STiR coffee and tea magazine

Volume 4, Number 3

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48 STiR tea & coffee industry international / Issue 3, 2015 (June/July) C By Anne-Marie Hardie offee to the Scandinavian region is more than just a caffeinated beverage; it's an integral part of the culture. With a palate naturally attuned to filtered brew, this region has embraced the nuances of specialty coffee. Norway primed the region with an early appreciation of origins while Sweden's FIKA coffee culture en- sures the daily sharing of coffee will continue to be celebrated. FIKA (kaffi transposed) is a coffee break with sweets similar to the English concept of afternoon tea. Beautiful fjords and glaciers define the Norwegian landscape that intermingles a thriving specialty coffee culture, one that has strongly influenced nearby neighbor Swe- den. It was 1998 and coffee shops were still a rarity in Oslo, Norway. The public had little knowledge of the industry. In fact, Oslo resident Tim Wendelboe, didn't even drink coffee, but he made the life-changing decision to work at a local café. "The timing was crucial as it was a very new phenomena in Oslo, and so we had to all learn together, every day was like a revolution," said Wendelboe. "We had to learn how to tamp and all that stuff, that's what got me started in coffee and kind of kept me going because I got used to researching, looking for answers all the time." Coffee shops held a natural appeal for the Oslo consumer as they provided an outlet to enjoy a high quality beverage outside of the home. Accustomed to decent beverages from the supermarket, the Oslo consumer gravitated towards products like Monsoon Malabar which was both low in acidity and roasted slightly darker than the supermarket coffee. Lattes, cappuccinos, flavoured syrups, and other espresso-based drinks were also frequently ordered. People wanted something new at the coffee shop, something that wasn't easily replicated at home. However; the taste buds of the con- sumer continued to evolve and awaken to the world of specialty coffee. At the same time, Wendelboe continued to explore the dimensions of coffee, train- ing as a barista and eventually winning the World Barista Championship in 2004. Af- ter his win, Wendelboe decided to venture out on his own as a freelancer, and train others in the industry. In 2007, Wendelboe opened his own micro roastery in Oslo, Scandinavia: Embracing the World of Specialty Coffee Tim Wendelboe making Aeropress coffee at his shop in Oslo, Norway. Da Matteo Coffee roastmaster Christian Gullbrandsson at the company's Magasinsgatan roastery in Gothenburg, Sweden. Photo by Bjorn Samsoie Photo by Anders Valde

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