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.

Since moving to Sweden, I’ve competed in the 2011 World AeroPress Championship where I finished as a top 6 competitor and filmed the Nordic Roasters Forum this fall.

Brian W. Jones tweets as @dcily.