Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Farmers Market on Saturday

Yesterday night we got tuned into some pretty good roasts on our new L12 Probat. We cupped them this morning and got convinced that we are on the right track! Generally the body and the aroma of the coffees came out much more intense than on our test roaster.

If you would like to try the roasts you can drop by the Farmers Market at Jægersborggade, 2200 Kbh. N. this Saturday. We will be brewing and talking coffee there between 10 and 14 o'clock.

I'm not sure if Mads will be there but the guy on the right will for sure.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Nordic Barista Cup 2007

Warning: Very long post
The Nordic Barista Cup is over and it's back to reality.
I hope you followed the event on Barista Magazine's Blog and there's also a great recap over on James' blog.

I arrived to Gothenburg Wednesday evening for the judges' meeting. It was good to see Sonja Grant, Torkel Hulten and Daniel Remheden again and get to meet Bjørn and Mika. Each of us had a "Soft Value" topic to judge, and mine was Problem Solving / Creativity. This meant we would have to get around to all teams during the competitions and evaluate how they were doing compared to each other.

Thurday morning the competition began. The teams presented their business plans for The Future Coffee Shop - something I had been looking forward to. Honestly I was a little disappointed to see they didn't take more risks or were more adventurous in how the future coffee shop might look. Most of the business plans were something you can already find out there. But I guess it's a hard task to come up with something revolutionary and I don't think it's been easy for the teams to find time to plan this.

All teams were earning money for each competition depending on how well they had done. This allowed continuous score keeping. What they couldn't see, though, was how the Soft Value judges were scoring them. That was only announced each evening. I like the format where the teams don't know exactly how they are doing, because it allows all teams to have the feeling they might win until the very end.

All the judges put a lot of weight on how the team interacted with each other and if they were having fun or only worried about winning. From my experience I know it can be stressful to be a team member, but it's so much more fun once you let go and just enjoy it all.

Thursday highlight was the presentation on Nicaraguan coffees by Roberto Bendaña followed by a cupping session and the teams bidding for which coffees they would have available for Saturday. I noticed some teams were great at playing the tactical game during the action getting some coffees very cheaply while others payed a lot.

Friday was Nordic Roaster competition which Solberg & Hansen from Norway won. The teams had the difficult task of brewing espressos and filter coffees for the competition and there were differences in how well they executed the task. Afterwards the teams were presented with a sudden new latte art competition, which weren't on the programme. They had to pour latte art in a small milk pitcher and a cupping tray. For me it was great to see how they responded to the sudden problem, and it was probably the most fun for me to score.

Friday afternoon also featured very interesting lectures by the World Sommelier Champion, Andreas Larsson and Søren Sylvest from Chokolade Compagniet. And of course the auction of the Goat. My famous trophy from the WBC in Bern. Andreas Herzberg from Solberg & Hansen bought it for € 1.500 which will all go to a school in Nicaragua. Congratulations Andreas!

In the evening we had a white party. Everyone was dressed in white and it was so cool to arrive back to the tent, which seemed like walking into an entirely different world. I had much fun with James Hoffmann trying to get one of the white plastic flamingos off the ground.

As the party was closing Casper and Linus arrived with Mads from Copenhagen Roaster. They had stopped in Helsingborg on the way up, to visit Charles and Anne's new coffee shop and roastery there.

I had forgotten my camera at home, but fortunately Linus and Casper brought it with them. So on Saturday I could finally take some pictures.

The final day was open to the public, who could change their Swedish Kroner into B$ (Barista Dollars) and spend them. Each team had set up and decorated a booth in the morning, bought cakes, tea, coffee etc. in the previous day and now it was time to test who had the best business plan in reality. Norway had a lot of helpers from the attendees - maybe too many, Iceland went with an interesting concept: No espresso - Only Clover, Finland had good food at a low cost and Denmark, being stuck in the corner furthest away from the entrance were very active on the floor. All teams did really well, but Sweden was definitely the team that seemed to enjoy the whole event the most and also the ones who worked together the best.

In the afternoon my favourite competition took place: No, not the N'espresso 'cappuccino' competition on which I won't comment... No, it was the Clover Sommelier competition, where each team's sommelier had to present a coffee which a public jury of 15 would have to pair with the description. Denmark nailed it, working really organized and the sommelier had very precise descriptions. Sweden also did very well.

We, the judges, then retreated to our little judges room and talked for a long time about what we had observed in the three days. Although all teams did really well, we all agreed one team had performed outstandingly.

It was a well deserved victory to Sweden.
Congratulations Anne, Emma, Johanna, Peter and Costas!

The winners were announced at the final party / gala dinner, which ended with a small latte art throw-down, which I thought was a lot of fun. Scott Lucey took first place deservedly. When the party closed Linus, Casper, Mads and I went to a club called Sticky Fingers (yes, that was actually the name) and partied till the wee hours.

Next morning we went on a café crawl and of course ran into half the NBC people, who'd gotten the same idea. We visited Da Matteo, where we had a really good espresso. Their blend has great acidity and floral notes. We also saw two very Italian places and definitely had our share of robusta intake for the rest of the year. We also got to say good buy to James, Anette, Anastasia, Scott, Justin, Sarah, Ken, Chris and M'Lissa, who we'd really enjoyed hanging out with.

David from Clover went with us to Linus' parents' boat house and we had a great afternoon enjoying the fresh sea air, an awesome boat ride and some great chili con carne before heading home to Copenhagen.

All in all I cannot wait to see everyone again. The NBC is really like a family reunion and the social aspect of it is what makes it a fun event. Hope you'll all come to Copenhagen for the WBC next year!

Monday, September 24, 2007

First Roast on our Probat L12

Finally the great day arrived where we could roast our first batch on our new Probat L12!
- What a great feeling:-)

The beans where from Finca Vista Hermosa and even though we need some 'getting to know each other time' with the new machine the roast turned out quite ok, but a bit too slow to really get the flavour out that we want to present of this coffee. Today we will do some more experimenting with the L12 to work our way closer to understanding this particular machine (I have to admit that I am pretty excited to get on with it).

Beside me getting to understand the L12 better, the new Roaster needs to be roasted through some batches before we will present the coffee from it. Nevertheless I am sure we soon will have very nice results from the L12 and I will be looking very much forward to getting response to the flavours we can bring out with this new roaster.

If you would like to see more pictures from the roast check out our flickr account.

I'm off to the roastery!


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Nordic Barista Cup

Today I'm off to Gothenburg, Sweden, for the annual Nordic Barista Cup. For those who don't know, it's a team competition between the Nordic countries. This year each team has 3 baristas, one sommelier and a coach.

I've had the pleasure of attending all NBCs so far. However, this year I'm not on the team. In stead I'll be having the pleasure of judging the teams. Each country (Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark) send one judge, who will be responsible for certain areas of judging.

The theme this year is The Future Coffee Shop. I'm really looking forward to hear what visions the baristas might have, and of course to see all the great coffee people who attend this event.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Announcing Our New Website!

The Coffee Collective is proud to reveal our brand new website:

Here you can learn more about our coffee roastery and consultancy business, who we are, our Direct Trade model and what we offer for cafés and coffee shops

The site will also provide detailed information about the farms that supply us and hopefully give you an appetite for trying out new coffee experiences.

You can, however, also just enjoy our collective's pictures.

On The Coffee Collective Blog you can still keep updated about what we are up to. Think of it as our 'news section'. Here we will also post about upcoming events as well as ongoing cupping notes.

We hope you enjoy the website and our collective world of coffee. Please feel free to spread the word.

Peter, Linus, Casper and Klaus
The Coffee Collective

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Surprise visit

The other day we got a surprise visit from Isabela Pascoal from Daterra. She was in Europe with her husband and decided to take time out to go to Denmark for a day.

Peter and I first met Isabela back in January 2006 when we visited the Daterra farm. She is the daughter of Lois Pascoal, who owns Daterra, and an incredible nice person.
In August last year Isabela arranged for an espresso presentation with me in Sao Paolo and since then we've met both at the SCAA show in Long Beach, in Tokyo at the WBC and when I did workshops for UCC in Kobe, Japan.

It's always great to get visits from the people who supply us with coffee, and of course we were proud to show her our new location. Here's a picture of Peter and Isabela next to our Daterra Tower of Power ;-)

FVH in da house

Finca Vista Hermosa - our first Direct Trade coffee - has arrived.

The jute bags are of a very high quality and simply beautiful. You gotta love the FVH logo. Edwin has even printed our name on the bags.

Of course the first thing we did was taking some samples to roast in varying degrees and with different profiles. We cupped them the next day and we were astounded how well this coffee performs from a super-light to a rather dark roast. It's clean cup all the way through, but with a complexity that's rarely found in such a balanced coffee. We have decided on a medium roast, where the chocolate really comes out but without destroying the beautiful acidity.

Vista Hermosa will also be an essential ingredient in our espresso blend, of course in a rather different roast profile. The new blend will be out this week.

New location!

We're sorry it's been kinda quiet here in the collective's blog for the past week. The good news is that it hasn't been quiet for no reason: We've been busy moving into our new location in Kastrup, Copenhagen!

We got our Probat L12 set up and almost ready, the sample roaster, the La Marzocco, Compak and Mahlkönig grinders, a desk, a big ass stereo and most importantly a lot of green coffee. Happy days! If you want a peak into the new location go check out our Flickr photo album.

We're also open for visiting hours every Tuesday and Thurday between 9.00 and 16.00 so you can drop by and pick up a bag of coffee or have a chat with us.

The address is ...
The Coffee Collective ApS
Kirstinehøj 52, Port 4
DK-2770 Kastrup

Saturday, September 1, 2007


As the summer is officially over here in Denmark many people turn to indoors activities, such as reading coffee related blogs. A relatively new one (just like ours) is the Barista Magazine blog where Sarah and Ken post about coffee, magazines, barista stuff, movies, music and everything else they find interesting. I think the blog started as an advice from Ken's therapist to have an(other) outlet for all his mental creativity, but recently they also allowed the Editorial Advisory board - which I happen to be on - to post. Check it out!