At Øredev there is high quality coffee available. Øredev interviewed Mattias Sjöbäck who started Sandby Kafferosteri. Mattias has installed a coffee shop in the middle of the conference.
In this interview with Mattias, you will experience a passionate barrista and coffee maker who knows most aspects of brewing a cup of Java.
Ø. It is clear that you are passionate about coffee, was there an "a-ha" moment when you realized that you wanted devote your career to the coffee bean?
The first time I made a really great espresso I knew “this is what I want do for the rest of my life”. Today my main interest isn't competing in different coffee championships with making the best espresso in the world (I do that anyways ^^) - the main goal is rather to give the big crowd a new flavor experience combined with making life better for farmers and their staff, with a fair trade perspective on all I do.
Ø. Knowing that it is more than just the taste of coffee for you, but also the journey "from seed to cup". You have travelled all over the world visiting coffee plantations. What is the criteria and standard necessary for a plantation to provide you with stock?
Quality off course but also that the farm takes a functional social responsibility: schools for the children, well paid staff, healthcare, food, clothes, clean water and so on. Also I prefer to buy coffee from farms that have nature and eco- friendly ways to grow the coffee or at least have a plan for how to get eco friendly in the future.
Ø. Tell us what prompted you to launch Sandby Coffee? And which roasts you specialize in? Describe the core values of your business.
The main reason I launched Sandby Kafferosteri is that after working with specialty coffee for about 12 years I noticed that we (the specialty coffee community) had forgot the "big mass" off people drinking coffee. I’m talking about the regular coffee consumer that buys their coffee at the supermarket and brew at home and also coffee at offices. This kind of customer stands for more then 95% of the coffee consumers and they will never (or seldom) go to a specialty coffee shop to buy fully traceable, high quality coffee. During all these years I heard a lot of specialty coffee roasters saying "we have to penetrate the big crowd to get them to buy better coffee in terms of quality, fairness and taste. That way we can work for a sustainable trade with the farmers in a better way". And after that they said: "We don't want to sell our coffee at the supermarkets or to the vending machine at the offices, this kind of product can only be sold at special coffee shops with educated staff". My thought after hearing that for so many years is that you can't make a change for the better in a big way (in terms of quality, taste and fair coffee) if we don't sell the coffee at the locations where the costumers are used to buy the coffee today. It became too "nerdy" and a part of the specialty coffee industry sat on "too high horses" in my opinion. Off course, my coffee is still sold mainly at the specialty coffee shops, but we are working with several projects and sell the coffee at a few supermarkets and offices and here is where we will develop in a big way in the future. To make the life better for millions of coffee workers we have to sell more specialty coffee to new customers. That way we can pay the farmers more money for their hard work and a result of that will be better coffee. The nerds are already buying their coffee from "hipster shops" - its time to really get down to work to make a difference and get the big crowd to buy good sustainable coffee. In short terms, witch is the "underline" of Sandby Kafferosteri: BETTER COFFEE TO MORE PEOPLE!
Ø. What kind of coffee can we expect at this year's Øredev?
You will drink several different coffees, brewed both as espresso and filter coffee. One of the filter-brewed coffees will have a lot of flavor of fruits and sweetness and the other will be more chocolate like. The Øredev attendees will drink two different espresso coffees as well. One will be my version of Italian espresso and the other will be a “sweeeeet” surprise!
Ø. Will coffee be available for purchase at the conference? If yes, which varieties will be available?
Yes, we will sell two different espresso blends and several brew blends and/or single estate coffee (single estate = not blended coffee, all coffee in the bag will be from one farm).
Ø. Like produce, fruits and vegetables, is there a coffee for every season? Do you go for a lighter variety in the summer and something more robust in the winter?
I like to drink all kinds of coffee all year around. The occasion is of more value to me in my decision - like wine, if you eat a steak perhaps you want to have a robust wine but if you drink wine straight up perhaps you go for a lighter one.
Ø. During your very popular coffee tasting at Øredev 2010, you mentioned there are way more flavor notes in coffee than there are in wine. How many are there, and what are the most dominant ones?
There are about 800-900 flavors in coffee (wine 400-500 I think).
All coffee has a taste of bitterness but apart from that coffee taste very different depending of what verity it is, how its roasted, what kind of drying process used at the drying mill, at what sea level its grown, what kind of fertilizer used, climate and a lot more! "Bad coffee" has fewer notes of sweet, nice flavors and more taste of bitterness, burned, sour and taste often filthy (and they are!).
Ø. You explained once that coffee makes you tired for 20 minutes before it perks you up. If correct, why is this? What other secrecies of coffee can you share with us today?
It takes about 20 minutes for the body to get the caffeine in the system. However, if you drink an espresso the strong flavor can give you a boost directly. In terms of how much caffeine there is in coffee there are more of it in filter brewed coffee than espresso. This because of the longer the water have contact with the ground coffee the more caffeine will have the time to get extracted: Espresso is still stronger then filter coffee in terms of flavor but the filter coffee will have more caffeine in it.
Ø. How do they get the caffeine out of coffee? And does it really get all of it out?
There are several different ways to get the caffeine out of the coffee but it also affects the flavor (in a bad way). To name two: One way is to get it out with carbonate under high pressure and another is Swiss water decaffeination where the coffee goes through several baths. But as I am a flavor freak and want the most of my coffee I rather drink water or a soda if I don't want caffeine in my body. If you have to change the nature of a drinkable or eatable product to suite you, perhaps you should consume something else. Off course all people think different about this but I see it this way: If I’m allergic to dogs I don't buy a dog and eat allergy pills all day...I buy a turtle instead.
Ø. Looks like you have a thing for cigars too from what I find on the information superhighway, yes? If yes, how did that come about? A visit to Cuba for some special beans?
One of my customers is a very well known cigar enthusiast. I roast coffee for his company ("Kind Cigars") and he made an own label to his coffee called "Kind Coffee". He talked me in to try one cigar out and I found a lot of nice flavors in it apart from the tobacco. I only smoke perhaps two cigars per month because it affects my flavor palette when cupping coffee. I am against smoking 100% because of the health issues, but after reading a lot about cigars I came to the conclusion that cigars is actually OK if you don't over consume them. In good cigars you have only tobacco and no chemicals what so ever.
Ø. What is "cupping" and why is it called that?
Cupping is when we try coffee out. Like wine tasters in the coffee business we have our own ritual when trying coffee. It’s done with a spoon in a special cupping-cup. The cupping ritual is done the same way all over the world.
Ø. Can we expect any special etching art for Øredev 2012?
I haven't been working with my latte art for a long time so the first day we will perhaps do more classic patterns. After the first 500 cups I think we can try etching on demand ^^.
Ø. Which method creates the best cup of coffee in your opinion? Filter, press etc…
Every method has its charm and I use almost all of them. The methods I actually don't want to do are where we get sediment in the cup because that gives a false mouth feel. French press is one of them and I don't use it at all. Sometimes I feel like an espresso and sometimes I care for coffee brewed in a porcelain filter. You can get great coffee from most brewing methods as long as you use really good coffee and don't over (or under-) dose. Also the water temperature and the quality of the water is crucial.
Ø. It has been said that coffee can help one focus. If you agree, do you know why this is true?
I agree. I focus better if I have a nice flavor in my mouth. If you drink good coffee the flavors will last long after you ended your cup. Also the caffeine helps you being alert off course.
Looking forward to seeing you and serving you all during Øredev2012!
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