge. This requires expertise, which Kerstin Kriese certainly does have.
I had already guessed: Macarons can only be made with patience and exactness. But I did not realise that the structure of the almond flour and the sugar syrup, heated to 121 degrees, that combines with the beaten egg whites are relevant to form a meringue. Even the humidity in the room has an influence on the quality of the meringue. Perfect macarons have feet, a small rim that forms during baking, and definitely no cracks or rough pores!
With their crispy yet delicate crust and delicious, creamy fillings, Abessa macarons are a true masterpiece of confectionery and a real treat for the senses. Come and taste them Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00 to 17.00.
Popular Abessa Surprise Bag
The most popular product is the surprise bag, which contains fresh, hand-scooped chocolate in different varieties with different toppings. Only the finest ingredients are used. For the single-origin chocolates, the Abessa owner uses couvertures made from fine cocoa from Lubeca in neighbouring Stockelsdorf and from French manufacturer Valrhona. According to Kerstin Kriese, both companies are committed to innovation and sustainability.
Fleur de sel, chilli, pink pepper – what was exotic a few years ago is now a favourite with many customers. When you let the chocolate melt on your tongue, very special flavours emerge, combining spice and sweetness to create a surprising taste experience.
My favourite, the blond chocolate, which tastes of caramel, is not a separate chocolate but a sub-type of white chocolate. It is made from burnt lactose.
Just do it, could become good
The chocolatier loves to tinker with new products and likes to work in peace and quiet. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a lively exchange with other companies. For the Cycle Roasters next door at Fleischhauerstrasse 44, where Kerstin Krise founded Abessa in 2015, she currently produces an individual sweet accompaniment to coffee.
Kerstin Krise is generally not afraid of change. She has already moved with Abessa several times and is already sitting on packed suitcases again. From September Abessa will have a new home at Fleischhauerstraße 45. The current premises have become too small. In the larger premises, the popular Abessa praline courses will once again be held. Here you can pick up lots of valuable tips and learn professional techniques under masterful guidance. Of course, it’s up to you whether you take your sweet creation home with you or eat it right on the spot.