Thursday, December 20, 2007

Glædelig Jul

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.

Happy holidays!

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
½ Lemon
1 Orange

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.

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

Should coffee be as fresh as sushi?

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!