As an American now living in Gothenburg, I’m here to add an outside perspective while experiencing Nordic coffee culture myself. I’m a designer by trade, but also publish the specialty coffee blog, “Dear Coffee, I Love You” and co-founded Coffee Common, a company that organizes unique coffee experiences to share the joy of exceptional coffee with others.
My first job making coffee was at a Starbucks in 2000. Back then we used La Marzocco espresso machines and making coffee involved more than pushing a button. Over the next few years, I worked at several independent cafés while studying for a degree in Communication Design. I loved making coffee and the atmosphere that surrounded it, but I didn’t actually enjoy the taste.
After graduating, I moved several times for work and continued to drink terrible coffee as a matter of social habit. But in 2007, I landed in Chicago and wandered into a neighborhood café called Intelligentsia. That day I learned not all coffee is created equal. I began to notice that each time I had coffee anywhere but Intelligentsia, it wasn’t the same experience and I was determined to learn why.
I began brewing coffee at home in a french press, then I bought a grinder and started buying fresh coffee. With each new step I noticed an improvement in the coffee I was making. As my passion with coffee grew, I wanted a forum to share my excitement with friends who didn’t understand what could be so great (or different) about coffee—so I began writing about it, which led to teaching others how to improve their own experience, and now designing for companies who roast it.
Brian W. Jones tweets as @dcily.