Kahvila Sävy, Helsinki

Kahvila Sävy, Helsinki

By Chris Kolbu
PLACES

Kahvila Sävy is a small coffee shop owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Kaisa and Mikko Sarén. Since opening in November 2010, their aim has been to “be a window to the world of coffee to our customers.” What makes Kahvila Sävy stand out in Helsinki is their uncompromising philosophy: serving only what makes them proud.

Based in the up-and-coming area of Kallio on the east end of central Helsinki, this small coffee shop is the first in Helsinki to serve coffee from Turun Kahvipaahtimo, a new micro roastery owned by Juhani Haahti. In addition they almost always have a bag or two of guest coffees from other small roasteries, that they serve in order to give their customers more perspective on the quality that exists in the world of coffee.

Kaisa, who is the 2011 Finnish Cup Tasting Champion, says their decision to only serve products they are really excited about has led to the shop having a very small, but focused selection of food and drinks.

Currently, around 80% of the coffee sold is espresso-based, while brewed coffee covers the remaining 20%. Their main method of brewing coffee is the Fetco. “We are very proud of our coffee of the house, which is always fresh, delicious and ready to drink, but still tastes just like regular coffee should be tasting: smooth, balanced, sweet and nicely acidic.”

Photo by Kai Kuusisto

In addition to the Fetco filter brewer, the couple also offer a wide range of individual brewing methods, such as the Hario V60 or Woodneck, the Aeropress and the Abid Clever, on request.

Guest coffees served at Kahvila Sävy are often given to them by friends in the coffee business or even from customers who want them to share it with people. This sense of community is very important to Kaisa, who is very fond of her customers.

Kahvila Sävy offer a so-called “barista order” whereby you can order an espresso and a cappuccino or macchiato. The shot is split, and the two are served side by side, for the price of a single cappuccino (as of writing, €3.20).

For Kaisa, Nordic coffee culture is traditionally related to black coffee, but more important is the social aspect. “In Finland, there has been a great culture of well made coffee, when the beans were roasted at home and family could wake up and see their grandmother was grinding coffee for breakfast.”

In recent times, she says, cheaper prices gradually led to the point where the taste of coffee was no longer important, and conversations about coffee were mostly centered around where to get the cheapest bag of it. However, Kaisa feels that espresso culture helped filled that void, and that specialty coffee, in turn, has lead to a more quality-oriented focus on black coffee:

“There is again small roasteries, small coffee shops popping up and people wans to make good coffee in their homes and offices also. Espresso culture won’t leave (and why should it?), but the brewed coffee culture will come back with little home grinders, fresh beans and a time with family to drink it. Just like it was a long time ago.”

Visit Kahvila Sävy at www.kahvilasavy.fi/savynsivut/

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