Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas time

Just a brief note on our opening hours around Christmas and New Year.

The Roastery & Office will be closed from Wednesday 23rd of December untill Sunday 3rd of January both days included. This also means that the webshop will be closed in the same period.

Our Coffee Shop will have the following opening hours:

Wednesday 23rd 7.30 - 17
Thursday 24th Closed
Friday 25th Closed
Saturday 26th Closed
Sunday 27th 10 - 18
Monday 28th 10 - 19
Tuesday 29th 10 - 19
Wednesday 30th 10 - 19
Thursday 31st 10 - 16
Closed Friday 1st of January

From Saturday 2nd of January 2010 the opening hours are normal.

Edit: Very last webshop orders before Christmas will be sent out tomorrow with a special delivery. Orders in before noon tomorrow should have a good chance of making it before Christmas (in Denmark only).

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gløgg Recipe 2009

We interrupt all the seriousness of coffee related discussions about quality and Direct Trade and whatnot with a little update on 'that other warm favourite drink of ours': Gløgg!

Some of the readers are probably familiar with my old recipe for Gløgg which lately has been makings its rounds on Twitter. But that was 2007 and since then I've been trying to improve on it and make the recipe a little more exact.

You can find many recipes for apple or white wine gløgg online, but I am all in favour of red wine gløgg personally. I do love the occasional apple gløgg or one with white wine and white port, but not when I make it myself.

So, here is this years version of traditional Danish Christmas Gløgg.

To explain, you must first make an extract of all the spices, which you have to make at least the day before - but this can also be made up to a couple of weeks before. If you make a big portion you’ll have for several days of gløgg-happiness!


1 litre of water or red wine (I’ve used both with success)
8 whole Cardemom seeds
8 whole Star Anise
5 Cinnamon sticks (just 3 if they are really long)
10-15 Cloves
15-20 Pebbercorns
1 Bay Leaf
1 cm³ Ginger (fresh or a little more dried)
1-2 Lemons (just the peel)
1 Orange (peel and juice)
½ Vanilla pod (or just ¼ if it’s a good quality)
1 dl. Dark Brown Sugar (the sticky Danish Brun Farin is the best)


Crush all the spices slightly and boil them with the lemon and orange peel, orange juice, vanilla and sugar. Let it simmer with the lid on for half an hour. Put aside and cool down and keep refridgerated. Sieve just before use.

The day before you’re going to make the Gløgg cover about 2 dl. of raisins with dark rum.
You’ll also need to scald the same amount of almonds, remove the peel and chop them in small sticks, but this can be done on the same day of making the gløgg.

Use approx:
0,5 l. of the extract to
0,75 l. of red wine (one bottle).
1-2 dl. Port Wine
Add the almonds, raisins and rum and heat up gently.
½ dl. Blackcurrant concentrated juice.
½ dl Cointreau or Grand Marnier
Some snaps, cognac or more dark rum if you feel up for it.

Sweeten to taste with more Dark Brown sugar, muscovado sugar, blackcurrant juice or honey. The balance is important. It should be sweet but not too sweet.

The Gløgg must never boil! But it should be really warm when it’s served and you should feel a good buzz from just inhaling the scent :-)

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thoughts on developing Bean quality

After just having released our new espresso blend, we thought it would be a good time to explain a bit about how we try to optimize bean quality.

One of the founding ideas of TCC is to continuously try to develop and challenge coffee quality.

Two central questions arise when you want to implement this idea into real life for example in finding the right roasting profiles. What Method should be used for analyzing quality and against which quality standard should you evaluate the results of the analysis.

If we start with the last first. A central dilemma for us is always: should we evaluate a given flavour profile against what we think is the best or from what we believe our consumers would prefer?
In our new espresso we really love the cleanliness, the elegant sweetness and especially the fragile aromas from Kiawamururu. But Kiawamururu also has a high acidity which we used a lot of energy trying to balance. We think we found a really good balance but we know that some people might find the acidity too high. Whatever we tried with different blends or roast profiles to lower the acidity also killed the fragile aromas. Therefore we chose to go for our own preference instead of what we would believe might have a broader appeal to the consumers. We believe that if we want to contribute to the overall development of coffee quality we need to show what we think is the best possible. Then afterwards we can have a dialogue with open minded consumers about these qualities and how they/we perceive them. So for the espresso we choose the version with the fragile aromas and a distinct but balanced acidity.

Regarding which method to be used for evaluating quality it depends on which brewing method the bean is meant for. If it is meant for espresso we always develop from tasting the brewed espresso. This is probably the most complex brewing process and therefore we always taste lots of shots on a process that can take weeks to try to statistically minimize the influence of brewing differences. It is necessary to taste the espresso like this since espresso as a drink is completely different from Brazilian cupping - our otherwise preferred sensorical method of analysis. Brazilian cupping is developed to minimize the influence of the brewing method itself on the sensorical analysis of the coffee flavour. The method is very easy to repeat and the fewest possible factors play in. Therefore if one wants to analyze the sensorical quality of the coffee bean itself this is the only serious way to do it.
One could argue that using french press would be closer to what the gourmet coffee consumer in Denmark experience at home and that therefore this would be the method to be used when sensorically analyzing bean quality. Our first claim against this would be that French Press is not giving as “honest” an impression of a given coffee as Brazilian cupping is. French Press is covering up some flavours and enhancing others as compared to cupping. We believe that cupping gives the best possible impression of the beans full flavour profile and that’s what we are looking for when we evaluate bean quality.
If we as roasters optimize the bean quality then it must be the challenge of the person brewing the coffees to get the full flavour out of the beans. This is also how we work with different brewing techniques (except from espresso) in our coffee shop. We compare the resulting flavour profile from for instance Finca Vista Hermosa in French Press or Aeropress to what we experience in cupping. Respecting each brewing techniques unique characteristics we try to adjust the brewing parameters to come closer to the particular flavour profile of for instance Finca Vista Hermosa in cupping. That was also why we started to skim the French press before pressing down the piston because we compared it to cupping where you also skim the coffee.
You can say that the dry aroma and the flavour at the cupping table are kind of goals of which flavours we as baristas struggle to try to get out in the cup. Therefore if you know a coffee is working very well at the cupping table but it doesn’t in for instance the french press you need to improve your french press technique. Or if you experince very fragile aromas in the dry aroma that does not come through in your brewing it is also a hint to try to improve the brewing technique.

Finally we actually believe that both drip brewing and Aeropress are very good brewing methods (if done carefully) and especially Aeropress is really picking up fast as ahomebrewing method amongst our costumers. It would therefore be wrong of us to optimize our beans to only one of these methods for instance French Press.

To sum up how we work when trying to explore what coffee can be and not just how it should be. We develop what we find is the most interesting flavour profiles and optimize the beans for either espresso brewing or Brasilian cupping. In the last case we trust the barista will do their best to full fill the potential of the bean with whatever brewing method they prefer understanding the advantages and limitations of each method. We then gladly go into a dialogue on how to improve quality.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Barista Courses

Two more home barista courses are now available on the webshop.

February 18th and March 17th.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Deal

Aeropress + 250 g. Esmeralda Special + mineral water.

Get it here.

Hacienda La Esmeralda Special is a remarkably aromatic coffee. We find those floral aromas come out very well when brewed on the Aeropress. (With each Aeropress you get a note about our brew profile).

The water quality is extremely important for bringing out the aromas. Especially in the Copenhagen region the water is very hard and the calcium in the water eliminates a lot of the organic acids that bring these bright aromas. So we've included half a litre of mineral water in this package so you'll be sure to experience this difference to tab water. We hope you'll choose to spring for some mineral water for the rest of the coffee once you've tasted it.

This offer runs until Christmas.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Espresso Blend

Thursday we're launching our new Direct Trade Espresso Blend.

From the early days of The Coffee Collective it has been a goal for us to have a Direct Trade Espresso. We're therefore happy to finally have our espresso blend 100% Direct Trade.

The new blend builds on the base from before: Daterra Sweet Collection and Finca Vista Hermosa. But in stead of the Idido we've now found a great espresso roasting profile for the Kiawamururu from Kenya. We've managed to balance the acidity without loosing the fantastic floral aromas.

The taste is clean and very sweet with an elegant acidity. Marcipan and chocolate base notes and subtle top aromas of black currant and gooseberries.

Come by all day Thursday for a free espresso at the coffee shop!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New Coffee School and more Seats

Tomorrow (Friday 23rd of October) we will host a small reception to celebrate our new training space, office and seating area. We have been working for a while now on expanding into the location next door. This means that we will have 12 more seats in the Coffee Shop since we have moved our office in to the new rooms. Next door we have also made a room dedicated as Cupping Lab and Coffee School.

Please drop by for a chat, a coffee and a glass of bubbles between 16:00 and 18:00.

Casper putting up some of the last shelves

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Radio P3 News on Fair Trade / Direct Trade

On the news at 3 pm they had a few comments on Fair Trade also mentioning Direct Trade. You can here the news in danish here

Monday, October 19, 2009

Direct Trade Coffee Break

Tuesday October 20th the Fair Trade organization stages a national Coffee Break. Sometime between 8.00 and 20.00 you are encouraged to have a Fair Trade coffee break.

While we fundamentally support the idea of securing a minimum payment to the farmers, we thought it might be high time to talk a little about some drawbacks of Fair Trade.

On one hand it is great to see a national event to support Fair Trade but on the other hand this also indicates that Fair Trade now is way beyond the grass root level and has moved in to the marketing departments.

James Hoffmann recently wrote a great piece about his frustrations with the Fair Trade system also pointing out some marketing abuses of FT. We recommend you read it.

In Denmark the Fair Trade organization often states that Fair Trade secures the Coffee Farmer a minimum payment. But to our knowledge in practice what is secured is a minimum payment to the Exporting Cooperative. The Export Coop buys the coffee from the Producer Coop at a more or less regulated prize. The Producer Coop buys the cherries from the Coffee Farmer at a prize which Fair Trade only demands is democratically fixed. One could question if this is securing a minimum payment to The Farmer in countries with young or weak democratic traditions?

In the other end of the coffee chain, the marketing value of Fair Trade has led to a kind of Fair Trade-paradox:

Companies who market themselves as "Ethical" by selling Fair Trade labelled coffee make more money selling Fair Trade products than they do on comparable products. Importers, Roasteries, Distributers, Supermarkets etc. who sell Fair Trade coffee add their percentages - also to the premium. So when you see the price difference in the store between a Fair Trade certified coffee and a regular coffee that price difference is not the price difference to the farmer. Hence these companies are actually keeping demand for FT coffees down, because of that higher price.

Fair Trade could with James words be "the absolute minimum expected of any company", but lasting sustainability needs more than that. That's why we are working with Direct Trade instead. Read more about our Direct Trade model here.

So the whole day Tuesday we'll be giving out samples of freshly brewed, french pressed Finca Vista Hermosa - a coffee we paid twice the Fair Trade minimum price for, directly to the farmer.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Drop Coffee Video

Alexander Ruas from Drop Coffee in Stockholm sent us a link to this video:

This morning we were treated to a sample session of Aricha by the Coffee Collective @ Drop Coffee.
Same coffee, same brewing method, same amount of water. First cup used 15 grams and the second cup used 17 plus a little coarser grind!
We were joined by swedish Cupping Champion Per Lindberg!

Thanks for the link Alexander!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


The following is a newsletter in Danish by food writer Maria Holm and photograper Maria P. Each month they do a "Food Letter" and this month we are proud to be featured. To read it in it's original place visit the Maria P website

Efteråret er over os og hvad er bedre end at lune sig inden døre med en kop kaffe? Det skulle da lige være at lune sig med selvsamme kop kaffe – fra The Coffee Collective naturligvis – og sludre om simreretter, fødselsdagskagebord og nye kogebøger imens!

Marie og jeg har haft drøntravlt både med dette og hint. I sensommerens løb har vi fotograferet/redigeret/tekstforfattet endnu en Claus Meyer-bog, som rammer boghandelen om en måneds tid (uhm nam, brød, boller og flere kager til fødselsdagskagebordet). Jeg har skudt cooking-katalog for Magasin og knipset Elle-sider. Og Marie har blandt andet skrevet små madhistorier til de københavnske skolebørn og deres madpakker og lavet PR for madmessen eat09 i Øksnehallen.
Nu venter nye spændende (mad-) opgaver forude – og ligger du inde med en af slagsen, så tøv ikke med at kontakte os. Gode ideer er altid velkomne og skylles ned med en kop tår kaf’ i den grønne sofa på Nørrebro (og vi har helt styr på brygningen af den, for vi har nemlig læst guiden ’Sådan brygger du den perfekte stempelkaffe’, som du finder nederst i dette madbrev).
Bedste hilsner Fra Maria P og Maria H

HVEM The Coffee Collective er et kombineret mikroristeri og kaffebar med base på Nørrebro i København. Bag kollektivet står fire unge baristaer med grums på hjernen – mød Peter, Klaus, Linus og Casper i den brune bog herunder :-)

HVAD The Coffee Collective laver verdens bedste kaffe! Betegnelsen ’Verdens bedste’ er som regel en floskel, men i tilfældet TCC, er der hold i retorikken. Kollektivet tæller nemlig en World Barista Champion 2006 (verdenmester i barista-kunst), en World Cup Tasting Champion 2008 (verdensmester i kaffesmagning) og ristemesteren bag VM-guld-espressoen 2006. Og så er der adskillige DM’er og nordiske mesterskaber oveni hatten. Du har ikke smagt en cappuccino, før du har bestilt en hos The Coffee Collective! Get ready to be rocked … (og tag det fra et par madfinker, der har nedsvælget adskillige af slagsen!)

HVOR Besøg The Coffee Collective’s risteri og kaffebar på Jægersborggade 10, 2200 Kbh N og tjek hjemmesiden hvor du også kan shoppe de besungne bønner.

PS Scroll ned i bunden af madbrevet og få kaffekollektivets guide til brygning af den perfekte stempelkaffe.



Alder: 35

Kaffe-erfaring: 11 år

Rolle i kollektivet: ’Direktøren for det hele’

Hvilken kaffe byder du uventede gæster?

”1 år gammel kenyansk testristning, hehe! Den er stadig fantastisk.”

... og dig selv?

”La Esmeralda (TCC’s superaromatiske kultkaffe fra Panama, red.) brygget med kildevand på stempelkande.”


Alder: 36

Kaffe-erfaring: 4 år

Rolle i kollektivet: ’Den kreative hjerne’

Hvilken kaffe byder du uventede gæster?

”Tit enten Idido (TCC’s etiopiske kaffe – den med den vilde jordbær-aroma, red.) eller espresso på mokkakande – enten med mælk til eller som americano (koncentreret kaffe med kogt vand on the side, red.).”

... og dig selv?

”Finca Vista Hermosa (TCC’s rene og ekstremt velafbalancerede Guatemala-kaffe, red.) på stempel”.




Alder: 29

Kaffe-erfaring: 9 år

Rolle i kollektivet: ’PR-manden’

Hvilken kaffe byder du uventede gæster?

”Jeg har altid Finca Vista Hermosa (TCC’s rene og ekstremt velafbalancerede Guatemala-kaffe, red.) liggende. Jeg brygger det på Chemex (en simpel filterbrygger, hvor man selv hælder vand på bønnerne, red.) og med kildevand. Jeg laver sjældent kaffe på den store, fancy espressomaskine derhjemme.”

... og dig selv?

”En søndag hvor jeg har tid til at nørde, laver jeg espresso på vores egen blanding, som lidt er hjertebarnet. En lækker cappuccino og en espresso – et sæt.”


Alder: 28

Kaffe-erfaring: 7 år

Rolle i kollektivet: ’Ristesvend’ (Peter er ristemester)

Hvilken kaffe byder du uventede gæster?

”Pt. Ndaroni (TCC’s ’gamle’ Kenya-kaffe, red.) på stempel – den fungerer godt med Nørrebrovand ... La Esmeralda (TCC’s superaromatiske kultkaffe fra Panama, red) har jeg sgu ikke råd til!”

... og dig selv?

”La Esmeralda på Aeropress (det nye, hotte barista-tool, der ved hjælp af lufttryk brygger kaffe på 1 minut, red.), så absolut.”


- Start med at vælge en god, friskristet kaffe. Kaffeposen bør være mærket med ristedato samt producentens og risteriets navn – det er en indikator for god kaffe og en fin reference at vende tilbage til, hvis du finder en kaffe, du godt kan lide. Kaffebønner kan holde sig 3 måneder i lufttæt emballage og 2 uger efter åbning.
- Kværn den mængde bønner, du skal bruge, og kom dem i kanden. Hovedreglen er: 60g bønner pr liter vand, så 50-55 g er passende til en 8-koppers stempelkande. Husk at bønnerne skal kværnes groft.
- Brug kildevand til at brygge på. Kildevandet fremhæver aromaerne i god kaffe – men afslører omvendt en dårlig kaffe, så det stiller krav til kvaliteten
- Kog kildevandet op, og lad det køle ca. 1 minut, til temperaturen er faldet til 90-95°. Er vandet kogende, branker det de flygtige aromaer, og kaffen bliver mere bitter og mindre aromatisk.
- Hæld vandet på bønnerne, og lad kaffen stå i 4 minutter uden at sætte stemplet på.
- Rør rundt i kaffen med en ske, så brygningen stopper. Efter ½ minut er grumset faldet til bunds. Fjern nu skummet på toppen med en ske. Skummet er ’tørt’ og bittert, så der er ingen grund til at presse det ned i kaffen.
- Sæt stemplet i kanden, og pres det stille og roligt ned. Så er kaffen klar!

Marie Holm • 20 92 52 33 •

Maria P • 26 22 16 13 •

Bliv fan af Madbrev'et på facebook

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Nordic Barista Cup 2009 Iceland Day 3

Day 3

On the last day we got up at 6 AM to eat breakfast before going on a sightseeing tour "the Golden Circle" on our way back to Reykjavik.

We saw the waterfall Gullfoss, the Geysir and Thingvellir, which is the place the old Icelandic parliament met at.

The Icelandic nature is stunning and unlike anywhere else in the world. But when you feel the cold wind you kinda get why the Icelanders are so fond of warm coffee.

While we were sightseeing, back in Reykjavik the teams had been setting up their own booths since the early morning. The competition was to raise the most money for the charity organisation through selling different coffee experiences (at least that's how I understood it). You could bid on knocking over a huge mountain of coffee cups, on Swedish team members (for dates or slave work) or you could buy "special lattes" with alcohol, cuppings, coffee memorabilia, aeropresses and the coffee art that the teams had work on together with local artists. I got in on the Danish team's cupping (on vinyl records).

This last day was open to the public so the teams had plenty of opportunity to wrestle money out of the pocket of the rich Icelanders... Well, if they could find any...

The teams were more creative in this challenge this year than previously I thought. And it also looked like the team members were enjoying the whole time more than thinking about winning.

The Nordic Roaster competition was later that day and everybody got to taste filter brews of coffee from 10 roasters (mostly Nordic). The roasteries can send in any coffee they like but only get to decide how many grams per liter of water should be used. Everything else (grind size, brew parameters) are decided by Bunn. There was a couple of good coffees in there but the winner really stood out: Tim Wendelboe's Tekangu, which he found on the trip together with Peter Dupont earlier this year. It's an outstanding coffee and he did indeed win the Nordic Roaster of the year in the end. Congratulations Tim and Tim!

But for me the absolute highlight of the afternoon was the auctioning of the Goat - The 2006 WBC trophy that I won in Bern. It was first auctioned away at the NBC in 2006 in Denmark. The deal is you only get it for one year and all the money from the auction goes to charity.

Andreas Herzberg - in a fierce bidding against Jens Nørgaard - finally claimed the Goat for another year with the winning bid of 2000 Euros!! That's a heck of a lot of money for the Costa Rican kids! The Goat has got a good life.

The final closure of the NBC is the Gala Dinner. And yes, again this year there was a theme: Dress up as either Elvis, Dolly Parton, Bjork or Elton John. There were many fabulous outfits and people really got into character. We had great entertainment from the teams but what we were all waiting for was the announcement of the winning team. As you most likely know the champions this year was Denmark.

I was so happy to see Denmark win because they really had a great team this year. It was obvious they had a lot of fun and a learned a lot over the three days. But they were also really friendly to each other - even under stress - and shared this great spirit with everyone. Of course we are extra proud that one of our baristas, Karen Dysted, was on the team. She's been one of the best barista in Denmark for years, but never competed before (mind you, the regular barista competition is not for everyone!).

The winning team gets to go to Costa Rica in January.
Congratulations Nordic Barista Cup champions 2009 Karen, Ea, Samuli & Morten!

As I mentioned before this was the first year for me where I didn't either compete, coach or judge and I enjoyed it immensly. It was great to meet and chat with the international attendees like Tim Wendelboe, Tim Varney, Mike Phillips, Liz Clayton, Bronwen Serna, Ken and Sarah from Barista Magazine and many, many more (I probably shouldn't even start to mention any names as I'm bound to forget a lot - sorry but I enjoyed every bit of conversation for sure!).

I look forward to see what Norway comes up with next year. I think the Icelanders did a great job this year and it'll be a tough act to follow. However, I think the lectures can be much more serious next year and we should talk more about how we do business in stead of taking the easy route of collecting for charity. I am glad however to see the earlier sponsors' "infomercial" lectures are gone for good. The social aspect of the NBC is a huge part but for most companies doesn't justify the entrance fee. However, knowing the Norwegians I have no doubt they are up to the task!

All pictures from Nordic Barista Cup can viewed on Flickr.
There is also a Pool with pictures from many of the attendees.

Nordic Barista Cup 2009 Iceland Day 2

Day 2

After a really cosy evening, where all attendees discovered that the huts were equipped with out-door hot tubs ideal for drinking beer and talking for hours, we got up early to hear the first challenge of the day: Assemble your own roasters and grinders without instructions. The attendees were divided to help out each of the teams and one of the engineers would be at hand to avoid gas burners mishaps.

This was a cool challenge for the teams - both in terms of Getting Back To Basics of coffee and in terms of team work. And for the attendees is was great to help out and do something practical. I loved seeing Enrico Wurm from La Marzocco trying to figure out the grinder assemble. It used sand paper on two disks to grind the coffee, so it took a lot of sieving to get something consistent.

It was also tough for the teams to get an even roast, though, and the roasters only applied contact heat (much like most sample roasters), but in the end most teams got something palatable down.

After lunch there was a Coffee and Beer competition and another Aeropress competition, but I had to sneak off to the rehearsal of the Pool Party with Tim Wendelboe, Tim Varney, Tone Lievaag and Alexander Jensen from Norway. They were doing a Baywatch themed competition including synchronized swimming. I must have watch the four of them do their routine about 20 times! They really took it seriously even though you can't tell from the pictures.

This is the NBC in a nut shell:

There were a bunch of competitions at the pool party, but none of them actually counted in the final score - only actual coffee competitions were added together, which I was happy to hear. The pool competitions didn't have anything to do with coffee, but the NBC is just as much about Team Work and how we approach challenges.

It was hilarious to see the teams' synchronised swimming shows, although none of them could really compete with the Baywatch team:

In the evening we had a barbecue with excellent Icelandic lamb and once again people disappeared into the hut tubs to chat about coffee and life in general.

Nordic Barista Cup 2009 Iceland Day 1

The Nordic Barista Cup is always a fantastic event simply because of the social aspect. Where the WBC or SCAA can seem overwhelming and not providing enough time to talk to everyone you know, the NBC is a smaller event of only 100-120 people. This year it was even more close and personal as we had to spend two nights in huts in the country side - but more on that later.

This year the NBC took place in Iceland and as usual all the rules are then up to the local organisers. You never know what to expect of the NBC but when people like Sonja Grant is working behind the scenes it's even more un-imaginable what will be happening.

All my pictures from the NBC can be found on Flickr

On wednesday evening all the teams, attendees, volunteers and organisers met up at a bar in downtown Reykjavik for an introduction of everyone. The teams were presented and there was a small lecture on coffee in Iceland.

Day 1

Thursday morning we met at 8:00 for registration at the Reykjavik art museum, which was the venue for Thruday and Saturday. There was a quick latte art throwdown, where our very own Karen were in the finals against Mike Phillips - the current US barista champ from Intelligentsia in Chicago. Mike (unfortunately) won.

Then the lectures began. Each year the NBC choose a country of origin and this year it was Costa Rica. The proceeds from the event goes to a local charity there. Each of the teams had to do a presentation about a single growing region in Costa Rica.

Denmark chose to dance their competition showing off true X-Factor - something the judges were looking for this year.

Over the day we had lectures about Costa Rica, Cup of Excellence, Basic Roasting, Basic Grinding and Basic Milk theory.

The Cup of Excellence lecture by Susie Spindler was for me the most interesting of the day and reminded me just how important the programme has been in developing the coffee market. As Susie said, when they began the programme there were no-one doing Direct Trade and marketing the farms the way they are today. It was a good reminder about the importance we can make on the lives of the farmers through the way we choose to run our businesses. And for me, it was a good contrast to the Charity-theme, that in general is a little too thick at the NBC.

My favourite moment was during the Q&A when someone asked whether some of the money the farmer gets paid throught the CoE auction could be ear-marked to improve the quality of their coffee. You could feel this is something Susie feels strongly about when she answered: "No! Why should we decide how they spend their money? We don't want anyone to decide how we spend our money, do we?"

I think it's such a common misconception that the farmers don't know what they are doing and that we from the rich west should help them manage their farms. Most of the farmers I've met know what they are doing. They know better than anyone what equipment is missing or needs replacing at their farm. They know if a new house for their family of a new de-pulper is most needed. Not us! We need to build a relationship with farmers based on that we are equals. Not that we should micro-manage their income. Now, if we can provide assistance and education to help them improve their own economy that's great, but let's start with paying them appropriately for their quality coffee.

In general some of the lectures - or parts of them - were too basic. I don't think we really learned that much about Costa Rica that you couldn't read in 15 minutes on the internet. I would have loved to hear more about the varietals - why they grow the ones they do - and about the new micro mills. I definitely think the level of the lectures can be brought up a notch with this kind of crowd, where everyone works in speciality coffee.

The reason for the many "Basic" lectures was that the teams had to acquire some knowledge from the lectures and apply them in the competition.

They would actually had to build a roaster and a grinder themselves, it was revealed. They would also be cupping Costa Rica Cup of Excellence top 8 coffees and try to rank them as close to the original scores as possible. Tough challenge!

So the Thursday went with a mix of lectures and competitions; Milk steaming, CoE Cupping, Aeropressing and so on. They did well in allowing the attendees to participate in the competitions in various ways. Although I was a little jealous of the teams that got to cup all 8 CoE coffees in real cupping, where us attendees only got 4 brewed as filter in paper cups.

In the evening we went off from Reykjavik with all our luggage, first to visit a Geo-thermal plant, then to a great lobster restaurant called Við Fjöruborðið on the south coast and lastly to Minni Borgir, a cluster of huts in the countryside, where we would be spending the next two nights.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

NBC 2009 champions: DENMARK

In case you didn't follow the adventure on Twitter, the Danish team won the Nordic Barista Cup 2009! Karen, Ea, Morten and Samuli were a wonderful team. They always looked like they had fun and made sure everyone around them were enjoying themselves.
They'll be going to Costa Rica in January (harvest season) as their winning price.
Congratulations to the team from the whole collective!

P.S. I'll be back with a more thorough explaination of what's been going on these past couple of days + a gazillion pictures will be put on Flickr.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's begun...

Barista Magazine already has lots of pictures up and will be blogging the whole event.
Meanwhile I've set up at Twitter feed here on our blog, so in the right panel you should be able to follow the updates. Online connection is on and off though, so excuse if there's a lack of updates.

NBC intro

Last night everybody met up at the official Meet N Greet party. It feels more like a family reunion than a competition about to start. It was great to see so many friendly faces (and there's too many for me to mention them all). Of course the Nordic countries are over-represented, but we also have visitors from Colombia - three people who I met yesterday at Kaffismidjan. One of them is a farmer, and showed me some incredible pictures of his farm and coffee lab. There's also a lot of familiar faces from the US. Jay from Intelligentsia is here with his girlfriend, Bronwen (US Barista Champ 2004) is here as a volunteer. Mike Philips (also Intelly) is present and I met Liz Clayton for the first time yesterday. Many of these people already feels strangely familiar because of the strong internet community, but I look forward to getting to know them all better.

Right now I've packed my bags and are heading down to the art museum where todays event will take place. we have to bring our luggage, because at 1700 hours we'll be leaving Reykjavik and go stay in huts !! Somewhere in the countryside...

The NBC is usually kind of a crazy event and the Icelanders are know to 'think outside the box', so I'm looking forward to see what we'll be doing out there. I know there's a pool party and Barbeque, but have no clue why they've stressed to bring warm and rain proof clothes.

For the same reason I don't dare to bring my computer along, so you'll have to wait for pictures and such until I get back. I will Twitter from my iPhone though and of course you all have Ken and Sarah blogging the whole thing.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I'm writing from Iceland where the Nordic Barista Cup 2009 will take place in just a few days. I've been to every NBC so far and it's always great fun. Last year it was cancelled though, and only the Nordic Roaster event took place. But, for the past years I've either been a team member, team coach or a judge. This year I am only an attendee and really look forward to simply enjoy the whole thing and relax.

Well... I won't totally relax, because obviously I'll be busy cheering like a rowdy hooligan for these guys and gals:

Picture taken from KaffeKaren's blog

The Danish team looks great this year - in many more ways than their obvious fashion awareness. Kaffe-Karen you should all know. She's been running our Roskilde store and is now part-time barista on Jægersborggade. She's been involved in many coffee projects in Denmark for years, but I believe this will be her first competition.
Samuli is one of the 'oldest' baristas in Denmark. He started his coffee journey in Norway way before I knew what a cappuccino was. He's moved on to roasting about three or four years ago and became the Danish Cup Tasting Champion earlier this year. We all used to work with him at Estate Coffee and fondly remember his creative spirit. Oh, and watch out because for sure he's the only one speaking Danish, Swedish AND Finish fluently!
Morten is the current Danish Barista Champ - hailing from Århus' Sigfreds Kaffebar. He's also participated in both the SCAE Turkish Coffee competition and the Coffee In Good Spirits. We've come to know Mortens enthusiasm better when he chose to use our coffee for many of said competitions.
Last team member is Ea, who works at Baresso. She was the runner-up in the Danish Barista Championship and current Danish Latte Art Champion.

When I look at this team it strikes me that these four individuals brings four totally different backgrounds to the team and as such makes it a really, really great team. I know they're going to have a lot of fun here in Iceland and will learn a lot. And of course I hope they'll repeat the Danish triumph from 2004 when Denmark took the Trophy! I'll just remind the readers that Peter Dupont and myself (together with Lene and Stine) were both on the team back then ;-)


Oh, and I'll see if I can post some updates along the way from the event when it starts Thursday. Knowing the nature of the NBC though, I suspect it might be impossible to sit down with the laptop not to mention getting any internet connection. (I've already heard some rumours about what's really going to take place and it does not sound boring!). In any case I'll post a recap once I'm back and you can follow my Twitter at if you are desparate for updates.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Our latest acquisition

A Christiania Bike !

We use it to deliver coffee locally on Nørrebro and pick up milk for the coffee shop. We can easily fit in 8 milk crates in the box ... or a lot of coffee ... or a GS3 and grinder for a mobile coffee shop ... or Casper ...

Look out for it around town ;)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Finca Vista Hermosa 2009

Yes, two weeks ago we unloaded the container with the new crop Finca Vista Hermosa.

Now we've done several batches to nail the profile on this years harvest and will on wednesday the fresh crop will be on the shelves.

All day wednesday we'll be giving out free samples of French Pressed FVH, so come by for a taste.

Also, we'll be selling our new limited edition T-shirts with the triangle color of our Finca Vista Hermosa label! Kr: 250,- (American Apparel printed at Trykkertøzen) Only 15 available in various sizes.

EDIT: Today only we'll also be pulling shots of SO Espresso FVH!

Friday, September 4, 2009


Since the beginning of the summer we've been serving cups of Aeropressed coffee in the coffee shop with great succes. You can choose between any of our coffees freshly brewed just for you. The Aeropress has also been for sale in the shop, so you can enjoy it at home.

The Aeropress is now also available through our webshop.
Click here to buy one

Extra filters are also available.

In the box is the Aeropress, 350 filters and filter holder, a stirring stick and a holder that also functions as a funnel.

Casper tested it this summer on his vacation through France and found it excellent for travel purposes. It's plastic, so it doesn't break in your bag and all you need is coffee and water. Doesn't get much easier than that.

We'd like to give credits to Tim Wendelboe for promoting the Aeropress and making us all aware exactly how brilliant and simple a brewing system it is. The annual World Aeropress Championship (WAC) - which Tim W has held - has been a great tool in developing new and exciting brew recipies.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New courses - Autumn & Winter 2009/2010

We've put up new courses for the coming months on our webshop.

There will be more courses if these sell out, but for now we've added two basic barista courses, one advanced, one on latte art and a cupping course.

Please note that all courses are for private people. If you are interested in a professional course please contact us on

Courses will only be sold through the webshop. After purchasing a ticket you'll get an order confirmation and then you just need to show up at the right time. The courses will be held at our training space:
The Coffee Collective
Jægersborggade 10
2200 Copenhagen N


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fresh crop Finca Vista Hermosa this morning

...a good wednesday indeed !
We have been unloading green beans from Finca Vista Hermosa, Guatemala all day- now we rest. There will be a lot more written on this coffee soon- no worries.
Thank you Edwin, Diego and collegues.

P.S. That's Casper on top of our vacuum packed FVH in boxes on that picture - After unloading a bunch of FVH on jute bags that are going to other roasteries around Northern Europe.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Svea Rige

Two dedicated places in Stockholm are now having our coffee on their shelves.

Kaffecompagniet has been providing people in Stockholm with coffee for some years now and DROPCOFFEE is brand new, focusing on nordic microroasteries.

Nice to be with you guys !

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Coffee Collective would like to introduce: Niels Thanild

We at The Coffee Collective are proud to announce that we are now sponsoring Niels Thanild. Niels has been ridin’ BMX since he was 5 and has placed top 10 in both X-games and The BMX Pro World Championship. Niels loves coffee and we love bicycles.

Here are some pictures
and video:

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Coffee Shop News

During the last 6 month we have been increasingly busy in our coffee shop at Jægersborggade, with our wholesale accounts and consultancy. At the same time conditions in Roskilde have been more difficult than expected.

To be able to focus our work where we get the most of it, we have therefore choosen to close our coffee shop in Roskilde. Our last day in Roskilde will be Saturday 25th of July. For those in Roskilde who might miss our beans, you can find them online here. We have enjoyed brewing coffee to the good people of Roskilde and hope to see you once and a while at Jægersborggade!

At Jægersborggade we will now be able to expand our opening hours during the rest of the summer! From Saturday the 1st of August we will therefore have the following summer-opening-hours:

Monday-Friday 7.30 - 21.00
Saturday 9.00 - 21.00
Sunday 10.00 - 21.00

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Kiawamururu - New Direct Trade from Kenya

Thursday August 6th we’re launching our new Direct Trade Kenya AA Top from the Kiawamuru Cooperative Wet Mill. The Mill (or Factory as they call it) is part of the Rumukia Farmers Co-operative Society situated in the Nyeri District.

From 17:00 to 20:00 on August 6th at Jægersborggade we’ll be hosting a small event with talks and pictures a from our trips to Kenya. We’ll be doing two groups: One starting at 17:00 and one again at 18:30. Of course You will also have a chance to taste the New Coffee.

Kiawamururu Factory is located 160 Km from Nairobi and 4.5 Km from Mukurweini town along the Nairobi-Nyeri highway. This area lies at an altitude of 1500 MASL on the fertile foothills of Mt. Kenya and Aberdare ranges slope.

The two gentlemen on the picture above are Operational Manager of Kiawamururu Peter Kingori and Chairman of the Kiawamururu factory Patrick Kinyua.

We bought this lot directly from the people at Kiawamururu Factory paying them a price more than double the Fair Trade price for the spectacular quality. When Casper test roasted the coffee he had some of the most intense top aromas from first pop he ever had experienced. The Black Current notes were very significant in our early cuppings of this coffee but drop by yourself on the 6th of August to do you own assesment!

Untill then you can read more about our travels to Kenya in Peters report from he's trip earlier this year here and here.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Hoff on Crema

Video by James Hoffmann that all should see!

James has been a good friend of us for years now. He's long been a fantastic blogger and spokesperson for speciality coffee. When he and Anette opened up Square Mile we were stoked. We're thrilled that James is now also video blogging and honered to be mentioned in the first episode.

What he talks about it this and this How crema is not the goal of a good espresso at all - quite the opposite. I think James says it in the video better than we possibly can, so take the time and enjoy listening to his soothing voice.

One little side-note before baristas out there begin ignoring the crema completely is that it is still one way of telling whether or not you - the barista - are doing your job right. You can tell a lot about actual the extraction from looking at the crema both during the pour and after. And since we can't taste all shots we serve (for obvious reasons) we have to rely on the visual indications we get from the crema. When that's said, crema should never be the goal in sourcing beans, roasting, blending or brewing.

Cups are back in stock

The headline says it all. We got a new delivery of our Ancap cups and they are now again available for sale in our stores and webshop.

To read more about our cups see this post from January last year.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Roskilde Festival

This week the infamous Roskilde Festival drives hoards of young, drunk and sunburned people into the town of Roskilde. We're prepared!

Our shop will be opened with extra baristas and an extra espresso machine outside for espressos, americanos and small milk drinks. We'll also extend the opening hours in the evening - at least till 20:00.

Vis stort kort

We know a lot of our regulars will be at the Roskilde Festival (and a few of ourselves) and we look forward to serving up some great coffee to them and all the festival guests.

Photo Jens Dige/Rockphoto, Roskilde Festival

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Valentina Kazachkova World Cuptasting Champion !

15.30 CET

Valentina Kazachkova is the new world cuptasting champion! Congratulations!

Good sport all you others ! Very intrigeing. Indeed.

cuptasting cologne

The initial round results for Denmark

12.10 CET

Newsline- Now, hurry in to see Denmarks Samuli and Ben from US compete in Cologne.
As we are speaking! Livestreaming at:

and you can read about how it works here:


Now Ben and Samuli finished their first round, going to put the results up here, maybe not totally correct (it is a bit hard to follow, the streaming was not 100%).

Dominican Republic was no 1 in overall results in this round. Then US, Denmark and Austria-in that order.

I encourage you to go in and follow the broadcast yourself, unfortunately my connection is not stable enough to come with accurrate results.

Samuli texts and says he´s no 7 in all- only one more competitor can beat him if he´s to go to final. He´s nervous now.

On the phone with Ben - he´s set for the finals! He says it was a hard heat, many extremely accentuated coffees that makes it hard to keep your tastebuds calm and focused.

Semifinals startin aprox 14.45, qualified:
Dom Rep, USA, Russia, Ukr, Sth Korea; Ch rep, Japan, Belgium.

Samuli from Denmark didn´t make it- you sure did perform anyway- 7 correct is really really good. Must be some very good people you were cupping with today. Thank you Samuli !

Qualified for finals: USA, Japan, Belgium, Russia (it´s a bit hard to be sure, and I had to make some cappus for some people when they annonced).

15.13 finals starting now!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Kulinarisk Sydfyn

This weekend you can meet us at Kulinarisk Sydfyn - a gourmet festival in the town Svendborg on the southern side of the island Fyn.

We'll be bringing lots of fresh roasted coffee, a La Marzocco GS3, two grinders, French Press and Aeropress, so there will be plenty of options to try out some delicious coffee and have a chat.

If you come, look for us at Tent C. The festival is open from 10:00-16:00 Saturday and Sunday.