Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Carlos and Edwin Garcia Martin

As posted here Finca Vista Hermosa lost their farm manager and his son recently. Travelling back to the farm with the salary for the farm workers road bandits murdered Carlos and Edwin. It's a terrible tragedy and it has touched the coffee community greatly. Coffeegeek has written an article about Carlos after talking with Edwin Martinez of FVH: Click here to read it

Carlos' wife, Juana is now a widow and left with 11 children. Edwin has set up a fund to support the family left behind. If you would like to help out you can donate directly here (secure online payment)

Lastly I just want to link to a comment from one of our readers, Neil, that we really appreciated.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Pictures and more from the Grand Opening

The first week came and went. Klaus went to Portugal two days after opening and then got a cold. Casper has broken his right hand in a (non-drunken) fall. Peter's been roasting like crazy. And Linus has been assembling the last bits and pieces. All in all a bit chaotic, but now we seem to have settled in nicely.

As promised, here's some pictures from the opening day.

We opened at 7.30 (our usual opening time) on Friday the 15th and began the day by giving away free coffees to the morning commuters on Jagtvej. It was really nice to see how happy this made people and we always enjoy a chance to talk about our coffee philosophy (perhaps coffee obsession is a more appropriate term).

During the day we had lots of visitors come by. Friends, colleagues, relatives as well as people who just wondered what the last couple of weeks noise had all been about.

When we closed at 1800 hours the place was full of happy coffee drinking people and we all felt like celebrating that our first day had been successful.

At seven o'clock free-lance barista Mikkel Otto showed up for the general rehearsal of his presentation for the Danish Barista Championship. He will be using our espresso blend and is training like a maniac for the competition. It was great to see his performance and taste his drinks. There are more pictures of his presentation on our Flickr here but we don't wanna give away Mikkel Ottos presentation before the championship, so it's only a sneak preview.

The crowd (it was completely packed in the shop) made sure Mikkel Otto got his nerves tested and a team of judged scrutinized his every little move.

We all had a great time, although, considering we were all opening up the shop again saturday morning, we probably shouldn't have had champagne, beer and rum on an empty stomach...

Thanks to everyone who came by! We really enjoyed seeing you there and hope you'll all come back.

Friday, February 22, 2008

A great loss

On Saturday last week Edwin Martinez of Finca Vista Hermosa told us some very difficult news. Their farm manager, Carlos Garcia Martin, and one of his sons, Edwin Garcia Martin, passed away.

We never got to meet Carlos or Edwin as our first visit to FVH is planned to take place in about a month. But we know the importance of the work of the farm manager and from Edwin's own blog we can tell they will be greatly missed.

Aaron Blanco met Carlos on a visit to the farm, and he has posted a very heart-felt post about the tragedy here.

Our condolences and thoughts are with Carlos' and Edwin's family and friends.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Yes, we're open

The grand opening day went very well. Lots and lots of people stopped by. Politiken's iByen Online featured us here which certainly helped creating awareness together with mentions on various forums, blogs and local papers.
Now, we're trying to catch our breath again. I'm off to Portugal for three days of coffee work shops, which certainly doesn't give us more time to post on this blog. So please be patient. We will return soon with pictures from the opening day including a sneak preview of barista Mikkel Otto's awesome performance for the Danish Barista championship and the impromptu partying after closing the first day.
Thanks to everyone who made this first two days such a great experience for us!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Tomorrow we open. We're very excited. It's been a loooong week and some late nights, but on wednesday we got the Food & Health Certification and that meant we were good to go.

The La Marzocco is up and running. The Compak and Mahlkönig grinders are spinning. Two Bestmax filters are supplying clean water. The ice machine, dish washer, refrigerator, lamps, packaging machine, compressor, register are all plugged in and working.
But most importantly; The roaster is roasting!
We did our first 9 batches this afternoon and everything is A-OKAY.

So on this special day, who other than Tim Wendelboe (WBC and World Cup Tasting cahmpion, now also a roastery and coffee shop owner in Oslo) and Morten Wennersgaard, roast master at Solberg & Hansen dropped by for a visit. It was great to see them both again. We feel a special connection with Tim, as his business is very much like ours and we seem to share a lot of similar ideas and approaches to specialty coffee. Solberg & Hansen has also served as a role model in our careers so far, with some of Mortens collegueas (Tone, Willy and Andreas especially) playing a crucial role in where we are today.

It was fun to hang out with them, talk coffee and serve them loads of coffee. We hope to visit both of them soon in Oslo.

At the time of posting this there's 9 hours and 10 minutes till we open the doors. I hope we'll be able to sleep tonight. We're closing at 1800 hours after which freelance barista Mikkel Otto will do a rehearsal of his presentation for the Danish Barista Championship. All are welcome to watch this. See you (or at least some of you) there!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Grand Opening of Roastery & Coffee Shop

Friday February 15th at 7:30 we open the doors to our new location:

Jægersborggade 10
2200 Copenhagen N

The past week and a half we've been busy setting everything up and getting the place ready. There's still a lot of work before Friday, but it's starting to look like we imagined. The Probat has already moved in and looks beautiful.

We would like you all to meet Jørgen:

Without him we wouldn't have been able to construct the whole bar as we imagined, not to mention being able to open on time. He's put in a lot of his free time to help us make a really neat bar. Thank you Jørgen!

We look forward to finally being able to invite everybody in to taste coffee, learn more about brewing, see how we roast and chat about all things coffee related.

There's a few pictures up on our Flickr from the progress.

See you there!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Another article: Barista Magazine

Back when we first announced The Coffee Collective our good friends at Barista Magazine Sarah Allen and Ken Olson asked us if we would be interested in writing a series of articles about our new project. They wanted to hear about the transition from barista to roaster and our experiences and struggles along the way. Of course we couldn't deny the opportunity to tell our story. If for nothing else to warn others from making the same mistakes as us ;-)

The first of these articles are printed in the new February/March edition of Barista Magazine which gracefully features the wonderful M'lissa Muckerman on the cover.

Barista Magazine is available through subscription worldwide. We can highly recommend subscribing as there are numerous well-written, informative articles about all things coffee- and barista related. If you're curious to take a closer look, you can also read the entire magazine online. For our article Notes From The Collective go to page 68.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Article in gourmet magazine Mad & Venner

The February issue of Mad & Venner - one of the most read Danish food magazines - contains a 5 page article about us.

We first got into contact with journalist Marie Holm last year through Farmers Market. Originally she was just going to mention us briefly, but when she heard more about our concept and Direct Trade model she approached us for a full article. So a couple of months ago we met with her and photographer Tomas Elfsberg to get interviewed and have our pictures taken. It was great fun for us and we think the article has really captured what we're all about.

Unfortunately for our international readers it's in Danish, but you might still enjoy the pictures.

Click here to read the article in .pdf format