Erna Knutsen: The Grand Old Lady of Specialty Coffee

Erna Knutsen: The Grand Old Lady of Specialty Coffee

By Chris Kolbu
CULTURE

In the newest episode of the podcast Coffee AwesomeBjørg interviews Erna Knutsen, the founder of Knutsen coffees. Erna emigrated Norway with her family in 1926, landing in New York, before eventually making her way to San Francisco and founding her company in 1985. She is credited with coining the phrase Specialty Coffee. She only recently retired, at the age of 93! Hers is an interesting story, and well worth a listen.

The podcast Coffee Awesome is run by Bjørg Brend Laird, a veteran of the coffee industry and the Nordic Barista Cup. These days, she lives in California and works with Supersonic Coffee, a new coffee startup based in Berkeley. She has been running the CA podcast since May of this year.

Here is a speech she gave at the 2014 SCAA (starts around the 8 minute mark)

The top image is taken from the SCAA events instagram feed.

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