The Coffee Collective would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas.
So from all of us to all of you: Click here
Hope you enjoy it.
Please note that the roastery will be closed for visits from December 22nd till January 2nd.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
The Coffee Collective would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Thursday last week I went to visit the Mahlkönig factory in Hamburg, Germany. I think it's fascinating to see how the machines we surround ourselves with every day come to life, so when I got the invitation to go I was quick to do it.
Mahlkönig are a big part of the specialty coffee world and have sponsored both Nordic Barista Cup and several national barista championships.
Nils Erichsen is the president of the company and took me around the factory.
At the factory they get in steel rods, which are cut into small pieces for each burr set. The knives are cut into the steel and then hardened. Along the whole production line precision is key.
My favourite grinder for filter/Clover/French Press is the Mahlkönig VTA (Also know as the R2D2 -the little robot from Star Wars- because of its similar look). When you see the parts this grinder is made off you begin to understand why it costs a little extra than the rest ... and why it weights some 40 kilos! Quality all the way through and last a lifetime.
Thanks to Nils, Christian and Georg from Mahlkönig for inviting me!
More pics here
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
December is a great month. Christmas, New Years, lots of good food, happy people, time to visit your relatives, light candles, give and receive gifts. But for me it's also a great month because it allows me to indulge in that second favorite warm drink after coffee: Gløgg!
To those who don't know this, it is a warm, so-called mulled wine, spiced with cinnamon, cloves etc. and served with raisins and almonds. In Denmark it has become a Christmas thing, although no-one seems to know why (and one could argue it should be served all through the winter).
Yes, I am a bit of a gløgg aficionado. And so, I want to share this recipe with you.
Gløgg a la Klaus
I highly recommend getting good quality ingredients. I only use nice, organic spices. The wine doesn’t have to be expensive, but I prefer not to buy the cheapest either.
100 g Almonds
150 g Raisins
1 dl Cognac, dark rum or aquavit
1,5 dl Red wine
1,5 dl Water
5 whole Cardamom
10 whole Cloves
2 Cinnamon sticks
2 Star Anise
1 cm3 Fresh Ginger
½ Polynesian/Tahitian Vanilla Pod
1 dl Cane sugar
7 dl. Red wine
3 dl. Port wine
You need to prepare the extract the day before.
Add the cognac, dark rum or aquavit to the raisins and let it steep in the fridge.
In a small pot mix all the spices, ginger, vanilla and sugar with 1,5 dl. Red wine and the water and put to boil. Add the peel from the lemon and the peel and juice from the orange to the mix. Let it simmer for half an hour with the lid on. Put aside in the refrigerator until the next day.
Scold the almonds and remove the skin. Chop them in thin slices.
Sieve the mixture into a larger pot. Add the rest of the red wine, the port wine, the cognac-steeped raisins and the chopped almonds. Heat up to 80 degrees Celcius. Do not let it boil! Taste and add some cane sugar if needed.
Pre-heat some thick glasses, put on a nice record, light all your candles, and serve!
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Yes. T-shirts seem to be an integral part of the specialty coffee world. We don't worry about seeming like utter geeks about our jobs when wearing a T-Shirt with a huge tamper on the front. During the years I've collected quite a few T-Shirts from different companies; Clover, La Marzocco, Viva Barista, Stumptown, different origin countries and numerous roasters and retailers. Our Coffee Collective T-Shirts Extremely Limited Edition has also had a lot of people asking for one and Casper even has an extremely cool one-of-a-kind version:
The reason I started thinking about the many T-Shirts is because the dear M'lissa Muckerman sent me a package with a cute drawing and a very cool T-Shirt all the way from Atlanta.
You gotta love the coffee people! Check out Octane's Tamp This! Blog and M'lissa's super-nice boy friend Chris Owens new Excogitate(?What does this mean?) Coffee Blog Thank you M'Lissa!
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Yesterday I got a question from one of our costumers comparing the freshness of sushi and coffee. I really thought it was an interesting comparison since to me there is no doubt that sushi should be as fresh as practically possible and with coffee there seemes to be different opinions regarding freshness.
In Denmark I believe on the one hand that most coffee sold claims to be good for 2 years (even though it is ground) and on the other hand we also have some mikroroasters claiming that the freshness of coffee is the ultimate quality criteria (but usually they only refer freshness to the freshness of roast not the freshness since harvest or the freshness of the coffee flavour it self). While the first of course has nothing to do with good flavours the second seemes to be the 'sushi-thought' (I am sure that sushi chefs could teach me that there also are a lot more to quality of sushi than freshness even though it is fundamental).
Our approach to freshness is close to the sushi-thought. Nevertheless our tests of freshness related to espresso has learned us that our blend is actually best 16-18 days after roasting (similar to what we used for Klaus WBC espresso) ! At this time most of the CO2 formed during roasting has degassed and flavours seemes to have settled to a point where the sweetness, oily mouthfeel and marcipan notes is extremely clear. It is our experience that when the espresso is rested this short period of time the innner qualities of the beans steps forward. Before this the aroma of roasting seemes to cover up many nuances and sometimes making different coffees taste more similar. But when they have rested (much like when coffee cools down during a cupping) the inner quality of the beans shines through - poor quality green beans or poor roasting will be obvious whereas good beans will show their more complex qualities.
Of course if the time since roasting is too long the flavours starts disappearing again. Therefore we set the 'best before' date to 6 weeks after roasting on our espresso - which of course only is valid since we pack the coffee on nitrogen flushed airtight valvebags right after roasting.
We will never send out beans roasted longer ago than last week to make sure that our customers will have the coffee at home well in time before it peaks!
Friday, November 30, 2007
One of the prizes for winning the WBC last year was a trip to visit the Probat factory in Emmerich, Germany, where we also bought our own roaster. My year was quite busy, though, so I never made it down there while I had the reigning title. So when James Hoffmann was crowned as the new champion in Tokyo we made plans to go at the same time.
So finally Casper and I took a plane to Düsseldorf, where we met up with James and Anette (2006 World Cup Tasting Champion and James' girl friend - for those not in-the-know) and then to the town of Emmerich close to the Dutch border. There our good friends Inga Schaeper and Arno Schwenk welcomed us to the Probat Werke.
From left to right it's Arno Schwenk, Casper, James Hoffmann, Anette Moldvaer and Inga Schaeper
Probat was started in 1868 by three families, whose descendants still own the company. Probat has a stunning 57% market share, but deliver to both very large corporations and small roasteries such as ourselves. Fun fact: 7 out of 10 cups of coffees enjoyed globally is roasted on a Probat.
After arriving and having lunch we had a tour through the whole factory. It's impressive to see the roasters being built. Probat makes all sorts of roasters, not just for coffee, but also for nuts and cocoa for example. We saw the different models of coffee roasters that they make: Tangential, Centrifugal and Drum. We quickly realized how small our roaster is compared to the much larger commercial systems.
Here's Casper next to a huge roaster, which is for cocoa
We also saw their labs, where they do a lot of very scientific testing. Lots of it is way out of my league in terms of chemical understanding. But of course all the cool lab gear triggers something in every geek.
Probat has a 3-group La Marzocco GB5 set up with a Mahlkönig grinder and we saw an opportunity to have James pull us some shots from our espresso. In turn Casper and I also went behind and we all got coffeed up properly.
On the second day we got to roast on a Probatino. I think all of us has roasted on one before, but this one was a little different in that you had more control over the flame adjustment. I picked a Zambian Peaberry to roast, which I decided to run through a screen sorting first as the beans varied quite a bit. And also because I hadn't tried the screens before. There were quite a lot of defects in that coffee too, so I hand sorted it for a while. It was all in vain, though, because when I roasted it I was afraid of taking it too fast and ended up with a very slow and much too dark roast. On the other hand Casper stopped his roast of a Nicaraguan too soon. Fortunately, after begging, I got to roast another batch which turned out a lot better.
We cupped all our different roasts - Seven in total. The coffees were all commercial grades and not really the same quality any of us are used to, so we weren't too fond of any of them. I'd have to say the Sidamo James roasted was the best, though.
One of the most interesting parts of the programme was visiting Probat's Coffee Museum. Lots and lots of old roasters and grinders. We saw the first mass produced roasters and a lot of strange and interesting designs. I love the look of these old cast-iron machines, that would still work if you fired them up. Probat has done a good job of making the museum interesting for anyone interested in coffee and I'd highly recommend going if you have the chance.
Casper and I had a great trip and it was really good to see Anette, James, Inga and Arno again. Thanks to Probat for everything!
Check out my Flickr set for more pictures
Friday, November 23, 2007
Video from yesterday's event at Behag Din Smag is up on the local TV station (Danish).
Thanks to Lene and Jeppe from Behag Din Smag for hosting the event with Peter and Casper.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Back in Denmark I look back on a wonderfull journey to the home country of coffee.
After some nice days of cupping in Addis Ababa we went to Yirga Cheffe in the southern part of Ethiopia. The drive from Addis to Yirga Cheffe takes approximately 6 hours. When you have passed the outskirts of Addis Ababa the land is very dry except from a couple of huge lakes untill reaching the Sidamo region.
After around 4 hours of drive we reached the Sidamo region and vegetation started getting greener and more aboundant. Addis lies in 2000 mas. From there it goes a bit down to the Sidamo region which along the road is apprx. 1600 -1800 mas. After 2 hours further drive through Sidamo region at a height of apprx. 1800 mas we reached the town Yirga Cheffe, which has given name to the coffee grown around the town in altitudes between 1800-2200 mas. These coffees are after my opinion the best coffees of Ethiopia .
We met with Johannes who manages the two wetmills we were going to visit. He drove us first up to a beautifull situated mill in an area called Misty Valley.
At this mill they had made the best washed ethiopian coffee I have ever tasted. I never tasted an Ethiopian coffee with such a high sweetness and even though it was also incredible clean in the taste it still had the intriguing aromas of very good washed Yirga Cheffe which to me is a combination of sweet floral notes and bergamot.
At this place they had also specialized in what is some places called New Naturals. Traditionally natural coffee in Ethiopia (and most other coffee producing countries) is treated as a kind of left over product. Often it is a mix of unripe, fully ripe and overripe cherries also often less carefully selected for other defects. With the New Naturals they try to take as much care in the making of the natural coffee as they do with the washed coffee. I.e. the proces is as with traditional natural coffee where you let the cherry dry with out depulping it, but they are extremely carefull in only using the fully ripe cherries, drying the cherries very carefull and they are doing a lot of manual sorting in the proces to make up for the sortings that is possible in the washing proces. In the washing proces it is for instance possible to make a sorting of different densities which separates the fully ripe cherries and the not perfectly ripe cherries. Because of the higher percentage of perfectly ripe cherries and the carefull sorting the New Naturals from here are much cleaner and sweeter than traditional Naturals. Nevertheless a fruity flavour profile is kept though it is more controlled than in traditional naturals – which I personally often find too dirty or fermented in the flavour.
The coffee in the bag was rejected at the mill because of to many green cherries.
Being there in the heart of Yirga Cheffe meeting there people who produced the wonderfull coffees we earlier had cupped in Addis having them show us around and showing us what they do was great. We also got to discus the possibilities of cooperation and what we could wish from their coming harvest. We believe that there were laid grounds for a mutual fruitfull cooperation on which we together can push the limits of coffee quality and get to present some Ethiopian coffees not seen the like in Denmark before.
All in all it was a great experince being in Ethiopia and meet wonderful dedicated and very innovative coffee people. The coffees we tasted was from last harvest but their quality is giving me chills just to think about it. For this harvest we will be waiting for the cherries from the middle of the harvest and the New Naturals will need to dry slowly over a couple of months before it can leave the mill. Therefore we will have to wait untill the spring before we can have it in our warehouse and start roasting and cupping it – we will be looking very much forward to this date and I can promise it will not run off unnoticed!
Monday, November 12, 2007
Just thought we'd give some attention to reigning Danish Barista Champion Lene Hyldahl's blog. Don't forget to check out her website too.
On the 22nd November from 19 to 21 o'clock Behag Din Smag will host a coffee roasting and tasting event with Peter and Casper. Price is only DKR 85,- and includes a bag of fresh roasted coffee. But hurry - there are only 20 tickets. Contact Lene through her website for more info.
Friday, November 9, 2007
After several days with cupping in Addis Ababa I found two coffees that were amazing - they had a sweetness and cleanliness I have never had similar in any Ethiopian coffee - especially we cupped an incredible clean natural yergacheffe-1. Gr. 1 coffees from Ethiopia are very rare and then this was even a Natural! At the same time as being very sweet and clean they carried some of the beautifull floralness in the washed and fruityness in the Natural that is found in the best Ethiopian coffees. They came from a mill in Yergacheffe!
Tomorrow we will go and look up the mill to meet the people behind these fantastic coffees!
In the cupping room where we found the beautifull coffees we also found this machine very little typical of cupping rooms.
Friday, November 2, 2007
As a commenter on our blog also suggested a while back, we have done a bit of testing of our espresso on a medium-level home espresso machine: Linus' five years old Isomac.
Loaded up with Copenhagen city water (quite bad and very hard water quality) and coffee ground on the matching Isomac grinder we engaged the testing. Linus pulled the shots from fresh ground and properly packed coffee. As you can see from the image, we didn't bother to clean much before we began.
To be honest none of us were expecting much, being so used to our high-end La Marzocco set-up.
To our surprise the shots actually came out quite well. The pours were a little fast for the usual standard, but any slower and too many bitters would probably have come out. The crema was tiger flecked and nicely brown, but not as thick as we would usually have liked.
The taste was surprisingly good. The mouthfeel was there, heavy yet creamy. The sweetness was there too, although not as intense as with the GS3. And there was no unnecessary bitterness. It was great to experience that the acidity and bitterness didn't come out over-powering, which was our biggest worry before the test. Instead the taste balance was rather good. What it did miss, however, was a lot of the aromas that usually characterize our espresso and the aftertaste was not nearly as long lasting either.
Overall it was a pleasing experience and interesting to see that we could still pull espressos of a better quality than you are served in 95% of the Danish cafés and coffee shops (there, I said it!)
Now I think we'll have a french press to celebrate :-)
Monday, October 29, 2007
From today all our green coffees are available to purchase on our webshop.
We have decided to let home roasting enthusiasts enjoy the coffees we have carefully sourced and imported. Go here to purchase the coffees.
So, what else have we been up to lately?
Well, I (Klaus) have gotten Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which have left me incapable of making espresso for a couple of weeks :-( But on the bright side this mean I have Casper pulling shots for me all the time. Gotta admit I like being serviced like that :-)
We also had a visit from San Fransisco. Ryan Brown from Ritual Coffee Roasters swung by our little roastery and went out for beers with us. He's a really nice guy and the company he works for are doing a really great job. We all hope to see you soon again Ryan!
We've also cupped some coffees brought back by a friend from New York. Some were good and some were not so good...
One bag said "medium roast" but it was darker than anything we'd ever roast - even a dark espresso. This is one of the problems specialty coffee still faces: the communication of roast degrees (not to mention styles and profiles). One roaster may call something light, Vienna or Full City + and it might not correspond to the next roaster's reference. I personally don't think Agtron or Colorette numbers are the answer. Hopefully in stead we can get people to simply recognize the differences. (An IPA from Bröckhouse doesn't taste the same as one from Brooklyn Breweries either...)
In case you havn't seen it yet (which means you're not an addicted internet-coffee-geek yet) James Hoffmann, the champ, has a very nice description of one of our coffees on his blog.
And last but certainly not least: Our good friends Sarah Allen and Ken Olson, editor and publisher of Barista Magazine got married last week. Congratulations from the whole collective!!!
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
On the 3rd of November I will be going to Ethiopia to search for a good Direct Trade partner for us.
Ethiopia is high on our list of origins. Coffee from Ethiopia is very intriguing since the quality is extremely broad. Both the very different flavours of forinstance Harar vs. Yirgachefe and the difference in quality within coffee from each of these regions exemplifies a huge quality spectrum not to compare with any other country. Ethiopia also have an exceptional history as birthplace of both coffee and of mankind. Finding the jewels of Ethiopia is therefore a very challanging quest for every specialty coffee roaster.
I will be searching for farmers/millers who can supply us directly with both natural and washed coffee of the highest quality.
Since the harvest is just starting in Ethiopia these days my focus will be on visiting and talking about which qualities we could get prepared through this coming harvest.
I will try to post from the trip along the way.
Can't wait to meet the wonderful people of Ethiopia again!
Monday, October 15, 2007
David Makin, the 2006 Australian Barista Champion, visited Copenhagen during the weekend. He's on a world coffee tour to gather inspiration, see different roast styles, taste lots of espressos and meet a lot of people. He's been through Portland (Stumptown), Seattle (Zoka), Vancouver (49th and Mark Prince), Chicago (Intelligensia) and now Copenhagen where I had the pleasure of seeing him again.
I met Dave at the WBC in Bern and later on last summer on his home turf in Melbourne where he and Peter Wolff from Veneziano were excellent hosts and took me and Sigga Dora out for beer and milkshakes (Yes, that's an awesome combo!). Dave came in a very close second in the Australian championship this year after Scott Callaghan and rumor has it David might compete again ;-)
David was quick to jump on the machine at our roastery and pull some shots of our espresso. The Australians in general have a rather different dosing method than us Scandinavians. They tend to up-dose quite a but, limiting the space for the coffee to expand. So naturally it was quite interesting to have him make shots his way. Our espresso was quite fresh (one week old) and came out a bit bubbly, but still had great mouthfeel. David has great skills and after pulling a few shots he completely nailed it and presented a shot with heaps of sweetness and a deep wine-like acidity.
Next David is off to London to spend some days with James Hoffmann and then he goes to Milan for the big show down there. I'm so envious of everyone who's going. Especially since La Marzocco are having their 80th birthday party, which I'm sure is going to be awesome. Safe trip onwards Dave!
Friday, October 12, 2007
We have just been informed that Farmers Marked sadly is cancelled for the rest of the year. This is due to bad wether conditions and too much working mess in Jægersborggade. We have had some good times there and look foreward to the Christmas Marked which is on the 7. of December.
Thank you to everyone who stopped by for coffee and smalltalks we look foreward to seeing You again.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Today we launch The Coffee Collective Webshop at www.coffeecollectiveshop.dk
This means you'll be able to purchase our selection of coffees through a secure online connection and pay with your credit card. The fresh roasted coffee will then be shipped immediately.
The site is for now only in Danish. However, we do send to anywhere in the world. We hope it's not too challenging for the non-Danish speaking to order, but drop us an email if you need help.
The shop accepts Mastercard, VISA, Dankort, eDankort and Eurocard. Alternatively you can order through the website and pick it up at the roastery, where you may also pay cash.
Monday, October 8, 2007
Brand spanking new. Straight outta Italy. Finished less than a week ago.
Our La Marzocco GB/5 is here.
And man, did it feel good to unwrap it. I especially enjoy pulling off the film on the outside.
We had the good people at La Marzocco do a couple of special things on this machine: 0.6 mm flow restrictors (gigleurs) gives a much slower build up of pressure and when we tested this about a year and a half ago we felt it yielded much more body in the espresso. With a bottomless portafilter we noticed less channeling in general and the shots looked nicer.
However, we also noticed that we had to flush for quite a long time (4-6 sec.) to get the temperature stable. So on this machine we have also got the new hybrid / "Pierro" group caps. These eliminates the so-called banjo tube, where water had to pass on the outside of the group, thus achieving a much more stable temperature without the need to flush for as long.
Today we pulled the first shots off of the new machine, paired with a new Compak K-10 conical grinder and must admit it's awfully exciting to taste our blend like this. Lately a lot of people in the online community have seemed to be loosing faith in espresso, but stuff like this makes me feel very excited about the possibilities in this extraction method. Now we'll start dialing in the temp for our blend.
Friday, October 5, 2007
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Monday, October 1, 2007
We didnt tell you enough about Koppi- a recently started microroastery and cafe in Helsingborg. The doors will soon be open.
Many of you might already know about them, but lets be clear- Anne and Charles has something wild going on up in Helsingborg !
We just passed by for a short stop friday one week ago. We could have stayed a lot more time, but we had to arrive in Gbg before dawn. Charles was there and it was so fascinating to hear him tell us about their plans. Me, Casper and Mads first thought we would just pop by and say hi for 5 min- next time we bring our sleeping bags and use the Don Mayo bags as beds (we´re not asking, we will do it).
I wont talk forever about what they will do- visit their blog and see for yourself, the link is to the right on this page. Koppi.
They have a temple and I am really looking forward to spend some more time drinking their coffee. They have some wonderful ideas about coffee and we will surely be seeing them a lot.
Forza Helsingborg !
As mentioned last week, last Saturday we were present for the first time at Farmers Market on Jægersborggade. It was a really great experience for us, although the weather wasn't really the best. When we set up in the morning it was beautiful sunshine, but as the day progressed the rain started pouring down.
Still, a lot of people visited out little tent, had an espresso or cappuccino and chatted away about coffee. It was really cozy and the smell of fresh roasted coffee was soon to be felt all around the little market.
We'll be back every saturday throughout October if weather permits.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
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
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!