Kaffismiðja Íslands, Reykjavik

Kaffismiðja Íslands, Reykjavik

By Chris Kolbu

Kaffismiðja Íslands is a boutique roastery and coffee shop located in a residential area of Reykjavik. Established in 2008 by Sonja Björk Grant and Ingibjörg Jóna Sigurðardóttir, both veterans of Icelandic specialty coffee, Kaffismiðja serves as a place for the two of them to further their understanding of coffee.

Today, Kaffismiðja has a staff of seven, including the two owners. Baristas Ingibjörg (Imma) and Palmár are very accomplished, having both won the Icelandic Barista Championship twice; while Sonja has never competed, she has coached many of the Icelandic champions in her 16 years in specialty coffee. Hjörtur is a two time national champion and world finalist in Coffee in Good Spirits, a competition combining coffee and alcohol.

Initially, Sonja and Imma had difficulty setting up Kaffismiðja because their prospective neighbours were worried about the smoke and noise of coffee roasting. However, their fears were quickly put to rest once people realized the small scale of their operation.

Today, they roast five times a week on a 6kg, hot pink Giesen roaster. Kaffismiðja is focused on Colombian micro lots, and normally have at least two different lots in stock. The coffee is sourced through the microlot programme of the farmer-owned FNC initiative. The first farmer Kaffismiðja bought coffee from was Javier Sanjuan, whom Sonja and Imma have both met and visited. Maintaining good relationships with farmers is one of Kaffismiðjas priorities.

Rotated on a daily basis, black coffee at Kaffismiðja is currently brewed on a Fetco batch brewer. This summer, the staff will also start to do individual brews with a Syphon in addition to serving cold brewed black coffee.

Nordic people “are big coffee drinkers, and everyone has an opinion about their coffee”, says Sonja. In her opinion, transparency and honesty are Nordic values that are of great importance in sourcing and buying coffee.

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