Having been voted the best coffee bars in Aarhus every year since 2007, Thomas Sigfred’s self-titled coffee shops are a well-known fixture of the second largest city in Denmark.
Thomas Sigfred, originally a craftsman – cabinet maker – opened the first of his now two coffee shops in November of 2001, after having spent the better part of a year going back and forth on the decision. Ambitious from the start, he entered the national barista championship a mere three months after starting out!
Since that auspicious start, Thomas has been involved with and encouraged his employees to enter the competitions – not solely for the sake of competing, but also, as Kalle Freese writes in The Shortest 15 Minutes – because competing is an immensely valuable learning experience for baristas.
Sigfred’s employees have done quite well in the competitions: the 2009 Danish champion, Morten Vestenaas, won while working there, as well as Aron Rauff, who placed 2nd in the 2011 Danish Cup Tasting Championship.
Despite these accolades, Thomas’ first priority is running the coffeeshops to their fullest, “always serving the best coffees, and never compromising on quality”. As he says, “it makes no sense … to have competition champs working, if they are not performing perfectly on a daily basis, when your guests come to visit! … Both as hosts and preparers of coffee”.
Coffee at Sigfred’s is delivered by the internationally renowned, Copenhagen-based The Coffee Collective. Three different black coffees are served three different ways every day: As a Hario V60 pour-over, an Aeropress or a French Press. All coffees served are single estates or origins, to “fully show our guests the beautiful differences in coffee”.
They are working with the Coffee Collective to source direct trade coffee specifically for Sigfred’s, but also offer the TCC range of coffees, that Thomas succinctly describes as being “fantastic”.
In addition to beautiful coffee, Sigfreds is also well known for their homemade breads and cakes.
Thomas views the social aspect of coffee as an important aspect of the Nordic coffee culture; according to him, the resurgence of black filter brewed coffee is the best thing that has happened to the world of specialty coffee in years, because it allows his customers find it much easier to relate to great coffee in that form.
Sigfred’s have two shops: Ryesgade 28 (the original) and Ryesgade 3 (inside an old bookstore called Vangsgaards).